Shooting at Orlando Gay Nightclub Leaves 50 Dead

feature image by Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

At least 50 people were killed at Pulse, a gay nightclub, in Orlando around 2 a.m. Sunday morning after a gunman opened fire in the deadliest mass shooting in recent U.S. history. Police say at least 53 more people were injured. Police shot and killed the gunman who was identified as Omar Manteen, a 29-year-old from Fort Pierce, Florida.

Orlando Police Chief John Mina said an off-duty officer working security at the nightclub exchanged gunfire with the shooter, who carried “an assault-type rifle and handgun.”

“The officer engaged in a gun battle with that suspect. The suspect at some point went back inside the club and more shots were fired. This did turn into a hostage situation,” Mina said.

Manteen was shot dead by officers about three hours later after SWAT team members entered the club. The shooting is being investigated as an act of terrorism.

NBC News spoke to Manteen’s father, Mir Seddique and he apologized for Manteen’s actions. “We weren’t aware of any action he is taking. We are in shock like the whole country,” he said. Seddique adds it had nothing to do with religion and that he believes his son got angry when he saw two men kissing in Miami a couple of months ago and thinks it may be related to the shooting, NBC News reports.

Even though authorities haven’t named this a hate crime, Florida Rep. Alan Grayson spoke to the media and said: “It’s a gay club. It might be that we’ve seen a commission of an awful hate crime last night.”

Right now officials are trying to sort out if Manteen’s actions and motives are linked to a wider terrorist organization and are reporting on his nationality and his family’s nationality but that doesn’t matter. One thing is clear — this was a homophobic attack. Manteen targeted a gay nightclub on Latin Night that was filled with LGBT people during Pride month, a time in which we should be celebrating our triumphs. You can’t ignore these facts. These were our friends and family who were killed. Conservative and liberal politicians alike will condemn this act of violence and rightfully so but don’t be fooled by Republican lip service. This shooting was fueled by their right-wing, conservative rhetoric that’s perpetuated by their anti-LGBT laws and anti-transgender bathroom bills which has created a hostile climate for LGBT people.

In the wake of the aftermath, OneBlood, a blood center in Orlando said it was in an urgent need of donors. However, since we live in an upside down world, queer men and trans women can’t help out their injured brothers, sisters and siblings because of FDA’s blood donation regulation which pretty much bans them from donating if they’ve had sex with men in the past year.

Our heart goes out to the Orlando queer community. We mourn the loses of our friends and family. This is devastating news and I hope y’all are taking care of yourselves and each other.


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Yvonne S. Marquez is a lesbian journalist and Autostraddle senior editor living in Dallas, TX. She writes about social justice, politics, activism and other things dear to her heart like Selena and tacos. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in journalism and has since written and edited lots of gay stuff for the internet. Yvonne calls the borderlands home, strongly identifies with her Scorpio moon sign, and really hopes to crush the patriarchy soon. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter.

Yvonne has written 186 articles for us.

117 Comments

  1. They have temporarily lifted the ban on gay men who have had sex in the last year donating blood. it is so fucked that the ban still exists. but let people in florida know so that they can get the blood needed to save the lives of the 53 still in critical condition. You can call 1-888-9DONATE to find a donation center near you.

    that being said, I am so livid that the media is so focused on talking about islamists extremism and totally glossing over this being a hate crime against the LGBTIQA+ community.

  2. Thank you for writing this, Yvonne. There will be a lot to read and say about this in coming days, but I needed to hear this because it’s not coming through in the mainstream media. None of us paused to question whether this was a hate crime. It couldn’t be more clear. My heart is broken.

    • When I hear of the rape and injustice at Stanford, the senseless murder of Christina Grimmie, and now the mass hate murder in Orlando, my heart feels sad and empty to think I belong to the same species of animal that can produce such tragic horror on others.
      My mind reels in disbelief of how they can commit such acts.

