Okay, now that I’ve had a few days to process my emotions about what happened here, I feel like I can write my final words on it before I resume my usual silly horror posts. If you’re sick of hearing about it, I understand, but I just want to get this off my chest, so read on if you want to.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I live in Orlando, and I’m at the downtown clubs every single weekend. I’ve been to Pulse, and I’ve been to lots of other LGBTQ and LGBTQ-friendly bars in the city over my long clubgoing career. This could easily have happened to any of my friends, or to me, and in fact, many of the victims of this attack were friends of friends. As a goth chick, I’m very familiar with the feeling of camaraderie and family that springs from clubs like these, the feeling of these places as safe havens away from people who don’t understand those who are different. So if anyone reading this is thinking it didn’t matter as much because it was “just” a gay bar, or “just” a Latin night, or whatever, then kindly fuck the fuck off, and just keep fucking off until you drop off the face of the earth, thanks. And if your religion says it’s cool to hate on gay people, or anyone else who doesn’t share your beliefs, then you helped contribute to the worldview that caused this, and you need a new fucking religion, or none, preferably. Gain some fucking empathy and get on that right away, thanks. And if you’re really a special kind of stupid and think the shooting didn’t really happen, that it was some “false flag” operation, engineered so OMG OBUMMER CAN TAKE OUR GUNZZZZ or some asinine conspiracy bullshit like that, then fuck the fuck off into a rocket heading straight into the motherfucking sun, you disgusting waste of skin and oxygen. YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM. PEOPLE FUCKING DIED HERE. Again, thanks ever so much.
Whether the anal pustule who perpetrated this horror was a Muslim terrorist, a raging homophobe, a self-loathing closet case, or a combination of all three, he was, most definitely, a pathetic fucking coward, warped by a fundamentalist mindset that saw LGBTQ people as less than human, as worthy of execution. This is what fundamentalist religion does to people. It most assuredly did it to this shitstain, and it has sadly affected all of us. And it will continue to affect us, whether the extremism is inspired by Islam, Christianity, or motherfucking Scientology. This is NOT OKAY. Humans are humans, and even if your “belief system” disagrees with how they live their lives, they were in no way hurting you, and you have NO FUCKING RIGHT to impose your ridiculous beliefs onto them with violence, or onto the rest of us. Be religious if you must, but keep that shit to your own goddamn self and leave everyone else out of it.
But here is the thing. I know it’s still scary right now, my Orlando family. Every time something like this happens, we are reminded that we are not safe, we are not invincible, even when we are just minding our own business, hanging out and drinking and dancing with our friends as we’ve done countless times before. Some of my friends are worried about going out and just living their normal lives now, afraid that something like this will happen again. And guess what? It CAN happen again, and it probably will.
But you know what else? THESE GAPING ASSHOLES WILL NEVER WIN. They may get some of us sometimes. They may knock us back, make us afraid for a little while. BUT THEY WILL NEVER GET US ALL. There are way more of us than there are of them, and we are far stronger than they will ever be. Their worldview is fading into the past. Their stranglehold on our hearts and minds is dying. Deep down they know this, and they’re panicking and lashing out at us the only way they know how. They have to target the innocent, because they are fucking WEAK. Yes, one fuckstick massacred 49 beautiful people who had family and friends who loved them, 49 people who were just out having a good time and living their lives. He wounded dozens more, and their lives will never be the same. That is a horrible tragedy.
But in the aftermath of all the horror, I saw something extraordinary emerge. Hours after the shooting, every blood bank in central Florida was overwhelmed with people wanting to help, giving blood if they could, bringing food and water to others if they couldn’t. LGBTQ charities were flooded with millions of dollars in donations. Vigils downtown were packed to the gills with people—gay and straight, religious and not—raising candles in remembrance of the fallen. All over the world, people—of all races, sexualities, religions—took to the streets, and buildings were lit up in rainbow colors in solidarity with those lost and those who remained behind. THIS is what you are contending with, you haters and despicable cockroaches who would vilify and kill others who don’t share your antiquated views. You tried to bring us down with your hate, and instead you only inspired love and support. You FAILED, as you will always fail. This weekend in Orlando, and many more after it, people will be right back out, dancing and drinking and living their happy lives; LGBTQ people will be walking hand in hand, kissing their SO’s, and all in defiance of YOU and others like you. You changed us, yes, but you will never beat us. I can feel contempt for you, sure, even anger; but mostly what I feel is pity, because that is what you are: pitiful, and sad, and on the losing side of history.
So stay strong, my Orlando brothers and sisters. The people who hate you are nothing, and will be remembered with nothing but disgust for their vile actions. If you’re afraid to come out for a while, that’s okay. Deal with things in the way that’s best for you. But know that this coming Saturday night, I will be downtown, raising a glass for the victims, and dancing for all those who no longer can.
Thank you, and Goddess out.