Stop The Hate ☮

This was written by J. I met J when he was a little boy and his family built their home on the lot next to ours. J, along with his brothers and baby sister, would all become fixtures at our house, and my children at theirs…there were many hours of basketball played in our driveway, sleigh riding in the winter…swim team in the summer. I haven’t seen him in many years….but reading what he has written, I couldn’t be prouder if he was my own son…….it’s sad that it needs to be said…and it most definitely needs to be shared.

Typically I use this platform to play this unapologetic, irreverent gay character so everyone can have a good chuckle, and so I can kind of mask any signs of emotion as to avoid signs of weakness. But I want to open up a bit, and if you’re annoyed by all the personal stories today then I suggest stop reading, this is for everyone thats still hurting a bit from yesterday.

After I was able to fully soak in a lot of the news, I got on the phone to call A while he was out of town…this is all still really new and we haven’t had the opportunity to explore each other’s emotional limitations, so I wanted to give him an outlet if necessary. So I gave him the floor and said to tell me how he’s feeling and his exact words were “Scared. All they were doing was living. Nowhere is safe anymore.” I paused for a bit and said “All we can do is live.”

And I’ve been stirring over that advice all night and this morning. I felt like I couldn’t lie and say we’re safe, because I didn’t feel like we were. We never are. In all of our interactions outside of gay bars and centers, we are constantly making risk assessments based on environment and level of interaction. We assess if we can hold hands on this street, if we can kiss in this part of the park, etc. And that risk level is never 0( zero), it can only be minimized because there’s too many unknown factors of potential retaliation of strangers. We’ve all been verbally or physically assaulted based on our actions and we understand that this is all a part of our day to day risk when we choose to be in public.

But the one part about yesterday that is absolutely gut wrenching is that it happened inside a gay venue. A part of the social contract that we agreed upon with straight America is that if we do what we do behind close doors, we would be left alone, unbothered. These venues act as a place to let our hair down and drop the weight of this country’s homophobia off our shoulders and not be scared of who might hurt us. These 50 individuals were playing by the rules. They followed the social contract. They were doing what we were promised would keep us safe. Ultimately they were betrayed and their lives were taken.

This event is hard to stomach. We’ve now lost the last physical location where we felt safe. So this week when you see your LGBTQ brothers and sisters, just hug them. Hold them tight. Kiss them and ask if they’re ok. Let them spill their hearts out. Cry with them. The social contract has officially been terminated and we have no obligation to hide our love for one another anymore. The only obligation we have is to make each other feel safe.
Love Hard, Love Strong, and Love with Pride.


22 thoughts on “Stop The Hate ☮

  1. To not feel safe anywhere… It’s one thing for us to feel that way with the terrorists at large, but to fee that way from your own countrymen is something else altogether.

  2. Thanks for posting that Linda. I’ve seen so many arguements on my FB page about the “right to bear arms”. I just want the right to live without being murdered by a gun.
    What happened in Orlando should not have happened. The FBI fucked up. Politicians sleep with the NRA and now you have a nominee who loves to plant seedlings of fear into ignorant individuals while his own sons go on hunting rampages. I can’t. I just can’t. Gay. Straight. Bi. Pansexual. Asexual. Whatever. No body is safe..and the rest of the free world cannot process our violence or our lack of gun laws….

    • Hate and evil isn’t going to go away by changing any laws…….I’m not sure what the answer is………but taking away my right to own a gun isn’t going to stop them…..with all the hate they carry, they’ll get guns or whatever means to hurt/kill regardless…………💔

  3. Wouldn’t it be nice if the line between love and hate were erased? Tolerance is apparently to large a word for fundamentalists to understand, and the rest of the world pays the price.

  4. Australia introduced gun laws many years ago and although it doesn’t stop illegal weapons, it does make it harder to get them. The rate of gun violence has reduced as a result. Everyone has the same rights and responsibilities. Everyone deserves to feel safe regardless of who or where they are.

  5. Love begins at home. The greatest part we can play in stopping the hate, is to somehow forgive the horrific crime committed in Orlando, and all the other crimes of hate committed by our brothers and sisters – for that is what we all are, brothers and sisters. It may sound naive, but it is an ideal. Unfortunately, I’m a long way from achieving that goal.
    So I will pray, for the families and loved ones of the victims, and for all of mankind.

  6. Gun laws are proven to go a long way in reducing this kind of crime, especially restricting access to powerful weapons generally and any kind of weapons by those with a history of mental illness or who are on any kind of watch list is a must. It has been proven in the UK and Australia to cut this kind of crime There have been two mass shootings in the UK in several decades, in the US there has been 2 every year of President Obama’s tenure.

  7. Thanks for sharing this. When I told my 12-year-old twins what happened in Orlando they were incredulous. They wondered how someone could be so evil. They said how we should all love each other.

  8. Thanks you for posting this, Linda. I have had such a turmoil of emotions, shared so much of the distress of close friends who are lesbians, the hurt so palpable, fear. And this expresses it so well. I have spent the week thus far thinking of my nephew who is gay and loves to dance, loves clubs, pictured him experiencing this. I’ve thought of what it must have meant to be Latino and gay, and wondered if any number of victims might not have been out, and that the coverage thus meant an invasion of privacy, another breach, ripping away what they might not have been ready to share…so many feelings. And such good advice from J, “All we can do is live.” For those of us who are allies, we have to continue to try to make that easier. This week I have envisioned this event as like a catastrophic explosion of pain, echoing outward. I pray for all the victims and their families, and for everyone caught in the middle of a ripple of the pain that has spread out to hurt so many. May this be at least the beginning of the end. Jo

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