I usually don’t publish more than one post a day on this blog (two, if you’re counting the #JuneJourChallenge going on this month), but I was impelled to write about this horrific shooting that happened in Orlando over this past weekend- not just because everyone was talking about it, but also how the incident brings up profound issues of the LGBTQ+ community, terrorism, and the ever-ubiquitous need for gun control in light of the many gun-related events happening just within this past week.
When I first heard the news on social media, I actually got it confused with the news of singer Christina Grimmie’s death, which had happened the day before, also in Orlando. Both events were in such close proximity with each other, literally occurring back-to-back after one another, that it was too easy to get them mixed up. Grimmie’s death was a terrible shock to her fans and family, but hearing about another bigger-scale shooting following right after was fucking terrifying. Not only that, but it was directed at a large community, that of the LGBTQ+, and it made my stomach turn.
As an individual who identifies with the LGBTQ+ community, I was not only shocked, but also disgusted, even disappointed: in a day and age when being someone other than heteronormative and/or cisgender is becoming more and more accepting, this event just set back all of those efforts for which people have been fervently fighting for decades. While I am aware that there are still homophobic/queer-phobic people out there in the world, I thought that we were done with all of this, with the blatant hatred of people other from the “norm.”
If anything, this incident is more than just a hate crime; it is a call to attention of different issues– gun violence, LGBTQ+ rights, terrorism– that by chance intersected together in that one night. I have already strongly stated my stance in multiple posts (see here and here) on the need for gun control in the United States (can someone tell me why this isn’t a thing yet?), as well as my thoughts on the LGBTQ+ community (see here and here as well), and this post on the Orlando gay nightclub shooting is a means of bringing them together in the same light.
Look, this incident is considered the worst mass killing in the U.S. since the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007 (50 killed versus 32). While we should acknowledge that, we also need to acknowledge that gays, lesbians, transgender people, and others of non-heteronormative status are discriminated against, even killed, every year for being, well, them. They aren’t threatening the so-called “pillars of society” with their romantic or sexual orientations, so why do you threaten them? I’m at loss for words…
My heart goes out to the lives lost in Orlando that weekend, and while the #PrayforOrlando hashtag that’s trending all over social media is a nice gesture, I believe we need more than just prayers for the community, more than that for the LGBTQ+ community, heck, for the victims killed by gun violence. At this point, praying is only wishful thinking, and we need to take action- for the sake of our society’s safety in the following generations to come.
Thank you for reading, and I wish you a good day.
— The Finicky Cynic
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