Comic: Bermudez Shorts
In the name of love: Pride
The massacre that killed at least 50 and wounded scores more at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., this weekend is what happens when we don't promote respect and acceptance of diversity through knowledge and understanding. We encourage ignorance, and promote fear and hatred of people different from us. This is inexcusable. My heart goes out to the LGBTQ community.
Calling this an act of terrorism or a gun tragedy or anything other than a hate crime is taking away from the LGBTQ community — almost making an excuse by blaming it on something else, distracting from the real issue.
The fact of the matter is that as a society we have been doing this for generations. LGBTQ people have been murdered, beaten, raped (yes raped) just because they simply choose to consensually love another person that our heteronormative culture does not approve of. Not to mention the countless acts of discrimination they faced and continue to face on a daily basis. From marriage rights to lack of employment protection to getting something as inoffensive as a cake baked for their wedding.
This was a hate crime and we have all been complicit in it.
As a nation we still treat our LGBTQ brothers and sisters as less than, or something other than, "normal." Even with marriage equality now the law, they are still second-class citizens. Then there is the astronomically high suicide rate among teens that are LGBTQ. As I write this, sexually active gay people are being denied the ability to donate blood to the victims in Orlando, but not sexually active straight people. The odds are stacked against anyone that is not "straight and normal" in our world and the systemic support is pretty much non-existent.