I didn’t actually expect myself to write something about the Orlando shootings.
I’m not American, do not live in a county that has a gun problem, and what should be said has been said. Things have been said that definitely have should not been said too, but we won’t get into that.
I’m LGBT. I don’t really talk about it too much because when it comes to the internet, I feel I want to keep a level of privacy. Plus, I only really come on the internet to talk about books and watch funny Youtube videos. It’s not a place for me to divulge personal information.
And while it’s not surprising that these attacks have happened, it still shook me on a personal level than other atrocities we’ve seen in this life time. Like I said, I’m not American and I do not live in a country where shootings are normal, but I am still a part of a community that can be murdered just for being who they are, who I am.
It astonishes me that a country* that believes itself so much better than other countries will still defend their right to own a gun even when across their nation, children and POC and LGBT folk are gunned down just because they exist, because they’re there. The Orlando shootings happened in a fucking gay nightclub, a place which is supposed to be safe for a gay person, a place where you’re accepted as part of a community.
I saw one person say “Guns don’t kill people, bad people do.” and I swear, if you do not see the problem with this sentence, then you are seriously missing the point. Bad people are everywhere, and they will find a way to inflict awfulness regardless of owning a gun, but handing them one when they open up an account with a bank, or because they’ve earned enough coupons at a supermarket, well, you are making it easier for them to inflict awfulness on the world, aren’t you?
I read LGBT books and I write LGBT stories because, not only are they unique and interesting and fun, but they’re also important. Prejudice and discrimination also happens in places that don’t have gun problems, and I think books and stories and the presence of LGBT characters in mainstream media contribute to the unlearning of this hatred. I also think it normalizes a difference in sexuality for children and people who are just…well, uneducated on the topic.
My heart goes out to the people of the LGBT community in Orlando and across the world, to the family of the victims, and the victims themselves, who did not deserve any of this. We’ve come a long way in terms of progress, but we are in no way there yet.
*Obviously, I know there are many Americans who do not agree with the lax gun laws and this is a sweeping generalization. But this is the U.S that the rest of the world sees. It’s only the U.S that can change it.