This has been a catastrophic week. Not just personally, but globally, the world has been shaken by the senseless and abhorrent hate crime that took place in Orlando last weekend, and the subsequent media fall out from the event. Members of the very community that were persecuted and targeted in one of the biggest mass shootings in Western history, were casually dismissed and erased by the media, because promoting lgbtqia+ rights is not as important as projecting vile islamophobia into the tv screens of the world.
50. The number of people who were murdered, as a result of them being in the wrong place, and the wrong time, and not just because they happened to be there, it was because they were finding whatever personal solace and enjoyment from spending their Saturday night in an lgbtqia+ safe place. Mothers with their sons, couples enjoying the weekend together, transgender people enjoying the transgender Latina night, (another identity erased from the media) a multitude of people who were enjoying the night and enjoying themselves. Gay bars and lgbtqia+ safe places are SO important. For people to even have to have to have a designated bar, in some respects can be seen as sad, due to the fact that even socialising in areas where there are people who could be upset/offended by your very presence is nonsensical. But gay bars and clubs are a sign of solidarity, and as I have stated in my previous post about pride, it’s a place where people feel accepted, and are able to be unequivocably themselves.
I think one of the main issues for me that has occurred as a result of this whole scenario and event has been the lack of tolerance by not just the anti – lgbtqia+ human beans out there, but the media and the outlets that are reporting on the issue. And with the media it’s not just necessarily as simple as the lack of tolerance, it’s the fact that to them, for whatever financial or political reason, the safety, honestly and fulfilment of the lgbtqia+ community is not important to them. What is important to them is knowing the religious reasoning, the identity and lifestory of the attacker, before actually giving a fuck about the people that died in the incident. Just like the republican politicians in America who, despite getting thousands of dollars from the National Rifle Assosication to keep the 2nd amendment, and also despite blocking several LGBTQIA+ non-discrimination bills, offered there condolences (FUCK your condolences).
A fine example of this was the disgusting treatment of journalist and fellow member of the lgbtqia+ community, Owen Jones. A respected Guardian journalist who is actually the biggest boyfriend goals of my whole life, and was disgustingly and unashamedly bombared with erasure on his sky news slot on Sunday Night, that he walked off the set in complete disbelief. After simply stating the facts, that this was a target on the lgbtqia+ community and not just a terrorist attack, he was told that this was in fact just an attack on “human beings who happen to be in a gay bar”. This type of erasure, and limitations to journalists who are members of the lgbtqia+ community actually CONTRIBUTES to the negative and anti-lgbtqia+ views of the world, because it limits the exposure that we are allowed. This in turn normalises heteronormative language and life, making anything that’s not straight, white and rich seem alien and abnormal. I was naïve to this before Orlando, and presumed that the media would always report on issues in the way that they actually happened, but that is just because i’m ridiculously optimistic and and naïve… classic me.
This isn’t something that is sadly radical, it’s sadly just the fact that this has happened in the western world that it has caught the worlds attention. Of course in no way am I trying to minimise the effect and sympathy and this should be given, or its impact around the world, but when there are 77 countries around the world where it is illegal to be gay, and some of these offer the death penalty, it again sadly is another display of the ridiculous, western capitalist nature of the media.
What this attack was, was a lack of tolerance and love in the person who carried out the attack. A force of hatred and sadness inside this person lead to this attack. Why do we have to label this as terrorism? I’ll tell you why. Because the western media are insistent on targeting groups of people for their own gain. Marginalising groups of people to boost their political agenda, no matter what the cost. This is where tolerance is needed, because NO attack like this, fueled by hate, should spout a bi-product of MORE hatred, especially as the attack happened on a community that is so full of love and optimism. Do not let the media trick you into blaming Islam for this. Religions don’t teach terror, people do. People who are full of terror, hatred, anger and sadness will channel that through whatever religion they choose. If this was an attack from a white American man then this media out looks would look so different. The mental health card could be played, or it could just be channeled through a far right connection, however I guarantee you that NO where in t would there be a connection via terrorism. It makes me sick. It is up to us to know what is right and what is wrong, and to channel our own convictions to not label people, religions, groups in society so that they are marginalised, and to show TOLERANCE.
The world tolerance is for people who could potentially not “agree with the lgbtqia+ lifestyle”, but have to live alongside it, as if we live on a rainbow flying through the galaxy ??? ( I wish ). Don’t just tolerate me. I’m not some little pest in the corner who can be tolerated and that’s it. Open your eyes and realise that we are all born the same, and we will all DIE (not in the same way but… we will all die). Open your minds and let people in, not believing the misconceptions that are printed in the media. FUCK the media. Tolerance should actually be channeled the other way around, we, as lgbtqia+ will tolerate people who shame us for living, who kill us for breathing, stamp us out for walking. We will tolerate them, because we all know what it feels like to be outcast, and even we wouldn’t do that to our worst enemies.
I hope you’ve all not been too effected by this tragedy, because I know the pain fractures down to every single person because we know that that could be us. As mama Ru says, ‘if they’re not paying your bills, pay them bitches no mind’, and that’s how i’m trying to live. Don’t even give the people who hate you attention, because you’re worth more than that, and your days energy should not be wasted on people who channel their negative energy into you. It’s not easy, but just try.
Lots of love and condolences to all of my LGBTQIA+ human beans out there,