Monday, June 13, 2016

Sadness and Fury and Pride

I do not very often post things on here that are not garden- or plant-related. However, yesterday's horrible events in Orlando - the senseless massacre of forty-nine innocent people at a gay club, and the wounding of fifty-three more - weighs heavily on me, and while I have shared several comments by other people more eloquent and incisive than anything I have been able to come up with on Facebook, I felt the need to write something of my own here.

I am heartbroken about the lives lost and families, friends, and loved ones left to grieve and mourn and pick up the pieces, and about the fact that the vast majority of the victims were not just queer but also Latino and/or people of color, thus already all too often doubly marginalized and discriminated against in this deeply troubled society of ours and in our horribly toxic current political climate. I am sad and scared for my Muslim friends and teachers and students and fellow citizens and fellow human beings here and elsewhere in the world who will be subject to even greater scrutiny and suspicion and distrust and prejudice because the monster who did this happened to be Afghan American. I am sad because I cannot comprehend so much of this, and it leaves me feeling unsafe and powerless.

I am also, however, very very angry. I am enraged that this happens again and again and the death toll keeps rising every time and yet we cannot have reasonable gun control like any other civilized society. I am furious that my community can be attacked and brutalized like this and sanctimonious, immoral right-wing politicians can abuse Bible quotes to imply that we deserve this horror; that they try to use this tragedy to vilify another vulnerable community and pit us against them, when it is their homophobic rhetoric and policies, their insane anti-trans bathroom bills and never-ending fight against common-sense non-discrimination ordinances, that fuels this hate and violence more than anything; that people will erase us LGBT people even from their supposed "condolences" on a tragedy affecting OUR community, a hate crime committed against US; that the father of the mass murderer who did this to us can refer to our identity dismissively and disdainfully as "hamjinsbāzī" or "same-sex play" and claim that it is up to God to punish us even as he tries to absolve himself of his son's horrific actions. I am angry at all the hate and stupidity that makes it so hard not to hate as well.

And I am proud. I am proud of the resilience and strength and joy and beauty of the LGBT community in the face of the horrific abuse visited upon us time and again simply for existing and loving as God made us. I am proud of all the people who are still human, who are decent, who are good, and responded with the same pain and the urgent need to help and heal and protect. I am proud to be an out gay man, proud of the man I love and hope to marry, proud of the family and friends who support us.

I will always be proud to kiss him and be kissed by him. I will always be proud to love.


  1. The magnitude of such an awful event are felt strongly here. United we all stand against such an atrocity.

  2. well said. wishing for more empathy and acceptance in the world.


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