Spike Reported in LGBT People Reaching For Guns In Wake of Orlando Shooting


LGBT Gun Group Sees A Spike in Members

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+ There’s been a reported spike in memberships of the Pink Pistols, a national LGBT pro-gun rights organization, in the wake of the Orlando shooting. Before Omar Mateen opened fire at Pulse night club and killed 49 people, Pink Pistols’ national membership totaled about 1,500 people. After the shooting, the number has risen to 4,000 members nationwide, with many local chapters being revitalized, including in the Twin Cities and Atlanta. “It’s really sad that something on this scale had to happen for people to realize this is a need for our community,” Matt Schlentz, Pink Pistols Utah chapter President, told The Salt Lake Tribune. “But the reality is, we still get attacked for kissing our partners or holding hands in public. We get windows smashed for having an equality sticker on them.”

Meanwhile in Houston, Jess Sanford, manager of the Shiloh Gun Range, offered free concealed handgun classes for LGBT people. He was surprised by the overwhelming response — more than 550 people signed up for the classes.

“I started getting cold feet right around 200,” he told Houston Public Media. “And we got the family back together, and I said, ‘Well, how many of these can we possibly do?’ And my mom just looks up and says, ‘Well, all of them!’ So, it became our calling now: Let’s arm and empower this group of people that’s been historically known as a vulnerable group. Let’s get rid of that vulnerability.”

There’s probably a lot more you can do to empower a disenfranchised group other than giving them a free gun class, especially when LGBT people are disproportionately targeted of violent hate crimes. 

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On the other hand, also after the Orlando shooting, a new group called Gays Against Guns was formed. The group made their debut at New York’s Pride parade, with over 700 people marching and staging a die-in. One of the organizers, Catherine Marino-Thomas, says the organization will focus on direct action, not lobbying. They plan to protest against state and national officials who oppose LGBT rights and gun control. “People who insist on voting against equal rights for all people and against sensible gun laws will be visited by Gays Against Guns,” she says.

Various LGBT groups are working in coalition with gun reform groups to advocate for gun control.

Violence Around the World

+ At least 200 people were killed by a car bomb detonated in one of Baghdad’s busiest streets on Sunday. This was the deadliest attack in Baghdad in years. The Islamic State claims responsibility for the attack, which took place in the city’s upscale neighborhood, as families celebrated the start of Eid al-Fitr — the end of Ramadan. The attack comes after Iraqi armed forces, back by American airstrikes, took over Fallujah, which ISIS has controlled since 2014. Within the last few days, the Islamic State has claimed attacks in various cities, including the attack on Istanbul’s International airport. Two days earlier two police officers and 20 hostages, mostly foreigners, were killed after a gunman invaded a restaurant in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Shortly after the Baghdad bombing, Iraqi officials reported another bombing in al-Shaab that killed four and injured 16 other people. A suicide bomber led an attack near a U.S. embassy in Saudi Arabi on Monday, killing himself and injuring officials.

On Guns

+ A father accidentally shot and killed his 14-year-old son while at a gun range in Sarasota, Florida. A shell casing had bounced off a wall and landed inside of 64-year-old William “Clayton” Brumby’s shirt during target practice. While still holding the gun in his right hand, he reached inside of his shirt to remove the casing and accidentally fired off a round that killed his son, Stephen Brumby.

On Brexit

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Nigel Farage

+ Nigel Farage, the man who led the campaign for Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, has resigned as leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP). “I have never been, and I have never wanted to be, a career politician. My aim in being in politics was to get Britain out of the European Union,” he said at a press conference on Monday. This is the third time he’s resigning. He previously resigned in 2009 and 2015.

+ People around Britain are wearing safety pins to show their solidarity with immigrants after surges of racist acts have taken place around the country since the Brexit vote.

