Only hours before the attack on the Orlando nightclub, Pulse, myself and several others were fighting against homophobia on social media. The abuse was pretty horrific and didn’t stop at gender and sexuality but any group the guilty was not a part of. He was a white straight cis male, who hurtled verbal vomit at anyone who didn’t fit his group. Something as a Gay man, who has fought hard on social media since December 2013 against the phobic mind-set and something I will become stronger to do so each time I see such inhumane comments.
Some of us will recognise the connection between online, workplace, political abuse, school yard bullying and even the Ignorance of BBC panelists just hours after the attack, talking about a new ofsted ruling on school uniforms here in the UK. The ruling allowed any child to wear what they wish, with no question, the panels language was uneducated and yet common, confusing gender and sexuality not understanding the faintest what sexuality or gender was about. Just these little seeds of subtle phobia leads to something more horrific, discriminate laws across the globe, teens committing suicide from the bullying, lgbt men and women living lives of depression because of the abuse they have had and the lack of being understood and to the early hours of Sunday 12th June 2016 when a single gunman, regardless of connections with Isis walked into a gay night club and killed 50 people, yet affected each and everyone of us. Every single gun shot was an attack on all of us. All who stand up for humanity and a shock wave to those who don’t care for people who are different to themselves.
The homophobe from hours early returned to give me a message of condolences, probably feeling guilty of his behaviour but not understanding the danger of not allowing people to be themselves. Yet we all grieve, the pain I felt yesterday from people directly around me and people wanting to talk in private online was life changing for most, for myself my life changed years back and since I’ve fought against prejudice anyway I can, but it affects me the same. All I can do is offer my love and hope to anyone who is affected.
Thus posing the next question
What can we do?
Firstly you can grieve and reflect, turn your anger into something positive. If you are allowed go and give blood. DO IT! If you can’t then give money to help the victim’s. If you can’t do that then go to a service, light a candle and think. Show the world you are grieving, show the world all THAT hatred and phobia led someone to this, show the world we will change the world for the better.
Then refocus and slowly forgive but don’t forget, honour the victim’s by joining myself in the fight against prejudice in your own small way. Join an organisation, or even join myself and get involved with Pride matters. Join your friends and tackle phobic views in your neighbourhood, simply join the fight against phobic views and prejudice so nothing like this ever happens again, so a gun man doesn’t chose a gay night spot in the middle of Pride month over the hundreds of straight ones. So no gunman exists one day. So the Transgender community don’t feel alone, so the asexuals feel more inclusive, so the bisexuals among us don’t feel misunderstood, even from within the LGBT community and so the questioning youths lives are saved and they are made to feel as special and unique as they are. Let’s use this to help everyone live a better life and honour those who have fallen. You have the power as an individual to help us speak as many.
*please note I have not posted pictures on this article, in order to make it a time to focus and reflect with few distractions*