This last month it is uncanny that I felt strongly there was going to be an attack on a Pride event this year. A city that many of us think of as a fun place to go unfortunately, Orlando became the target of someone’s mental instability.
I constantly worry for the safety of my girls (my daughter and her partner). They are publicly open about their relationship – I fear it puts them in danger, even in Seattle. Yesterday’s events reminded me again that this world is not safe for my precious ones.
All the hate in this world, weighs heavily on my heart. I don’t understand what is wrong with our species that we war on each other; especially pick on sectors of our populations. We believe we are so special in this world, but act every bit like wild animals, sometimes worse.
Yesterday will stay with us a long time. I want to blame someone, but whoever do you blame? Religious leaders of Muslim and Christians? Is their hateful rhetoric responsible for setting a mentally ill person off enough to commit such an atrocity? All these questions roll through my mind, as I try to cope with what just happened.
I know I must not let events cause me to hate, yet I am angry. Angry my girls live in a world that has caused so much harm to those whose sexual orientation is different from those who fear them. The fear turns to hate, and the hate turns to unspeakable acts of violence.
Let’s call it what it is. The hate is a product of fear. Who feeds that fear? Religions are the biggest propagators. I believe every minister, pastor, rabbi, priest, or political leader who speaks ill of any LGBT, has this blood on his or her hands. I’m sure if you are Christian the first thing that comes to your mind is, oh but this was a Muslim. Doesn’t matter – this man was brought up in a religious sect that perpetrated this hatred. If your Christian group is perpetrating hatred, you are as much to blame. Moreover, if you are a leader you are even more culpable!
Damn tootin’ I am angry too. I am angry that Christians, who forget Jesus words of love, surround me with voices of hatred. They cling to every word in the Bible they believe supports their hatred and bigotry. I am well aware of how this works.
If you are a Christian and think it excuses your faith for something a Muslim did, you should be questioning your own participation in hatred towards some of God’s children. In addition, the saying “hate the sin not the sinner” does not give anyone a pass. It’s the words of a Pharisee and every bit as hateful, no matter how much cover is dumped on it. I know not all Christians hate; however, too many still do, because their leaders teach them revulsion.
My responsibility? After LGBT marriage equality came through, I relaxed about being an ally to the LGBT community. Not that I ceased being an ally, I just wasn’t as active with my voice. I can make excuses that I’ve been busy with a new book, writing it, being published, and speaking engagements. I let a busy life keep me from activism. This is another wake-up call that the fight is not over.
No more excuses, I have to be vigilant. I need to protect my girls – and every other LGBT in this nation – from those who propagate this fear, the religious or political groups that sow seeds of hatred. That is a tall order, I know, but adding my voice to a sea of other voices protesting the rhetoric that fuels these atrocities, is one more step of many, I must make. How about you?
Even though I feel anger, I am watching the outpouring of love from people around the world. This gives me hope, that attitudes are changing, and love is prevailing. Candles are being lit around the world! Muslims are speaking out in love, Christians too! Our Seattle Space Needle is flying the Pride flag at half-mast. Buildings are being lit up in rainbow colors from Tel Aviv to New York. Change has come, albeit slowly, but I couldn’t imagine this happening a couple of decades ago. Out of horror comes hope in these gestures of support and love, even though healing will not come easy for anyone.
My heart goes out to the victims, their family, friends, and the LGBT community.
The gun control debate is fair, of course, but…….this is the third time a Muslim has attempted mass murder on the GLBTQ community in the U.S., and the first two times different methods were used (arson at the Neighbors Nightclub in Seattle; a bomb at Uncle Charlie’s in NYC). Homophobes will find a way, and this might be just the beginning.
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Here’s Ono’s thoughts after The devastating events in Orlando…