Activists Getting Shit Done

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Photo by: Mark Blinch Members of the Black Lives Matter movement stand amidst colored clouds from smoke grenades at the annual Pride Parade in Toronto on Sunday, July 3, 2016. – Via Washington Times

+ A group of Black Lives Matter activists temporarily shut down Toronto’s Pride Parade. The group was invited to march in the parade and halted it, stalling it for a half hour until their list of demands were acknowledged and agreed upon by Toronto Pride Director Director Mathieu Chantelois. Their demands included an end to police floats in the parade, more spots dedicated to queer people of color and hiring a more diverse staff by prioritizing Black trans women and Indigenous people.

Law & Order

+ In 2012, a gunman opened fired at a movie theater that killed 12 and injured 70. Last month, a Colorado jury ruled Cinemark wasn’t liable for the shooting. Now Cinemark is asking the plaintiffs — the victims and their families — for $699,187.13 in legal fees.

+ The owner of ChristianMingle.com has agreed to let gay and lesbian users to search for same-sex matches on the dating site under a settlement of discrimination claims. In 2013, two gay men filed a lawsuit against Sparks Networks Inc. in California alleging that ChristianMingle.com and their other religious-based dating sites didn’t allow for same-sex users which violated California’s discrimination laws. The Wall Street Journal reports:

Known as the Unruh Civil Rights Act, the state law requires “business establishments” to offer “full and equal accommodations” to people regardless of their sexual orientation.

Under the agreement, the gateway homepages now ask just whether a user is a “man” or a “woman.” Spark Networks agreed that within two years, it would adjust other searching and profile features to give gay and lesbian singles a more tailored experience.

+ The Democratic National Committee released a draft platform last Friday, giving us a glimpse of what the party would like to address this election. It includes a paragraph about LGBT rights:

“Democrats applaud last year’s decision by the Supreme Court that recognized LGBT people — like every other American — have the right to marry the person they love. But there is still much work to be done. LGBT kids continue to be bullied at school, a restaurant can refuse to serve a transgender person, and a same-sex couple is at risk of being evicted from their home. That is unacceptable and must change. Democrats will fight for comprehensive federal nondiscrimination protections for all LGBT Americans and push back against state efforts to discriminate against LGBT individuals. We will combat LGBT youth homelessness and improve school climates, and we will protect transgender individuals from violence. We will promote LGBT human rights and ensure America’s foreign policy is inclusive of LGBT people around the world.”

The document will be edited until it’s finalized at the Democratic National Convention later this month. The Advocate points out the document doesn’t address specific items that have been contentious during the legislative seasons like “religious freedom” laws and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

+ The North Carolina House overwhelmingly approved Republican Gov. Pat McCrory’s request for $500,000 to be divested from the state’s disaster relief fund to pay legal fees to defend HB2 in court. Because Attorney General Roy Cooper refuses to defend HB2, McCrory has had to find outside legal counsel. They also restored the right to sue for discrimination in state court, but made it harder to do than ever before. Before HB2 was passed, the statute of limitations for a discrimination suit was three years; now lawmakers have lowered it to one year. The state legislation adjourned on Friday, leaving HB2 intact, ultimately leaving transgender people and LGB people vulnerable to discrimination.

A federal judge has temporarily blocked abortion restrictions in Indiana. House Bill 1337, signed by Governor Mike Pence, bans people from seeking abortions based on race, gender or lethal fetal anomaly and it also mandates that the pregnant person bury or cremate the fetus once it was birthed. The Associated Press reports: “The judge issued a temporary injunction, meaning the challenged provisions can’t be enforced by Indiana officials. The state can continue to defend the law and seek to have it ultimately upheld.”

+ Both women spouses in same-sex marriages are allowed to be listed on their children’s birth certificate in Indiana. A federal judge ruled in favor of eight lesbian couples who sued the Indiana health commissioner, arguing the state law wrongly forces a spouse who did not give birth to a child to go through a lengthy and costly adoption process to be legally recognized as the child’s parent. U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt said the state violated the equal protection and due process clauses of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment. “There is no conceivable important governmental interest that would justify the different treatment of female spouses of artificially-inseminated birth mothers from the male spouses of artificially-inseminated birth mothers,” Pratt wrote.

