The tragedy in Orlando yesterday has left me feeling sick to my stomach. I’ve read as many articles as I can about it, scrolled through various tweets and declarations of support, of love; yet I’m sat here teetering on the edge of tears because we live in a world where unspeakable acts of horror, of death, of hate, can happen anywhere at anytime.
The fallout from yesterday’s massacre has only just begun. Even though I’m in Scotland, miles and miles from where this attack happened, I’m sat here trying to convince myself that we will be OK, but I cannot shake the feeling that our LGBT community is under attack. The hate I feel thrust upon us right now is overwhelming. Hate towards those victims, their families, towards me and my friends. And I worry now that this hate will have a domino effect. Behaviour breeds behaviour, as such I have to say we cannot let this horrific event perpetuate even more intolerance and hate – especially if that hate takes the form of Islamophobia
If you think for one moment that all Muslim’s are terrorist or capable of such acts then allow me to take a pin to that bubble of ignorance you live in, because I will not allow anyone to foster that archaic and hateful behaviour into another generation. I’ve seen a lot of touching shows of support from across the world, but I’ve seen something darker, more sinister. I’ve read tweets praising the attack; I’ve seen posts that spew out racism and Islamophobia. How can condemning all Muslim’s for the acts of a few be logical to people? What makes it worse is that I’ve seen gay men and woman post these misinformed xenophobic rants – people that should not be indulging any hate or perpetuating any stereotypes.
All you’re doing by fuelling these fires of hate is affording politicians like Donald Trump a better chance of winning the election, and thus allowing more hatred to be born. It wasn’t so long ago (and currently still happens) that said politicians were rallying against gays and setting up road blocks to stop us from reaching equality; so the fact anyone supports anything they say that’s remotely Islamophobic is hypocritical.
People like Trump that believe violence and ‘toughness’ are the answer; as opposed to, oh I don’t know, maybe learning from the plethora of gun-related tragedies scattered across fairly recent American history. I am all for standing up for myself, for fighting and never backing down, but there comes a point where we need to stop and think. This merry-go-round of rotating violence we are on isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. This needs to stop from both sides.
The plague that is ISIS run on fear; and they exist purely to instil and spread that fear across the world. Using the guise of religion as a cover, they want to encourage this panic amongst us. They want a division between races, and we are playing into their hands. I’ve heard people worry that ISIS will take over the world; well, guess what, they already are because everywhere you look online you’re met with stories about them; videos of their violent acts. After yesterday all people will talk about is ISIS and latest act of terrorism, which is what these faceless cowards want.
And to those who support ISIS I hope you read this. I hope you know that because you’ve altered the perception of a few, we will not hate the thousands. You attacked a community that has survived a lot worse than this, and trust me we not be bullied into hiding. If you think for one minute that homosexuality is a bigger sin than murder, then your moral compass needs adjusting. Hate acts out in a moment or an action, love prevails and endures forever.
For the first time in my life I feel a need to attend PRIDE this year; because yesterday reminded me that not everyone lives in 2016. I am a gay man, I do not condone any form of Islamophobia, I love everyone as equals and feel a great swell of pity for anyone deluded enough to believe in any values that preach hate towards their fellow man or woman. Use the Orlando shooting to reexamine your own bigotries. Don’t spread more hate.