I’m an LGBTQ person. I identify as such and have done for many years.

So yeah, I have something to say about the shootings in Orlando on Saturday night/Sunday morning.

Except, it’s hard to put those thoughts together in a cognitive and clear fashion. Mostly because I’m angry and sad and worst of all, not surprised.

Every day members of the LGBTQ community are attacked or assaulted (physically or verbally). Every day. Most of these hate crimes are not reported. Anyone of the forty-nine people could’ve been killed or injured walking down the street on any given day. Instead, one guy, one guy on a terrorist watch list, by the way, took them all out at once. That’s the worst thing. It’s a case of instead, and not, “holy crap this awful thing happened what a horrible shock“.

I’m lucky. I grew up in an LGBTQ household, with an understanding family, in a safe neighbourhood and in a safer country for my community. I’ve never been harassed or insulted or attacked in the street for existing or holding my wife’s hand.

But it’s always on my mind. It’s a background concern. I feel better every time I see another same-sex couple walking hand and hand down the street, feel stronger, feel part of a better community too. But I don’t always feel safer. Some days I don’t even think about it, I like in a village, work in a small town, visit a slightly larger one for shopping and hospital appointments. It’s very LGBTQ friendly. As soon as I leave though I worry. I went to Coventry recently and was on edge the entire time I held my wife’s hand, the same when I visited America a couple of years ago.

I did it though because I will not be bullied or cowed by anyone.

This is why we need pride. Because forty-nine people were killed for being gay because every day people are too scared to report the abuse they receive to the authorities because people like me are worried about holding hands with the people we love.

We’re going backwards in going forwards, but it can’t last forever.

So I say this: If you’re LGBTQ don’t be afraid to go out next weekend. Populate the clubs and pubs and live your lives. Don’t let them win.

If you’re straight, be a good person. Don’t blame the Muslims. Blame the man. Support us by being an ally, by standing up to homophobia and Islamaphobia. Neither does the world any good.


15 Replies to “Orlando

  1. Some people are just evil and it always saddens me when i hear something like this happening. It can be really hard to think there are still good people out there, when a thing like this happens. We all need to stay strong and don’t let these people get us down x

  2. I just wrote on this topic because I live in Florida and the horror of seeing these crimes so close to home was unreal. I like what you said about “not letting them win. ” We vapor fight hate with hate. Thanks for sharing your story. All the best to you.

  3. Well said, I support the LGBTQ community because many of my best friends are gay and it saddens me than society still sees sexuality as a big thing. Regardless of sexuality we are entitled to equal love and should not be shot for being attracted to the same sex. I was looking through all the pictures of the victims found and it broke my heart, most of the dead were the same age as me, 22 and it saddens me that their life was short. I couldn’t even make it through the whole list, just knowing that these people died just because of their sexuality is sickening. I stopped speaking to someone who was extremely homophobic a year ago and wrote a letter on my blog addressed to them last week and it seems eerily prophetic because now this letter could have been targeted to the Orlando killer.

  4. Its so hard to know what to say, that isnt a cliche. I feel for the the young LGBT who see such an attack on their community. I saw lots of pictures on Twitter last night of vigils in London and Dublin, with thousands of people in attendance. We’re on your side. #kcacols

  5. It’s so saddening that such madness still happens. I absolutely agree, we should blame the man. It terrifies me how much evil exists on earth as if civilisation has refused to go any further. 🙁

  6. This is so good. I stand with you and your wife.. You are right, we should not hide or stay away. We all need to stand up and love more. Tracy

  7. It such a tragedy that their are hunmans out there who can take anothers life like this. I’ve fund the news so distrubing and i’m sworried what kind of time and place am I bringing my children up in. That they can be attacked, outcasted and discrimanted against over who they love. Thoughts and prayers with everyone affected by this devestating attach on humaitry.


  8. No one should be afraid to live their life they want to. Ignorance breeds hate and that is what has led to this awful and tragic event. I absolutely agree with you 100% #kcacols

  9. I think I’m still in shock about the whole thing. I live in the US in a small and rural state and have been so angry that this has happened. The violence that happens in my country on a daily basis is getting pretty scary. I’m nervous about what it will be like when my son is older and understands what is happening. Thank you for sharing your story and know that there are plenty of people who are on your side and the support the LGBTQ community. #KCACOLS

  10. My heart breaks for Orlando, and my anger burns hot that the LGBTQ community has once again had to suffer an attack, that this is a fear they all deal with on a daily basis. My husband was in the US Navy and his best friend in the service was/is gay and this was in a time that wasn’t even sorta accepted by the military yet. He told me so many horror stories and it broke my heart. I agree with you and will always be an ally #KCACOLS

  11. I hope you have seen all the love pouring out of Orlando. I live in Orlando and I don’t know where you visited when you were in the US, but I can tell you that you would be totally accepted here. Come back and visit again. Orlando is a city of love and acceptance.

    1. I apprecite your comment but there seems to be a lot of laws restricting the freedoms of LGBTQ people in Florida right now. I visited New Jersey and Cape Cod.

  12. Well said, with all the bad news at the moment we all (whatever sexuality, colour, religion) need to stand together against hate
    Love makes the world go round xx

  13. Thank you for taking the time to write this, it can’t have been easy. I feel so sad when I think of the event. I wish people would stop putting others into boxes. Love is love and is not defined by race, religion or gender. Again thanks for sharing this – it is important! #KCACOLS

    Nadia – ScandiMummy x

  14. This is really sad. I can’t believe people can do something like that. I agree with what you said. You should all go out and not be afraid. Don’t let them win. I have lots of friends that are part of the community so I will always support it. Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS. It is always a pleasure to have you, x

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