+ Iowa’s Supreme Court refused to restore the voting rights of more than 20,000 of the stat’s ex-felons. Think Progress reports:

“Iowa is one of three states with the harshest felon disenfranchisement laws. The state constitution revokes voting rights for life from anyone who has committed what it calls an “infamous crime,” a vague phrase that includes all felons, from low-level drug offenders to those who have committed more serious, violent crimes. The ACLU argued before the state Supreme Court that most felons have not committed an “infamous crime.”

Grab Bag

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+ Puerto Rico unveiled it’s first LGBT monument that also happens to commemorate the victims of the Orlando shooting. 

+ According to Pornhub’s Insights blog, there was a huge spike in “lesbian and prison” related searches within 48 hours after the news season of Orange is the New Black premiered.

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+ The UN voted to create a position focused on human rights of LGBT people. The Advocate reports: “At minimum, the new position will help ensure that LGBTQ rights remain in the international spotlight and are integrated into the portfolios of both public officials and diplomats. The independent expert can also play a crucial role in sharing best practices concerning the protection of the human rights of LGBTQ persons among the U.N.’s 193 member states.”

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 S. has written 202 articles for us.

63 Comments

  1. Guy in the top pic is carrying a fully automatic, military grade assault rifle. He’s part of the problem, not the solution. That’s just fuckin’ terrifying. I don’t give a rat’s ass who you are.

    • From the looks of that rifle, it’s neither a fully automatic assault rifle nor military grade. It looks like an AR-15, a civilian rifle. There are regulations on that sort of rifle which specifically make it nearly impossible for a civilian to obtain the fully automatic military variants or to convert it to fully automatic. Regardless of your stance on guns, it’s good to be informed on them if you’re going to talk about them.

      • Uh, no. I don’t need to become obsessed with firearm pornography to talk about them or want regulation on them. Your bias is showing. You don’t need to know a cylinder from a camshaft or a ball bearing to have an opinion on seatbelt laws and driver safety either.

        HOWEVER, if you really wanna go there, the AR-15 was designed for military use! I don’t care if it’s a “civilian version” or not. It’s military. It should not be available for civilian hands. It is not necessary! Even if it’s just a semi-automatic, it has a rate of fire that is completely over the top for personal use. It may also be EASILY modified to fully automatic by anyone who knows their machining. The materials and manuals on how to do this conversion are NOT illegal and may be found online with a simple search!

        If your only argument is going to be some rifleheaded comment about how I said something technically wrong about your murder machine, you’ll want to NOT talk to me.

        • Fully automatic weapons are not the problem. I spent 4 years in the Army and 18 months of that time as an armorer. Automatic weapons are a great way to waste ammunition. Tactically they are normally used to lay down suppressive fire. An AK-47 with a 30 round magazine will only spray for about 3-4 seconds If you want to look at what kills in the most efficient way, then semi-automatic is what you need to look at.

          With all that being said, the vast majority of firearm related deaths in the United States according to the FBI come from handguns. These are typically semi-automatic and very easy to carry or have around. I am all for gun reform, but reacting solely based off of emotions to what looks and sounds scary isn’t going to translate into the actions that our country needs most desperately.

          • And if you’ve ever read anything I’ve ever said about comprehensive gun reform, you’d know I support a total ban on handguns.

            Assuming that my little comment, taking at emotional face value, represents the entirety of my knowledge or position is grossly inappropriate and ill-informed.

            Such assumptions and comments aren’t going to translate into the action our country needs either. Thankfully, I actually do useful things to contribute to that cause. Do you?

        • IMHO, the specifics of seatbelt design have much less to do with overall seatbelt regulation than different types of guns have to do with gun regulation. The technical details of guns matter when discussing gun control legislation in detail; they have implications on the loss of life that mass shooters can incur, how effectively a gun may be used for hunting vs. other uses, and how easily a firearm may be modified for other uses. These are all relevant and large sub-topics of the overall gun control debate in the United States.

          • And yet owning a tool created specifically to kill people is regarded as a holy sacrament while driving a motorized vehicle requires strict licensing.

