Sunday, June 12, 2016

One Day, What Happened In Orlando, Will Never Happen Again




I've been trying to get a review written for a little over 2 hours now, and no matter how many times I get it started, neither my brain, nor my heart is really in it tonight. Every time I blink, every time I let my mind wander, even for second, the images of the early morning attack in Orlando, FL is all I can see.  What has now been determined to be the largest mass shooting in United States history, has taken fifty lives, with countless others still fighting to stay alive.  It has claimed brothers and sons, mothers and fathers, husbands and lovers.  It has robbed the LGBT community in Orlando of a place they thought would be safe.  I has robbed the national LGBT community of our collective sense of safety.

The man who did this, and at this point in time, I could really care less what his motivations were, was a monster.  I know some want to jump up and down and scream it was Islamic extremism rearing it's head, and if that's the talking point you need to spout, go for it.  I won't name the shooter here, because I think he is getting enough attention already, but from what I'm reading, this guy sounds like a unstable, homophobic bastard who decided it was his place to teach us a lesson. Whether his motivation was religion, hate, or a combination of the two, it doesn't change the results of his actions.  Fifty people are dead.  Fifty people will not be able to go home ever again.  Families are left grieving as they read texts sent to them from inside the club, as their loved ones were dying.  Communities are left reeling, and it will be a long time before many will really feel safe again.

This isn't new though.  The LGBT community has had a target on our backs for far longer than any of us really care to think about.  This guy is no different from Eric Rudolph who bombed an Atlanta gay bar in the 1990s.  He's no different from the folks at Westboro Baptist Church, who called this shooting a righteous act of God.  He's not different than the arsonist who killed 32 people in a New Orleans club in 1973. He's no different than Scott Esk, the Oklahoma politician who, in 2014, called for the stoning of gay men and women.  He is no different from Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, the two men who beat Matthew Sheppard, before tying him to a fence post to die.  He's no different than the regime that sent gay men and women into gas chambers during WWII.  He is no different than those who sent gay men and women into asylums, to be experimented on like guinea pigs. He is no different from the doctors who used electrocution, chemical castration, and lobotomies to try and cure us. He's no different than the American "Christian" organizations that helped pass the death penalty for gay people in a few African countries. He is no different from the monsters in the Middle East, and elsewhere, who are willing to use religion to take the lives of gay teenagers.  He is no different from the parents who kick their gay children out of their home, and force them to fend for themselves on the streets.  He's no different from every other person who has beaten, spat upon, or killed someone simply for being gay.  He's no different from every other person who sees us, and our relationships, as worth less then themselves.

One day, this won't be an issue.  One day, we will be able to live our lives without worrying that we could lose our families, or our lives, by being true to ourselves.  One day, coming out won't be a term anyone remembers.  One day, we will be able to go out in public and not worry about being attacked if we show even a little bit of affection to our partner.  That one day, needs to get here soon.

8 comments:

bermudaonion said...

I haven't been able to focus on anything either. I am just heartbroken by yesterday's tragedy. We have got to figure out a way to end this hatred and senseless violence. Thank you for not naming the shooter - I am tired of hearing his name and seeing his picture.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I also believe that one day we will look back on this and can't believe that we were so stupid. I also hope it comes soon. Hate is hate no matter the motivation. So much violence lately. So much lost. Such a sad and horrible day.

Lisa said...

We can only hope that this helps people come together, to help people learn to be more tolerant and to see what can happen in an atmosphere of hatred.

Michelle Miller said...

This is a terrible tragedy. Things like this just shouldn't happen. I still can't wrap my head around it.

And you're right...it doesn't matter what his ultimate motivation was. Bottom line, he was a bastard with nothing but hate in his heart who sought to punish people for being different.

I hope that the one day you speak of gets here soon too. Our world, our country, has a lot of changing to do. Question is, can it happen? I hope so.

Very well said, Ryan...and here's a hug, my friend. <3

Kate Midnight Book Girl said...

I have hope that your vision comes true- that love will win over hate. I feel like it's possible.

I don't understand the kind of hate that causes this kind of tragedy, and I don't ever want to be able to. I'd rather focus on the victims and the survivors and the outpouring of love from the global community that stand with them. We are not where we need to be, but I have hope we someday will be.

<3 = <3 = <3


TracyK said...

Sorry to be so late commenting on this. I do hope that you are right, and someday this kind of incident will not happen at all.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Well said, Ryan. What happened is so tragic and sickening that it's beyond words. Worse still, the pro-gun lobby has for too long given a long rope to those filled with rage, anger, and hatred. I read about the recent not unexpected vote on gun control. Sometimes I wonder how one of the world's most progressive countries can be so regressive. It doesn't add up. I'd have to think twice before stepping out with even a penknife, so to speak, thanks to stringent gun control laws. We have been the safer for it.

JaneGS said...

>One day, this won't be an issue. One day, we will be able to live our lives without worrying that we could lose our families, or our lives, by being true to ourselves. One day, coming out won't be a term anyone remembers. One day, we will be able to go out in public and not worry about being attacked if we show even a little bit of affection to our partner. That one day, needs to get here soon.

That was beautiful and one day can't get here soon enough! Thanks for writing this.