Today, many of my straight friends have very kindly gotten in touch with me, expressing their concern for my safety and emotional well-being in the light of the tragedy that took place in Orlando, Florida. I appreciate that so much. Thank you.
The truth is, though, I don’t feel like I’m any more in danger today than usual, or that simply being honest about who I am is any less of a dangerous, radical political statement. I just feel like other people are aware of it today because of what happened. Today, the world saw a slice of what it’s like to be gay. And it will fade into the back of everyone’s consciousness the next time someone who shouldn’t have an assault rifle in the first place decides to shoot some other group of people for some other reason– kindergarteners, a black church, a movie theatre, what have you– but it’s not a fact I have the luxury of forgetting. It’s not a fact that any gay person has the luxury of forgetting.
Don’t let today be the last time you check up on and care for your gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. The world we live in is a world where this kind of event– as appalling and sad as it is– feels less like a random, senseless act of hatred than it does a logical extension of the culture we experience every day.
To those who died in Orlando: may you rest in power.
To my gay brothers, my lesbian sisters, and all who are forced to walk through the valley of the shadow of death every time we hold hands with the person we love: may we someday live without fear.