            I believe I also demonstrated a working knowledge of the specifics of the firearm in question.

            However, the debate is often pointless because even the most rudimentary life-saving measures—such as universal background checks—are not given the time of day by conservative lawmakers.

            So fuck the “debate”. The murder machines get carte blanche.

        • You should always strive to be as informed as possible about any debate. Shouting people down for adding basic information is never going to actually win an argument. You realize that, right? Not caring about the details led to SHARP in New York, which was slapdash and less effective than it could have been.

          I mean, reall–“rifleheaded?” For basic facts? You seem really hyped to yell at people who aren’t even disagreeing with you. I’m not sure how that’s serving the cause other than making you feel good.

          • Nope. Fuck that. Yes, rifle-headed. When people are obsessed with gun porn that’s irrelevant to the thousands of deaths every year, I don’t give a damn. What “debate”? There isn’t one. There’s just people saying there’s a debate online and the gun lobby getting whatever it wants, no matter who dies or how many.

            I’m fucking done. I’m not going to be calm about it anymore. How many dead kids does it take? How many dead people of color? FUCK the “Debate”!

      • The AR-15 is just the military version without the automatic option. I spent two years in the military teaching this weapon. You never use the automatic setting anyway, it just wastes bullets. Just because gun companies decided that it is ‘a civilian rifle’ doesn’t mean it has a civilian use.

          • Becca-

            I am a manager who regularly closes a small pizza restaurant at 1:30 AM, then I take the $2-3K cash receipts to the local bank night depository. How would you recommend I defend myself against thieves?

          • Joanna-

            If I give it to them tonight, what do I do tomorrow night when they come back? That $2780 is almost the weekly profit for this business that had sales of $1.6M last year.

            Last year, we spent 30% on food costs, 26% on labor, 32% on rent, insurance, taxes, and utilities. (It’s my _job_ to know these things.) We try to keep a 3% cushion for “maintenance” (cooler springs a leak, need a new awning to spruce the place up, the motor blew out on our 25 yr old dough mixer, etc. ad nauseum- and it’s always something! My _other_ job. lol)

            So, I’ll just tell our 7 mo. pregnant prep worker (our highest paid employee who absolutely rocks! btw) that we won’t be able to provide a private space in a 800 sq ft storefront for her to “pump” because Joanna said I should just give that money away instead.

            Hey, we bought some nice new knives for her last year… She argued that it would make her more productive- and when she was right, I gave her a 15% raise. That’s mostly why I missed our 25% target on labor.

          • Have you ever considered that this would be the owner’s problem? To provide safety and security? If needed, an armored pick-up? It’s not your responsibility to start gunning down desperate people in the street or to be so disturbed as to suggest I’m a bad person for being against you playing vigilante.

        • Thank you for your comment becca. I do want to say one thing… I understand that in a combat setting, fully automatic fire is useless unless you’re laying down suppression. However, as in the case Orlando and other densely populated civilian buildings, fully automatic fire will unleash maximum carnage as a weapon of terror.

          It is important to recognize the features of a gun that may be useless to the military, but will wreak havoc in civilian settings.

  2. also, the world is awful, i feel really overwhelmed by all the bad news this week. i hope folks are finding ways to take care of themselves! spend some time with your favorite cutie pie animals!!

  3. Black Lives Matter’s way of doing things can be best summed up by the phrase, “We say jump, you ask how high.” I’ve never seen a movement succeed when it’s based on such uncompromising, self-righteous ideological purity.

    • Actually I’d sum them up with one word, “Awesome”. They’re an incredible group a a lotta white people just don’t wanna listen or be confronted with how bad racism is. They’re non-violent protestors and they intend to be heard. That’s no different than MLK’s group in the 60s.

      • I’m not white, and I absolutely believe that black lives matter. But I don’t believe that any movement is above criticism, and any sub-culture that doesn’t tolerate dissent or compromise is questionable at best. There absolutely are racist people who take issue with BLM, but not every criticism of them is racist, if that makes any sense. My discomfort with the movement is not because it challenges racism. It’s the extreme “with us or against us” rhetoric.

