There are no words to express the sadness, grief, disgust and anger that the events in Orlando have triggered in our communities. Everywhere people are asking themselves: ‘ When will the hate stop’? How can this still be happening?
One of the most insidious reasons this is still happening is the consent we as a culture give to homophobic behavior in our communities. I know this statement triggers denials that we support homophobia in any way. After all, when we are in our incredibly diverse communities such speech is clearly frowned upon.
Individuals, who engage in attacks on the LGBTQ community, whatever their other issues, are the products of communities that do not consistently confront micro aggressions towards the LGBT community.
Most of us can relate how at a family picnic, in the interest on family unity, people just roll their eyes and keep silent when UNCLE BOB, makes a homophobic statement.
Similarly, many of us have experienced the pressure to ignore the micro aggressions by “STEVE IN ACCOUNTING” when he engages in comments or gestures that are clearly underpinned by homophobia.
In public we hear conversations that include anti LGBTQ language or adverse bigotry and we are offended, but say nothing.
These are the underpinnings of bigotry, “don’t rock the boat”, “there is a time and place for activism”, “It’s not worth the scene it will cause”
Lets commit to insuring that every child grows up in a world where it is made clear to UNCLE BOB that he is not welcome if he makes such statements. Yes, our families will react with the desire to “smooth ruffled feathers” , yet we have a moral obligation to make clear that the issue is not family unity, but insuring that another generation learns the awful truth about what such views manifest.
It is hard to acknowledge that our actions have contributed to this violence, we just want peace at family gatherings and to not lose our jobs. We want to say “not me”. This is a call to look deep inside and really determine if we are complicit in this violence.
It’s time to stop engaging in the privileged concept that our comfort is more important than the lives of others. The hard truth is that real change happens not when we point fingers at others, but when we point them at ourselves!