WE ARE TIRED

the following was written by my amazing friend brittney blazicek – an inspiring human being to her core – that i felt needed to be shared with the wider world in regards to the recent attack against the LGBTQ+ community that took place in orlando, florida.

 

When I first saw the news of the Orlando shooting I was furious. But now? I’m tired. 

I’ve been tired for years. 

Society continues to treat the LGBTQ+ community, MY community, as everything other than normal. 

While you might not actively have anyone calling you “fag” or “dyke,” while you might not be one of the LGBTQ+ individuals who are beaten, bullied, or assaulted, you’re left in a world that is not designed for you. You’re subjected to heteronormativity in every single aspect of life. 

We aren’t depicted in TV shows, unlike the relentless barrage of shows that showcase vapid forced romances like “Married by Mom and Dad” and “Married at First Sight.” 

We aren’t depicted in movies, unlike the relentless barrage of romcoms where the quirky girl comes back into the broody man’s life for two days and then they skip off into the sunset for a happy ending. 

We aren’t depicted in books, unlike the relentless barrage of overplayed vampire romances that are somehow more real and accepted than the 5+ year loving relationship that Jason and Mike maintain.

We aren’t depicted in the advertisements you see when you walk through a store. You know – the ones with mom and dad standing over their kid’s shoulder beaming down while they play with a toy.

We are ONLY depicted when suddenly, society as a whole wants to come together to debate the validity of our love and our rights to get married. Can you imagine? That LOVE – humans loving each other, was illegal just last year? 

We aren’t shown. Because society doesn’t want to see us. It is alienating. And it is exhausting.

It’s exhausting enough that in an attempt to escape families who hate us when they are supposed to be our unwavering champions, we are the overwhelming majority of homeless youth. It’s exhausting enough that in an attempt to escape the constant discrimination, fear of discrimination, and lack of inclusion, we are the overwhelming majority of youth suicide.

And even more than that, society translates this willing exclusion of the LGBTQ+ community into a valid excuse to be hateful, and to commit violent acts against us.

This is not a matter of “political correctness” anymore. It’s a matter of respecting basic human rights, basic human dignity, and basic human life. I don’t care anymore if you think that homosexuality is “icky” or “wrong” or “unnatural” regardless of the root of your belief because you are part of the problem. And you are partly responsible for this massacre. 

Stop putting your religious beliefs ahead of people’s lives.  

Stop putting your fear of something different ahead of people’s lives.

Stop thinking that intolerance doesn’t have a larger affect.

Stop thinking that hatred will breed anything other than hatred.

Stop. Just stop. Because your intolerance is what is killing us.

#PrayForOrlando

I thought I would be better today. But I’m not.

I’m still tired.

Because there are still not everyday places for LGBTQ+ people in society where we can gather and feel safe.

Because that is still an act of bravery – to gather and support our community – yet people scream from the rooftops “well why don’t we have straight pride?!”

Because even the places that we have fought to carve out for ourselves to gather and feel safe are no longer our sanctuaries, but a target to murder us in masses.

I’m still tired.

Because LGBTQ+ people, according to the FBI, are more than twice as likely to be the target of a violent attack than Jews or black people, and four times as likely than Muslims. Sexual orientation motivates about 20% of hate crimes.

Because although I am out, I have to make a conscious choice every single time I go somewhere. Is this a safe place? How can I dress here? Will I be too gay looking?

Because I cant hold a woman’s hand in public without getting dirty looks, without receiving unwelcome comments. Because I can’t hold a woman’s hand in public without wondering if today is the day I will be beaten, or worse – simply for holding someone’s hand.

Because when these conversations are brought up, straight people still say, “oh well everyone hates PDA anyways it’s not just you, straight couples get weird looks too.” But we’re the ones who get killed for it.

I’m still tired.

Because in 2009 congress passed the Matthew Shepherd and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, a law that would include perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disabilities under existing federal hate crimes.

Because 19 Republican Senators voted against it. 
Because 94 Republican Congressmen and Congresswomen voted against it. 
Because 1 Democratic Congressman voted against it.

Because 113 Republican legislators voted against protecting the LGBTQ+ community from hate crimes. 113 lawmakers decided that discrimination against us is not worthy of protection, even though the LGBTQ+ community faces an overwhelmingly, statistically backed, amount of violence.

I’m still tired.

Because now, the same lawmakers who have introduced over 100 anti LGBTQ+ laws across 22 states since the legalization of gay marriage have come together to publically voice their “deep sadness” over the Orlando shooting, and are “sending their thoughts and prayers” to the very people they have passed laws against, and to the very people their prayers have condemned.

Because now they are suddenly lumping us into the group of “all Americans” when they have done nothing but vilify, alienate, and discriminate against us in the past. When they have lumped us into the deviant, the “other” category for every other purpose.

Because now they are capitalizing on the struggles that they created for us in the first place to further their own political agendas.

I’m still tired.

Because the only time the discussion of LGBTQ+ individuals comes up is when there’s an argument over banning us from using your restrooms.

Or when society feels they somehow have a right to come together and determine if the love I feel for another human being is valid, and even more, legal.

Or when “religious freedom” laws are put in place so bigots can refuse to bake me a cake simply for existing.

Or when bigots want to boycott movies like Finding Dory for a 10 second clip of two women who may or may not be lesbians, simply because one has short hair, because “how can I show that filth to my children?”

I’m still tired.

Because people are pointing fingers solely at the Muslim community for this crime, yet are completely ignoring the fact that this man was an American citizen. That this man spent his entire life surrounded by a volatile culture of homophobia that is engrained in American culture and perpetuated by the GOP and the religious right. 

Because people are absolving the United States of any kind of responsibility to address this toxic culture that we allow to run rampant. 

Because people are rejoicing, and people are praising the shooter for “taking out the trash” and for “killing fags” because somehow, we deserve to die simply because of who we are. 

Because people genuinely think, and ask us, “well you guys got the right to get married, what more do you want?” 

Because people still say “well I’m not against gays but…” and then continue to list off ways they are actively homophobic without realizing the tangible impacts that has.

Because people still think we’re just trying to be politically correct by asking to not be hated or discriminated against. Because people still think their intolerance doesn’t translate into anything violent.

Because people still say “well other places have it worse, so be thankful for what you have here.”

Because homophobes still don’t realize that their words and ideas are still contributing to a violent culture.

I’m still tired.

Because its 2016 and my very existence is still controversial.

I’m still tired.

Because its 2016 and I can still be killed just for existing.

I’m still tired.

Because its 2016 and there are still people who don’t even know me, but hate me for no reason other than who I love.

#WeAreTired

 

 

 

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