    • I think it’s worth looking up what MLK Jr wrote in the Letter from Birmingham Jail, because this sounds exactly like “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action”.

      I dunno, I feel like whatever uncompromising rush you think they’re in is because black people keep getting murdered every day, and it’s not like they’re being violent in asking for things like less of a police presence. The police are no friends of LGBT people either.

      • A sound statement assessment Christian, but with no disrespect intended I take issue with When you say “The police are no friends of…” it sounds like every department is one homogenized unit, rather than thousands of municipalities when various standards and policies and without varying degrees of diversity. Toronto’s current police chief Michael Saunders is black. That doesn’t necessarily says anything definitive about their current record, but it does the department isn’t totally anti-black.

        It’s true that the LGBT moment owes much to resisting police brutality in New York, Toronto and elsewhere, but that should also help illustrate how much has really changed. Today in countries like Russia and Turkey police are still harassing Pride parades. In the US (especially in light of the Orlando shooting) there protecting them. I was a little uncomfortable with the higher police presence at Twin Cities Pride this year, but the overall environment was very peaceful.

        There’s a difference between fighting police brutality and acting/talking as if every police department today is operating like the forces of Bull Connor. Because BLM lacks a central headquarters it’s impossible to say if the majority of their leaders believe than, but at times these demonstration give the impression they think the only good police department is a dismantled one! If that’s not there goal, they someone needs to really help them with PR because I think there winning more enemies than allies with all this “end justifies the mean” stuff.

        • Sorry his name was Mark Saunders.

          Also I meant to write, “I take issue with something.” And really it should have been just been assessment without the work “statement.”

          • As a black gay law enforcement officer who intends to bring knowledge, understanding, and experience to a system that, let’s face it, isn’t going to just go away, I take it incredibly personally.

          • And that means you’re part of the problem, Natalie. You’re taking something personally when you should be advocating and making people more comfortable. Instead, you’re making it about you. You’re exactly why I don’t trust cops. Even queer cops of color. You, of all people should know why you shouldn’t take it personally, yet you’re failing your own communities.

          • I take it personally because I’m a human being who has encountered bias, racism, felt threatened with violence over my sexuality. But when I go out and do my job, I’m a professional, I treat people with respect, I use my own experience as a reminder that I can never fully understand what other people have been through.

            Your comment made me shake, the idea that I’m failing my community, as if I have no space at all to ever have human emotions, especially in this forum, crushes me. I fight every day for my community–literally through my work, and through open discussion, even with coworkers who aren’t used to being challenged, through questioning policy and practice.

            And in spite of how painful it is to be told you’ve failed someone who was a sister or brother for your whole life until you chose the wrong line of employment, I will continue to carry the weight of the history of this fucked up relationship. I will fight every day for the dignity of the disenfranchised.

            You are so quick to judge and snap in this anonymous online community. I dare you to go out an do something difficult. Defend people who hate you. Be a part of different groups who will never understand you.

            You’d better believe it’s personal.

          • Natalie, what do you know about what I do or what I have done? You sound like you’re doing everything right BUT taking it personally.

            I HAVE defended and cared for and nurtured people who hate me and would never understand me. As part of MY job. On a daily basis. I have been assaulted and had my life threatened in nursing.

            I still know when healthcare fails the LGBT community. I still fought on a daily basis about policy and practice. I constantly struggled with coworkers. I take it personally when my profession fails, NOT when it is criticized for failing my community.

            My job is not who I am. It is not what I am. It is what I DO. When my profession fails my community it is not a reflection on ME. It does not threaten ME. I don’t take it personally when my profession DESERVES criticism. Each time a gay person is harassed or denied visitation of their spouse, each time a trans person is misgendered or denied healthcare, each fucking time it happens my profession DESERVES to be criticized. If I took that criticism personally I would be failing my community.

            So why, in the name of anything decent or pure in this world, do you take it personally when police are criticized? Do the right thing! Period! It’s not your right to take criticism of your professional personally. It’s your responsibility to maintain professional distance and perspective.

