Monday, June 13, 2016

Thoughts for Orlando

The last two days have been a roller coaster ride. While I do not believe I have anyone personally involved in the shooting, it gives me pause for many reasons.

Such as:


I do not know what this is like, but I can imagine how hellish it could be. I remember waiting to see friend's names on the roster after Katrina. Some of the people I spoke to online have never come back on but weren't on the list of the dead. I can't even imagine.

I read a post on Facebook about the rescue workers and police who had to go inside the building where the victims still lie and ignore the ringing of the phones of the dead as they went berserk from family and friends trying desperately to contact them. I know what it's like to be one of those people worried about a friend's safety and not being able to reach them. I can't imagine what it would be like if I was calling and they were already gone. Waiting to read a list of victims and praying not to find a name.

I am privileged. I am a white female. I don't have to worry about being killed for being in "the wrong bathroom". I identify as queer but because I am able to present one gender, I am not harassed for it. I'm not hounded. I'm not threatened. I might earn the occasional dyke comment when I dress male for the day, but most people ignore me. I am a lesbian, but I don't really introduce myself that way all the time. I let people believe what makes them comfortable unless they ask me outright. Then I am truthful. If it doesn't come up, I generally don't bring it up.

I also grew up in a small town with people whose minds were permanently closed. If you were a Mexican, you were lazy. If you were black, you were a thug. If you were anything other than a white Christian, you might as well paint a bullseye on your back. I was not open. I was not out. I was not anything as far as anyone knew. I would never have had the courage to come out if I hadn't been presented the opportunity in Columbus.

When I was in high school, the entire football team beat a boy up in the parking lot because he wore eyeliner to prom and that apparently made him gay. I wrote an opinion piece saying it didn't matter that he had because it wasn't hurting anybody. It was never published in the school paper. I printed copies and hung them on the walls. My rights to use the copier were revoked. The copies were removed. I was given three consecutive detentions, making me miss a show choir performance. I had to sit in the classroom listening to someone badmouth my childhood friend because she was walking out of the school with the eyeliner boy and his friend (who was also a friend of mine). We had all gone to school together for five years at this point. They knew those kids. And yet they still treated them shamefully. My attempts to silence the bullying earned me punishment.

I have not, to this day, stopped fighting to make things right. But it seems like a completely horrible losing battle. It seems as though I am never going to make the world a better place. The whole thing is against me and the people I love.

That being said, there is still the grand opportunity for violence like Pulse to happen here. Everyone knew where Wall Street club was before it closed. They know where Axis is, and it's a queer hangout. Anyone with an axe to grind against someone who isn't white, straight and cisgender can go in there and wipe out an entire population of people in one fail swoop.

We make light of it. We say the straight people should stop making gay children. Obviously gay people aren't reproducing. But the straight folks are so afraid of things they don't understand that they resort to violence.

Yes, yes, not all straight people. But even though I'm not attacked physically for being a lesbian, I'm faced with comments that are against gay people all the time in my day to day life. When I speak out, they backpedal. But that doesn't change their mind. They just talk to someone else about how I overreacted to the situation. "It's not like I was saying SHE was that way, just MOST lesbians."

No, the generalizations hurt us all. Every one of us. Just because you know one lesbian who isn't the stereotype doesn't mean that all other lesbians ARE. Just because you have a gay coworker doesn't make you any more accepting of the gay community. If it doesn't bother your friend, that's because they're okay with it. Not everyone will be. What sets one person off will be a joke to another. And that's okay. But when someone tells you they aren't comfortable with it and you do it anyway? That's when there's a problem.

I voiced the opinion that people are terrified of having transgender people in the bathroom with them when this guy was a straight cisgender male. I was then involved in a debate about what qualifies as men.

A transgender person does not have to pass YOUR assertions of their gender to use the fucking bathroom. They don't owe you shit. You have no right to police them.

Wearing a skirt does not make someone a pedophile who is going to rape your 10 year old daughter. Stop lumping transgender people in with pedophiles. They are not pedophiles. They are mentally deranged people. Transgender people are NOT sexual deviants. Period.

It is none of your goddamned business what is in another person's pants or skirt. Period.

And if you're really worried about perverts getting into the bathroom with your children, it's not like you can put up a sign that says "perverts get out" and expect them to listen to it. If a person is going to harm your child, they are going to subvert the laws to do so. No law is going to keep them from doing it. Pedophilia is illegal in most states. Bathroom laws do not exist except in South Carolina. There's no Doctor Scott to sit on his finger and guess your sex. There's no Gandalf standing outside the bathroom yelling "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!"

For fuck's sake. If someone comes in, uses the bathroom and leaves, why the FUCK are you so concerned about it? It's the people that linger in the bathroom that concern me. The people who peer into the stalls or let their kids crawl under the stall doors while I'm using the bathroom that bother me. I like a little bit of privacy while I go, thanks. That's just creepy.

I would stake money that the people who raise these "I don't want 40 year old men in a skirt" arguments don't know a transperson. They probably don't know anyone who is queer. They live in a bubble.

I wish I had a giant pin. But then we get more Pulse shootings.

We wonder why people are suicidal. Why the suicide rates of LGBT youth is so high. Take a look! We are telling them that the way they are is up for society to debate and deliberate. They don't want to be strip searched every time you turn around. They don't want people telling them they're ugly and going to hell. They don't want to be scrutinized. They just want to love and be loved. And why can't we give them that.

But there are people who care. There are a few people who will stand with you. And I am one of them. Find me on Twitter. @deaubreydigest Come talk to me on Discord. I'm Lockefox. I even have my own room. I'm in the Transspeak Discord room. You can PM me from there. Find me on Skype. If you are alone, we are there. We know it sucks. We must stay strong.



You are loved. We are here for you.



We will get through this. I love you all so very much.