Orlando: It Doesn’t Happen in a Vacuum

Content warning: violence, shootings, bigotry

 

Guns & hate. Guns & hate. Guns & hate.  Guns and abuse and violence. Over again, the same targets, the same reasons. Women and the LGBTQIA. Over and over and over and over. The Orlando shooting isn’t alone, it’s in a helluva lot of company.

I cry over and over. For the women being raped and blamed while their rapists are given a pat on the head and sympathy for how badly it might affect their lives.
For the women and trans women murdered by men so stuck in toxic masculinity that they can’t handle their own fear.
For the trans people who commit suicide because it’s better than being hated and feared and called a freak and a danger to others.
For the women who can’t walk home alone or get down the street without being harassed.
For everyone trying to be true to themselves in a world which keeps telling them they’re nothing.

But I’m also angry. Fucking furious, if I’m honest. Because none of it happens in a vacuum.

It happens when we pass laws to normalise the view that trans people are dangerous to share a bathroom with, for no other reason than because they’re trans.

It happens when we treat LGBTQIA people in our media as expendable props, plotlines and one-dimensional jokes, because that’s how they then get treated in the real world.

It happens when we hide behind the belief we’ve created to give us excuses to hate people who are different to ourselves.

It happens when we see a girl getting raped and tell her it was her fault or being drunk, while offering sympathy to the rapist because his own drunkenness makes him incapable of proper judgment.

It happens when we let abusers and murders off the hook because the victim was trans, or bi, or gay, or lesbian, or female, or intersex, or anything other than white, straight, male and cisgendered, because that makes them less human and less important than their attacker.

It happens when we forget that everyone is human, and entitled to live their live free of the fear that today could be the day somebody decides to kill thm for being different.

It happens when we put giving everyone access to guns over the safety of everyone hurt by them every day.

It happens when we assume the Muslim is a terrorist and the Christians are not.

It happens when we defend a white cop for attacking a black teenager.

It happens when we remember the names of the killers, and forget the names of the dead.

It happens when my life is less important than your fear.

Today, and all the other days, don’t happen in a vacuum. What each of us do, decides whether this keeps happening. Or not.