Broken Silence: A Commentary on the Club Pulse Shooting

To be honest, writing this post was very difficult but therapeutic for me. Never in a million years did I think I would write such a post, especially for this website. However, my blog is a reflection of my current emotional  and mental state and at this moment, both are completely fucked up. Warning: some details in this post are graphic and in no way used to glorify this tragedy.

Picture this: It’s Saturday night. You are pregaming and getting ready to hit the club with your Judies to dance, drink, and sing ya’ll hearts out. Once in the club, you do the normal: walk around the dance floor a few times, order your favorite cocktail from the heavy handed bartender, and flirt with the sexy chocolate dude standing next to you.  As the latest Calvin Harris and Rihanna collabo pulsates from the club’s sound system, you begin to hear firework sounds over the music.

At first, you paid it dust and believed the sound effects are apart of the song. However, the effects are getting louder. Simultaneously, you hear loud screams and cries. People are running and trampling over each other to get to the nearest exits for safety, as bodies are being sprayed by bullets like video game characters. As you’re searching for your friends, you felt a sting and noticed red liquid is cascading from your upper body. At that moment,  your life began to flash before your eye. 25 years old and your life as you know has completely changed forever.

On Sunday, June 12, 2016, the above nightmare became a reality when a monster decided to take the lives of 49 people and injure over 50 others in a mass shooting at Club Pulse, a gay club in Orlando, Florida. I will not go in details of why this asshole decided to shoot up the club and kill innocent people, nor will I mentioned his name. All I will say, like in all mass shootings, Hatred showed his ass as usual.

For many of my LGBT brothers and sisters, our safe place had been compromised by hatred from outside sources. Yes straight people, gay clubs are our safe havens. These places allowed us to be accepted and feel the love that society shuns us from. The gay club, for some of us, is the only place where we are allowed to be ourselves without being judged, harassed or gay-bashed for loving someone of the same gender. It also the place where many kids who have been rejected and left homeless by their biological parents for being gay become adopted into gay families where they are accepted. The reality for the LGBT community, this tragedy could have easily been at The Bachelor’s Mill in DC, Piranha in Las Vegas, Club Boi in Miami, Opera in Atlanta or any Gaybar USA.

June 12th is the day the world finally gave an anti-gay terrorist an identity. However, the LGBT community has been terrorized long before June 2016. Terrorized by our family members who have rejected us for being ourselves. Terrorized by politicians who constantly deny our equal rights by not allowing us to get married, adopt kids, or protecting us from discrimination in the workplace for loving the same gender. Terrorized by every Biblethumper who has spewed the phrases: being gay is a sin, God hates fags, and conveniently disregards their own sins while eating all you can eat shrimp and ribs at their local restaurant. Terrorized by every straight person who says, “I don’t agree with your lifestyle” while never using birth control to produce over 2 kids with different parents and never been married. Terrorized by society who has not viewed us a humans and would rather feel sympathy for a gorilla in the zoo than the 49 individuals who lost their lives while enjoying themselves. You are the assholes that created the asshole and like Erykah Badu, we are officially tired of your shit.

The elders say, “You know who your friends are in a time of need.”  For most of my LGBT brethren, we’ve noticed who is truly our allies from those who have exploited our culture and have all of sudden gone silent. Who taught you how to get fierce, get your life, and how to get your coinz? The Drag and Trans community put you on to lacefronts, ass shots, waist trainers, and contouring that nose. Straight dudes who you think created all the designer shit you wear? I’m not going to call you out but we hear your silence loud and clear. You’re not willing to stand with or support  the LGBT community during our time of need, but you’re all willing to exploit our culture and talent for your personal gain? Yet you’re pissed at the Kardashians and Iggy Azalea for doing the same shit you’re doing: cultural appropriation.

Please understand, this isn’t a Gay versus Black issue that so many people on social media are allegedly. After all, majority of the people killed and injured on June 12, 2016 were African-American. We are apart of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, however it appears that movement is not with us because we happen to love who we love. We are fighting the same battles along with you. Right now, your LGBT brothers and sisters need your support, sympathy, empathy, and shoulders to cry on like you’ve need us for recent tragedies.

June 12, 2016, like September 11, 2001, has forever changed my life. I’m once again reminded that the world can be cruel, heartless, and evil. I am hurt, saddened, and angered by this shit. When will we learn to love, accept, and respect each other for our differences? When will we finally realized that we are all of God’s children regardless of race, religion, or sexual orientation?

To my LGBT brothers and sisters: we must understand that with every tragedy comes triumph. We’re mourning our extended friends and families, however, we must also celebrate their lives. It’s time for us to get in formation as a community, put our internal differences aside and show the terrorists they will not hold us back. We must continue to live our lives for those individuals that lost theirs on that early Sunday Morning. We owe it to Shane, Antonio, Eddie, Deonka, and the 45 individuals who are no longer here with us. We will survive!!!

This post is dedicated to Shane Tomlinson, Antonio Brown, Eddie Justice, and the 46 others who lost their lives on Sunday, June 12, 2016. My prayers are with their families, friends, and loved ones.