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.