      • I swear it’s like we’re the same person. My grandma died this week also and I found out recently that my best friend is moving away for college (which means I also won’t see him for a year, if not longer if he decides to stay down there for summers/holidays too, which a strong possibility being that he hates his family). Add that to the fact, that my cousin (another person I’m close with) is moving away too because his parents are getting a divorce, and that divorce is throwing my whole family into disarray, and I’m also competing in the Misery Olympics right now. Then of course, this.

        God what a shitty week. Can’t wait until it’s over.

  3. Thank you for writing this, Yvonne. I needed this from Autostraddle today, not from the mainstream news sites who won’t even acknowledge that Pulse is a gay nightclub, or who are only focusing on the shooter’s name and perceived religion.

    A friend of my was watching Fox News (she was just “curious to see the comparison”) and she kept relaying to me what they were saying, and I just could not handle that. It is baffling to me how anyone could think this is anything OTHER than a hate crime.

  4. I have been waiting for this story, I knew Autostraddle would get to the heart of this, which is that it’s a hate crime. I have been devastated all morning, such a senseless loss of life. Thank you so much for reporting, and always being a dependable place for information when the mainstream media is not.

  5. plus a man was apprehended in LA on his way to their Pride parade bc he was going to hurt people there

    i feel like i’m going to have a breakdwon weith everything thats going on. im supposed to go to a freiends birthday party today & even though i feel like going might be good for me overall, part of me feels like how? part of me feels like isnt that wrong? part of me feels like just crying in bed all day. im so scared. i feel sick.

    • It isn’t wrong. If you feel like you can’t go because you need to stay home and take care of yourself, that’s one thing. But it isn’t at all wrong for you to go and continue to live your life if you feel that it would be good for you to be with your friends today. People that do these things want to take that away from us – to take away our joy, and disrupt our ability to go about our daily, normal lives. So it is not wrong at all to defy their attempts by standing up and carrying on with our lives.

  6. This is heartbreaking, I’m half a world away and I just woke up to this and I don’t have any words. This is devastating. Heartbreak and devastation are all I’ve got right now, and shock.

  7. This is devastating. I don’t even have words.

    My prayers are with those who lost their lives and the families and friends who will have to continue theirs without them. My thoughts are also with those survivors who witnessed evil and have to find a way to imagine life’s goodness again.

    And God help this country who allows this to keep happening. Their blood is on our hands.

  8. This had to have been the work of a self absorbed egoist with an absolute inability to view others as anything other than objects with an existence he felt entitled to take if they didn’t experience the world the way he did. Complete lack of empathy for victims, their families and their friends.

    It’s more than just the hate.

    We live in a world that generates bullies by not strongly condemning all violence; even condoning it, in far too many circumstances. This is all the confirmation some need to give them that push over the edge toward an insane act .

  9. I can’t help but want to believe it was random (not that that’s better… the violence is still the same), but that it wasn’t a direct attack on our community. That it was some horrible person with access to violent weapons and he chose a busy nightclub, not knowing it was a gay club. Is that too naive… ?

    • Yes; it’s naive. Come on. That asshole targeted a gay nightclub: it’s about young people who live their sexuality freely in the West. Everything Islamic terrorists hate. And Autostraddle can’t even acknowledge that the guy was Muslim. PCness at its finest.

      • @barbican, you know what, no. We’re not doing this. Take the Islamophobia somewhere else. Better yet, educate yourself and just stop. What you’re implying that readers should have been able to take away from “acknowledge[ment] that the guy was Muslim” is wrongheaded and deeply, deeply offensive. Talk to some actual Muslims. The shooter was no more representative of Muslims than Robert Dear is of Christians.

  10. This shook me deeply in the middle of an otherwise calm day. I wondered whether I should fear for my safety of i end up going to big Pride events for the first time ever this month, even though I’m halfway across the world. I wondered what I can even do about it, for the dead, the injured, and those whose (already precarious) sense of safety and acceptance has been shaken. Mine has.

