Sunday, 12 June 2016
After Pulse... I'm sorry. I can't keep doing this.
At least 50 dead and another 50 injured by what is being called an act of domestic terrorism. Over 100 members of the LGBTQ community targeted and executed by a man who may or may not have had a political or militant agenda. I don’t know all the facts; I suspect that it will be some time before any of us do. We will do a fair bit of posturing, pontificating and distancing. Each of us doing our best to convince others and ourselves that we had nothing to do with this.
But for me, it won’t work.
I have everything to do with this.
I have no sympathy for Isis or Daesh; I have no cultural, religious or political zealotry that makes me target the LGBTQ communities.
I don’t think that I exhibit or am influenced significantly by homophobia.
I would love to make this shooter out to be a crazed man bent on terror, because than I can distance myself from this crazed killer, pretend that I had nothing to do with this and so, do nothing in response.
But I am part of this.
I am part of this because I have let my brothers and sisters worry about themselves; take care of their own problems. I have walked and celebrated in Pride parades, signed some petitions and worked to make my church an Affirming Ministry – but I’ve done those things for you and not for myself. Strange, but until I do these things for selfish reasons, I suspect that I am part of the problem. As I support my brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ community because I like them… love them… wish them well… I continue to marginalize them as community while I remain situated in the larger, normalizing, privileged community into which I was raised. My love is an act of charity, not solidarity.
What happened in Florida at the Pulse Nightclub shouldn’t have happened to the LGBTQ community, it should have happened to me… but that’s not how I read the story when I first saw it. I read about this terrible thing that happened to the LGBTQ community… not to me. I was sad for them... but not for myself. And that realization broke upon me like a wave.
It's my thinking of you as "them" that helps to make you a target... you're not the "norm"; you're not "me", you are "them". Like Jews, Gypsies, Serbians, Tutsis and so many other people that are NOT in the majority and therefore able to be separated out and targeted. As long as we're not attacking the majority, we can wring our hands and declare how terrible it all is... but it's not our problem.
As a Christian, I believe that the Divine became flesh to live in our midst and show us that the Divine/Human separaton is an artificial construct... and so is, "Us" and "Them". There is only "Us" My faith also assures me that nobody can go to the cross alone.. we are all there.
I am sorry.
I am not asking for your forgiveness... this isn't about my being forgiven or excused for the past. This is about how I intend to go forward. I will not let people do this to me... I will not let people hurt me like this and pretend that it will get better.
To my brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ communities… I love our diversity, uniqueness and different ways of being human - but I am also sorry that I have ever allowedyou to be “them” in my heart or my life. You are not "them" - You are me… what happens to you, happens to me. Those bodies that were taken out the Pulse nightclub were members of my family… they were me…. And I am sickened, hurt, devastated and outraged by what has been inflicted on my family; what has been taken away from me… And I will not leave you to your grief. We grieve together; we face this and change this together… Not because I have a solution or some special power that will fix this - but simply because we can’t afford to be “us” and “them” any longer: It's not working. We are one and together let us be so strong, and so united that nobody would ever dare to target us again.
I do apologize for rambling... but what happened to me early this morning, has left me in pain... and I'm not myself today.