I feel so sick right now.
50 people dead. 50+ people injured. That’s nearly a third of the people that were in Pulse nightclub last night.
It’s 2016 but I feel like the terrified teenager I was in 2007 when I was still praying the gay away. My heart aches for all the people who have lost their lives and everyone around them whose lives they’ve touched. We’ve come a long way but we still have so much work to do. We still face discrimination on a regular basis and this was a tragic reminder of that. Even in 2016, to be visibly queer is dangerous. To celebrate one’s queerness in such a simple way – by going to dance and have fun at a queer bar – gets met with violence. Part of me is anxious to go out into our Gay Village but I know that sitting at home and being worried will do nothing for the community. We need to stand up for what we believe in. It also allows us to reflect on the comfort of living in a country where obtaining a lethal weapon is not so easy. Canada have may many flaws in its legal system, but at least easily obtaining a firearm is not one of them. Regardless, it’s important to represent our communities and stand together especially in times of great sadness, such as this one.
I (Humza) would also like to say that this is not the fault of Islam. This had nothing to do with the religion. This man knew nothing about the true teachings of Islam, and as someone who was raised in the faith, I can attest to that. Although I no longer follow the religion, I feel sympathy for the backlash my Muslim brothers and sisters will face. This is just another tally to the enormous list of “Islamic terrorists” that we’ve had to deal with for over a decade now. People enact physical violence – do not cast blame on an entire religion of people for the atrocious actions of one person. Do not use this horrific event to legitimize Islamophobia. Queer Muslims exist and are victims of this trauma as well.
To support the victims of the shooting, donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/PulseVictimsFund
Stay safe during this Pride Month. Lots of love from the both of us.