    Then I remembered that after the Paris and Beirut attacks, a friend held a novena to pray for those affected, nine days in a row. Anyone and everyone who wants to, please join. I’m praying a rosary and the novena for peace that my friend suggested, but feel free to use prayers from your own faith traditions. The more the… well, not merrier, but stronger.

    Here’s the novena for peace, for those interested:
    http://www.totus2us.com/podcasts/novenas/novena-for-peace/#.V12k4sWHmug.mailto

  11. Im watching the news coverage now and it seems like they are relishing the fact that they get to mention this guy being muslim and isis but will barely acknowledge the fact that the victims were targeted for being LGBT. One of my former co-workers even tweeted me in response to this tragedy that he “didnt get how this shooting became about gay people”. SMH.

  12. I woke up this morning feeling excited and optimistic because of this:’Nonbinary’ is now a legal gender, Oregon court rules
    http://www.dailydot.com/lifestyle/oregon-court-rules-non-binary-gender-legal/

    Then I heard about the shooting.

    At least President Obama acknowledges that this was directed against us, specifically, and he continues to say it’s not okay:
    https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2016/06/12/president-obama-tragic-shooting-orlando

  13. I woke up to read this story and I was in shock. I feel like this… monster waited until pride month for a reason. Our clubs are always at peek attendance all the month of June. This is just horrible. The one place I feel safe is at gay and lesbian bars buy now…

    • Thank you. Giving blood during Ramadan, no less. Muslims are just as horrified and heartbroken about this as anybody else.

      Folk, let us be speaking up against those who would use this tragedy to sow more hate. Don’t just quietly scroll by or unfollow. Use your voice to speak truth and love.

      • Lots of people are speaking out and I’m so relieved we have the internet, or I’d lose my mind. A few minutes websearching reveals there are actually a lot of supportive counter-voices to the erasive narrative, and they’re easy to find– the hardest part is deciding which few to pass along.

        Here are a few more articles/quotes:

        http://aboutislam.net/muslim-issues/america/us-muslims-condemn-orlando-shooting/

        — it specifically sends love to us here:

        “Linda Sarsour, another American Muslim activist, has also expressed sadness over the attack….Woke up to horrible news. Sending love to LGBTQI communities everywhere. ‘Please pray for the victims and their families,’ she wrote on Facebook.”

        –and this article from Al Jazeera:

        http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/06/world-leaders-condemn-orlando-shooting-160612174312326.html

        includes these 2 items:

        “Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the attack an act of domestic terror….He said that while authorities were still investigating, it was ‘appalling that as many as 50 lives may have been lost to this domestic terror attack targeting the LGBTQ2 community’ ”

        and

        from @MayorofLondon (Sadiq Khan)

        “I stand with the city of Orlando against hate and bigotry. My thoughts are with all the victims of this horrific attack. #lovewins “(the tweet includes a rainbow heart after the hashtag)

  14. i always assume that queer peeps have progressive politics, but that’s not always the case. everyone keep an ear to the ground for anti-muslim sentiment in the queer community and talk people out of it where you can. sucks pretty hard for muslims in our community right now.

    • I really needed this, today has been an absolute shit of a day and since I heard the news I lost all since of time, being gay being raised and living in a Muslim family and country, this whole thing just hits too close to home, this is a homophobic hate crime committed by a piece of shit who does not deserve to be talked about, I hope everyone who was injured recovers and I can’t imagine what the families of all those who lost their lives must feel right now, Just fuck it and Fuck everything, thanks again for the support though

  15. Hey! I just want to send all my love to all of you tonight. You don’t know me. I live half a world away from most of you. I grew up in a different country and in a different language. And I thank from the bottom of my heart Autostraddle to give me a place to say this. I LOVE YOU ALL. Stay safe.

  16. Your media wants to blame it on terrorism linked to a religious ideology because it’s distracting from the fact that its essentially about gun crime and the ridiculous problem your country has with the accessibility of weapons that can do this kind of damage.
    Headlines that say terrorism are friendlier to the gun lobby than headlines that say shooting.