            Do your job… but don’t take your community’s criticisms personally. Listen. Be the force for change you say you are. Be the voice of reason and conscience. But never, ever think you have the right to be offended because your profession routinely fails your community.

          • What I’m saying is that it’s all personal. That if I ever shed my humanity and personal experience from the equation, I become a faceless part of a system that doesn’t care about my community and will brutalize it. It’s not about not being able to take criticism.

            Your willingness to make assumptions about me, tell me what I’m doing wrong, and what queer communities of color need, speaks to an incredible hubris. And still, I thank you for your service, your advocacy, and I promise to never tell you how to approach your job because that is something that comes from your own internal motivation–something I have no right to question.

          • Then don’t take it personally when people don’t feel safe! You’re sure not making me feel any safer, Natalie. When I have a patient who had a bad experience and lashes out at me, I don’t take it personally! I don’t say, “Not all nursing staff!” I just listen and I am with them and I apologize for their past experiences, but let them know right now they have me and that I am going to do my best for them.

            I don’t make it about me. Police officers shouldn’t make it about themselves either. It isn’t.

            You don’t have to shed your humanity to be compassionate, professional, and advocate for people.

            I’ll still tell police officers how to do their job when I see people getting murdered. I have every right to express my fears and my concerns, just like my patients do. I am thankful there are good nurses and allied health caregivers. I am thankful there are good cops. But as someone who can be a patient, as someone who relies on the police, I have EVERY RIGHT to tell you when I am afraid and to expect you to LISTEN to my fears instead of taking them as a personal insult.

            You had just as much of a willingness to make assumptions about me too. You speak of hubris and use judgmental language and then do the same things. THAT is my concern. When police officers do not see their double standard. When they cannot distance their identity from their profession (I take the same issue with nurses who do that).

            Your personal experience and your humanity make you a better cop. I have no doubt about that. I love good cops, but I also can’t assume that when I meet one, they’re a good one. I’m afraid. You should know what that’s like. You should be trying to make people feel better… not worse. Don’t make it about you, Natalie. When patients lash out, I don’t make it about me. I know exactly where they’re coming from and why. I don’t sacrifice my humanity or personal experience. I do stay focused on my job and the people depending on me.

          • In this forum, I discuss my honest personal feelings. In my profession, I listen and speak when necessary. You assuming I’m failing at my job because I’ve chosen to engage you in this particular space is a huge assumption on your part. My point is simply to remind these readers of the humanity of all parties, to be honest about my experience. In my opinion, I’m better at my job because I take all of it personally as I’ve explained, internalize it (unlike what you’ve condescendingly assumed), and carry it with me to inform my experience.

          • I’m not saying you’re failing because you’re engaging me here. I said you’re failing if you take the fear of police personally. No one doubts in the humanity of “all parties” nor is it remotely similar or reasonable to compare identity to profession.

            Taking things personally and internalizing them is just… not professional. But, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and consider we’re having a difference of semantics rather than opinion.

          • That would be practicing what you preach. When a queer woman of color tries to express the pain of seeing her communities at odds and you tell her you don’t trust her professionally and she’s failing because she does not approach her job the way that you approach your job, it does not inspire confidence in your ability to listen objectively and appreciate the experience of others.

          • I don’t give a damn. You’re a police officer. When I said I have a fear of police you took it personally. That does not inspire me to feel ANY safer. YOU are the one failing at listening. That IS a failure of your job.

            Policing is NOT your “community”. You are conflating your profession with your identity and that’s another serious problem law enforcement has.

            I’ll let you have the last word, but you’ve succeeded in alienating me even more and making me feel more justified… because I can’t seem to talk to a cop that doesn’t have your attitude and it scares the shit out of me. You don’t care either. That’s scarier.

