I’ve read many things written about the Orlando shooting–from calling it yet another wake-up call for gun control, to it being a reason to distrust Muslims and fear random terrorist attacks. It very well might be all of these things. From what I’ve learned though, religious extremist or not, the perpetrator’s father described his son as disgusted by gay people and obviously homophobic.
Perhaps this killer’s hatred was mirrored and supported by his religious affiliations; maybe he was gay and struggled with his own internalized homophobia, and maybe the lack of USA gun-control made it far too easy for him to acquire a deadly assault rifle. And maybe it was all of these things together that made it much easier for him to commit the worst mass-shooting in North-American history. But–as my good friend Chris wrote in his own article for AmongMen.com–the Orlando shooting was a targeted, homophobic hate crime against the LGBT community.
Read Chris’ article here: http://www.amongmen.com/editors-blog/orlando-shooting-homophobic-hate-crime-not-attack-us/
If the killer was gay–or conflicted–and his own internalized homophobia was the catalyst, that very homophobia itself is a learned behaviour from his upbringing/environment/society/family-beliefs and is another blatant example of hatred; a hatred that motivated him to purchase an assault rifle, scope out and target a popular gay nightclub and ultimately murder 49 innocent souls from our LGBT community.
This unspeakable massacre against our brothers and sisters–and us members of the LGBT community and our allies–needs to be recognized as such. A TARGETED HATE CRIME AGAINST THE LGBT COMMUNITY. It cannot be swept under the rug and generalized as another organized ISIS–or random, lone-wolf–religious extremist terror attack. It can’t merely be accepted as the work of one mentally ill person who had a psychotic break. And it most certainly cannot be used solely to fuel political agendas and ignite arguments on gun-control.
No, this devastating moment in time needs to be seen for what it is: a brutal attack on our world’s LGBT community.
In my mind, this event needs to now become the worldwide turning point that ignites radical acceptance of LGBT life and acceptance of all of our differences.