    • Hey, using the broad brush of “your media” and “your country” paint everyone in the United States as complicit and isolates us from the rest of the world when there are many media organizations and politicians (Autostraddle and Obama included), who aren’t ignoring the fact that this is a hate crime and focusing on the need for gun control.

  17. Decided to move this post out of the “replies” section where I posted it before (my apologies for the duplication) and make it a stand-along comment. I think we all need to feel supported right now, and often I think the replies don’t get seen as much as the independent comments.

    More love and respect coming our way:

    Lots of people are speaking out and I’m so relieved we have the internet, or I’d lose my mind. A few minutes websearching reveals there are actually a lot of supportive counter-voices to the erasive narrative, and they’re easy to find– the hardest part is deciding which few to pass along.

    Here are a few more articles/quotes:

    http://aboutislam.net/muslim-issues/america/us-muslims-condemn-orlando-shooting/

    — it specifically sends love to us here:

    “Linda Sarsour, another American Muslim activist, has also expressed sadness over the attack….Woke up to horrible news. Sending love to LGBTQI communities everywhere. ‘Please pray for the victims and their families,’ she wrote on Facebook.”

    –and this article from Al Jazeera:

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/06/world-leaders-condemn-orlando-shooting-160612174312326.html

    includes these 2 items:

    “Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the attack an act of domestic terror….He said that while authorities were still investigating, it was ‘appalling that as many as 50 lives may have been lost to this domestic terror attack targeting the LGBTQ2 community’ ”

    and

    from @MayorofLondon (Sadiq Khan)

    “I stand with the city of Orlando against hate and bigotry. My thoughts are with all the victims of this horrific attack. #lovewins “(the tweet includes a rainbow heart after the hashtag)

  18. My heart hearts for everyone. Just when I thought that maybe -just maybe- we were making some real progress in acceptance. Of course you’ll always have your assholes but this is too horrible for words.

    My heart hurts for any victims that weren’t out to their loved ones and will have this info spread without their permission.

    • I also thought about victims who weren’t out—what a horrific way to find out that your loved one is LGBT+. And, God forbid that some of the families aren’t accepting, but I hope that partners are allowed at the funerals.

  19. Just got off the phone with my mom, and as I was trying to express how upset this was making me, I heard myself saying that the reason this feels different than all the other mass shootings is because it was targeted at us–at me. In the deadliest shooting in American history, the guns were aimed at queer people. That fact hadn’t sunk in until I heard myself saying it out loud. I don’t know how to process that.

      • I think that straight people don’t have the same level of understanding that something like a gay nightclub is often the ONLY place some of us feel relatively safe. So for us to be hit there, compounds that idea that there’s really no haven anywhere.

        I’ve met a lot of very nice straight people who are supportive in a general way, but who have really no concept of the level of trauma and unsafety many of us already have experienced, thus how very personal this particular event is to us and how it’s like it took away the one single safety some of us thought we had.

        I’m lucky enough to have spent most of my life for the past 34 of my 50 years in places where I was out and didn’t feel like it was all that dangerous most of the time. But even in the most liberal of environments, I have never felt the complete un-self-consciousness about my sexuality and relationships, as EVERY SINGLE straight person I’ve ever spent time with has felt when it came to those issues.

        I think people CAN learn to empathize and understand another’s experience in a way that makes them really get it. But most of the time people will stop at getting the general concept, and not delve all the way into the depths of it. So when something hits that level, they only partly get what it’s about.

  20. It’s hard to say anything that doesn’t sound trite, I guess, but I also think it’s okay that we speak a common language after tragedies like this. Sending strength and comfort and love and prayers is a good thing. My heart breaks for Orlando.

