Recently, at a popular night club in Orlando, Florida, a specific community was violently attacked because the people dancing inside the club live a different lifestyle. There are too many people around the world who look askance on the LGBTQ community because they don’t understand the concept of personal freedom. This should be the conversation we’re having around the globe, instead of the pointless conversation about how this horrific massacre was a terrorist attack. From my perspective, this was not an act or terrorism, it was an attack on freedom and love. It was an attack steeped in hatred and prejudice. It was an attack by a young man who had been raised to be bigoted, and who believed that people who love one another in a way that didn’t comply with his own religious doctrine are lesser in the eyes of his god. Even if he was some radical islamic terrorist, it was still a crime borne from irrational hatred and unrelenting sexualism.
Worldwide, my community grieves. Not because of terrorism, but because of bigotry. Every individual on this planet is different. That’s what makes the world such a great place, because no two people are the same. So how is it possible, in 2016, there are people who still don’t understand that not everyone is the same? Why is it not okay to not be the same? How can those same people who loudly demand religious freedom deny my right to personal freedom?
Pulse was attacked because it was full of gay people. It was not one crazy person who acted out against the gay community, but the culmination of countless bigoted zealots who have spread so much hateful rhetoric over the years which has now lead to an unprecedented attack on free people who are doing no harm by just being themselves.
This attack will not stop us from being who we are. In fact, quite the opposite; the LGBTQ community will bond closer together and become even stronger in the wake of this incident. Our freedom is as essential to a functional society as everyone else’s, and together we will continue to strive towards that goal for each and every one of us, and that includes you too. May you all be showered with love and rainbows.