    I’ve seen a couple of fundraisers online collecting donations for the Orlando LGBTQ community and specifically for the victims of last night’s attacks, and their loved ones. The Orlando GLBT Community Center has set up a Go Fund Me: http://www.thecenterorlando.org/; https://www.gofundme.com/29bubytq and I’ve seen another page put together by Equality Florida where they’ve raised nearly $1M so far: https://www.gofundme.com/PulseVictimsFund

    I have this irrational fantasy that Congress will strike the second amendment and special brigades will go door-to-door and confiscate every single firearm in the nation and destroy them. Is it plausible? No. Is it even the best option to end gun violence? I mean maybe/probably not but I still fantasize about the possibility of there being a safe(r) space in this country again.

    The only sense of comfort I am clinging to right now is how incredibly strong and supportive our communities (and allies) are. I want to believe that being unwavering in our celebration of queerness is a form of justice for the living and the dead. I love and appreciate my ‘tribe’, as it were, more and more every single day, which also intensifies the grief and pain felt when any member of our community is harmed.

    Lastly, I just want to co-sign the comments noting that this was Latin night at Pulse and that this tragedy cuts across multiple communities and identities. My condolences and deepest love to those in Orlando and my solidarity and support and appreciation for my LGBTQ loved ones everywhere.

  21. I’m so sorry for everyone in the US right now😞 it’s so terrible what happened. I hate how it’s being reported as an ‘evil Muslim terror attack’, when tbh the values that drove the attack can be found in both eastern and western cultures. The guy was a Muslim, but he was living in a western country that still enforces some pretty archaic values about LGBTs. People can’t just say his homophobia was motivated by his religion without acknowledging the country he actually lives in, like what the helllllll?? And all these people trying to pin it on Islam just reek of the same people who harass us in bathrooms and call inanimate objects gay.

    I think I reached peak levels of pissed when my own prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, made a statement about how sorry he is for the Orlando terror attack and completely neglected to mention anything about the LGBT community. According to him we should be ‘united against this attack on us all’, but it’s a bit rich coming from the guy who is single handedly stalling any progress on LGBT rights in this country. I JUST CANNOT OVERSTATE HOW PISSED I AM RN.

  22. There isn’t a whole lot to say other than this fucking sucks

    It fucking sucks that it was LGBTQ kids dancing

    It’s fucking too much that it was during Pride

    It cut a way these things haven’t in the past, and it also fucking sucks that I was surprised by that, by the fact that it cut

    It fucking sucks that this type of mass shooting bullshit has happened so often that I’m surprised that all of us aren’t numb to it by now

    It fucking sucks that Pride isn’t safe, that no place is safe, that fifty families are mourning fifty people dead and fifty three more were injured just because they went out dancing and were Gay and weren’t ashamed

    It just fucking sucks

  23. as if there weren’t already enough reasons for the queer community to be disdainful about muslims and those who look like them, even if they happen to be queer themselves

    hell there are also “pro-lgbt” lefty types attacking muslims on social media – including queer muslims!! – for being ISIS supporters

    and yet between governments going all “gay rights are anti-islam!!” and prominent lgbt activists being murdered while the gov does nothing I don’t think anyone in my background would care 🙁

  24. I respond to things like this by being angry. I just do. I’m pissed. I wanted to lash out on social media today. I probably would have hurt some people by doing so, which made me refrain. But damn, I wanted to.

    I’m going to Pride for the very first time this weekend, just because of this, and I swear if any religious people, I don’t care what religion, show up and try to cause a problem, I will freight train a mofo.

  25. Article discussing the need to address all facets of who is targeted, and calling for solidarity that addresses the racism coming from multiple directions as the story is reported and people react:

    http://remezcla.com/culture/pulse-mass-shooting-latin-night/

    Excerpts:

    “….[T]he media has failed to report that this attack targeted LGBTQ communities of color. A 2012 report on hate violence against the gay community found that LGBTQ people of color were 1.82 times more likely to experience physical violence. In 2012, 73.1 percent of anti-LGBTQ homicide victims were people of color – with black/African Americans accounting for 54 percent and Latinos for 15 percent, according to Colorlines.”

    [I love Colorlines– for anyone unfamiliar, check them out at colorlines.com ]

    “Many in the Latino community are speaking out about the lack of attention being given to violence against LGBTQ communities of color, and at the same time, they are striking down Islamophobia.” [the article then quotes a series of examples of intersectional solidarity statements and other responses to the massacre]

  26. Y’all I had to walk away from my mother today because she was being a brain washed dipshit.
    Somehow James Corden’s little speech at the beginning of the Tony’s was “cowtowing to terrorists”.
    She couldn’t tell me how the fuck support of Sandyhook was any fucking different from support of the Orlando shooting and the queer community.

    Most of my sharp tongue, my ability to wear people down by pointing out faults in their logic comes from her. I think if I hadn’t walked away I would have lost it and just started to wordlessly scream after arguing with her using the word she hates.
    We are equally hard headed and good at finding weakpoints and going in for the kill.

    I am used to cognitive dissonance, to willful ignorance of people, I am used to knowing about mass killings and so many awful things I learned about so young.

    But to have such a logical person like my mother say something so fucking stupid….I can’t even.

    How are really different are mass shooters from suicide bombers and other “soldiers” of terror?
    Is what I would have said to anyone else because I would have been calmer and expectant of the stupid.
    But instead I had to give up and walk away or lose my cool and have her “win” the argument

    Fellow Straddlers in the coming days when faced with Islamphobia ask:
    How are really different are mass shooters from suicide bombers and other “soldiers” of terror?
    A person disillusioned and disaffected by their live or their self deciding to seek glory, seek something and it turns out to be violence. How easy is it to take disillusioned people and give them terrible purpose? Hitler did it perfectly.

    Be an ally.
    Our queer and straight Muslim fellow humans need it.
    Don’t just question Islamphobic comment and statement from people, amplify Muslim voices speaking out against atrocity and the warlords who claim themselves a nation state.

    En palabras de Celia Cruz: Juntos nosotrxs viviremos, nosotrxs viviremos y sobreviviremos
    In the adapted words of Celia Cruz: Together we will live and survive

  27. Thank you for the article. The media i more focused on making all Muslims seem evil and avoid pointing out that this was an LGBQ club.Too many comments under the posts are filled with racism and homophobia. I think it’s ridiculous that some fools want all Muslims to apologize for the killer’s actions.We don’t demand all white people to apologize for the white male serial killers.Any religion can be twisted and used for violence. Even Atheism can be used to justify violence. Portland,Or is having pride next week and I’m not sure if I’ll go. After what almost happened to L.A. Pride, it makes me nervous tbh

  28. His own Muslim upbringing (if it was that; does Afghan automatically mean Muslim?) may have had something to do with it. But, it could as easily have been a Christian, or a Hindu (look at the way LGBT is treated here in India or even pub going women), or even an atheist in communist China. No religion/ideology has a monopoly on people who commit hate crimes. Only ignorance (or closed mindedness and a non-willingness to look at the world from another’s point of view) has.

    May people look for connection rather than division and exclusion in whatever teaching/ideology they choose to follow! May they find love and friendship rather than hatred and fear!

  29. My wife and I took our 9 month old daughter to the vigil in Seattle. My baby girl attended a vigil for victims of a hate crime before she even got to attend her first Pride celebration. Let that sink in a minute.

    • That sort cruel dissonance of life sunk into my bones when I was five years old. I don’t tell you this to sorrow you further but to let you know how brave I think any parent is who chooses to nurture, love and raise a child and how much I honestly mean that.
      It’s a leap of faith.

      • Thank you. I’m constantly terrified over what sort of world we’re leaving to her and my 9 year old son. It has to get better,right? Why does it feel like it’s getting worse? But then I stop and think that maybe, by raising these two kids with love and strength, I’m making the world better.

        • It feels like it’s getting worse because humans are animals. We collect and focus on Bad Things to protect ourselves.
          It’s like being in front of an open flame. You can’t stop or don’t want to stop thinking about that flame and what it could wreak if you don’t pay attention to it. But maybe you stop thinking so hard about it, put the flame a little further back in your mind where it’s not your prime focus. THEN holy shit flame flame there is fire in front of me how could I not think about it. Danger danger danger so much danger.

          There will always be Bad Thing and there will always be Good Things but do the Good Things have a chance of ruining something the way Bad Thing do? Not really thus why the Bad Things emotionally feel like they outweigh the Good Things.

          Being concerned about the world and raising 2 humans with love strength does help make the world better.

  30. This is beyond sad sad!!

    I have so many words but I’m gonna stick with:
    My prayers go out to them and their family.
    Their deaths will stay within me & maybe some people, and I we’ll keep fighting for love to be continue…

    Rest in peace.

  31. It’s times like this that it’s truly easier to believe in despair over joy. It seems like choosing joy and belief in happiness and the pursuit of equality, hope, respect, dignity, choice, love and freedom is an impossible and reckless act. When the mourning ends, as it will for everyone but the closest friends and family, Who will stand up not in mourning but for the belief in a safe and ultimately loving world? When our leaders could do nothing after the deaths of 20 children, who will do something after the deaths of 50 gay people?

    I fucking can’t stand this shit. Division and indecision = MORE DEAD PEOPLE. I don’t want to have to stand in solidarity with families and a community mourning a heart wrenching loss. I want to stand in solidarity with a community celebrating joy and victory. Celebrating not the end of violence but the fact that we live in a world and with people that will do everything possible to protect us.

    Ugh I’m sorry guys, I’m just really depressed today.

  32. You know, when I saw this news yesterday morning (broken to me by my mother who said, some guy shot 50 people in US in some club: she didn’t understand or ignored that it is a gay club), the first thought I had was, what would those guys in my country’s government, those guys who were the reason our Supreme Court reinstated section 377 and recriminalised gay sex, those guys who tried to block a movie about a gay professor because it brought bad name to their city (apparently, suggesting someone in the city is gay is equivalent to suggesting someone in the city is Satan’s child), say to this? Would they say, good, those people got what they deserved? Or, would they ignore the little LGBT thing and say, we are so sorry this happened to good old America, our allies?

    Wow! I sound angry and bitter, don’t I?

    I am, and I was angry and bitter, when I read that our PM sent out condolence message without acknowledging that the violence was also against LGBT people. I am angry that the PM or his people never mentioned that the thing they decry has also a reflection in his own people. I am angry that he and the others are unwilling to say, that “Hey! For the first time, we see how monstrous our thoughts were. We are seeing our reflection and we don’t like that. We don’t like what we have become in our narrowmindedness. We want to change.”

    Instead, they (I am not talking about PM Modi here, but general internet Indians) take this opportunity to speak ill about Muslims. As if nobody but a Muslim could have such horrific thoughts about an LGBTQ person. They take this opportunity to spread more violence, more hate.

    I am not mad at my friends/family (all straight) who never even mentioned this, who never even considered how painful this could be to me specifically because this experience is beyond their spectrum of experience. Because I know that if they knew, they would feel bad. I am mad at people who, while harboring the same feeling within themselves, act hurt, offer condolences; point fingers at others; and think that somehow, that makes them better. I am mad at those who are blind to their own hypocrisy– the politicians in India and Trump (and other anti-gay folks in US), all cut of the same cloth.

    Change comes when we acknowledge our mistakes and decide to do better. If we don’t see that, then what hope have we?

    PS: Now that I have been able to put my feelings into words (I haven’t been able to before), I think I will go and post this in tumblr. At least, I will remember why I am so angry.

  33. I am sorry to sound so angry above. I am so sad for you guys in the US, both for those in Orlando and for those elsewhere. To have your rug pulled out from under you is so horrible. To feel that nowhere is safe is so horrible.

    (I am sad for myself too, but that is beside the point.)

    May friends and family and love be with you.

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