          • “I don’t give a damn–” words to fix all social ails. I do give a damn. And that’s all I’m trying to say. I don’t shed my racial pain like it’s the wrong undershirt to wear at work. That’s all I’m trying to say. That beneath the profession is a human being capable of communication and empathy. I didn’t say you shouldn’t be afraid of the police. I’m afraid of the police. I just said that it makes me feel something–something I use to inspire doubt, personal and professional growth. The way you shed that emotion at work sounds like a luxury of privilege I’m not familiar with. But my angst lives with me day in and out, and, I promise you, makes me better at my job.

          • I promised you the last word, but I’m not going to disagree with you either. 😉

            I was only trying to say from the beginning, that you shouldn’t take our fear personally. Not anything else or for any other reason. It seems, as I started to suspect, that we actually agree. You do understand that fear. You share it. You’re not faulting me. You’re encouraging me. You’re not failing. We only failed to communicate well with each other (and failure of communication can lead to death and violence in both our fields). So for my part in the misunderstanding each other, I apologize.

            I’m also crying a bit, because you just did make me feel better, safer, and encouraged.

            For the record, I don’t shed my angst. In fact it’s the reason I left healthcare. Even knowing I was making a difference, I couldn’t handle being discriminated against by my own field while handling my normal job (including the life, suffering, and death of people in my care). I couldn’t continue in my profession because of my identity, my humanity, and my emotions. All I meant was that I never took it personally when a patient yelled at me or was afraid because of their past experiences. A point, which it turns out, we agree on. My passion for people and for social justice, along with the pain of my own experiences, absolutely made me better at my job as I imagine it makes you better at yours.

            We just misunderstood one another and I deeply, deeply appreciate you continuing the conversation with me AND for doing what you do on a daily basis. I absolutely respect the hell out of that. Thank you.

      • There are LGBT and Black police officers & police chiefs. You seem to have a very primitive blk/whte, us/them view of the world. It’s also evident that you don’t base your views on actual data.

    • Yeah! How dare a minority protest a lack of inclusion of queer and trans people of color and other marginalized groups in the LGBT community! Things are awesome for cis white LGB people so who gives a fuck about anyone else! Rar! Just throw everyone else under the bus! Fuck ’em!

    • But that’s identitarian politics in a nutshell. Once hostilities BETWEEN identity groups are created, it’s time to divide and conquer WITHIN groups.

  4. Oh, my people, I pray that you wake up before it’s too late. You are on the path of self-annihilation, and it does not appear that you are willing or able to save yourselves. Read your LGBT history! Before the Stonewall Riots, police regularly raided queer bars, hauled our people away in paddy-wagons, printed their names in newspapers to destroy reputations, families and careers. Those who had the financial means had to pay extortion fees. Those who lacked the means to buy their way out of such punishment suffered unimaginable abuse in jails and prisons. Queers could also be arrested simply for not wearing gender-appropriate clothing.

    It took decades to develop a good relationship between the LGBT community and law enforcement–given the traumatic history. Who would ever have imagined that the police would one day have floats in our parades.

    Now, you are allowing yourselves to be co-opted by a group of militants who seek to undermine everything we have worked so hard to build. Rather than working with police to build an alliance–as our people have done–they openly defy the laws of society and kill police officers (many of whom are LGBT and black, themselves). They would rather perpetuate a divisive “us vs. them” mentality than work together. They purposely skew statistics to support their anti-social agenda, and now they are using their WEDGE POLITICS to force the LGBT community to pick a side and give up all of the gains we have made in society–in order to support their agenda. It’s like dealing with a malignant narcissist; if s/he isn’t happy, then no-one else is allowed to be happy, either. Trust me, my people, we will in NO WAY benefit from this arrangement.

    We are an all-inclusive group, as our rainbow flag symbolizes. Unfortunately, by allowimg BLM to hijack our parade and make demands that exclude those with whom we’ve worked hard to establish alliances, you are turning against our own principles & cheering on those who seek to undermine us. Wake up, my people–before it’s too late.

    • Who has a good relationship with law enforcement? You do know that the lgbt community is multicultural/dimensional/etc etc and that Black Lives Matter was founded by queer women.
      The only opinion I’ve left with after reading this comment is a suggestion to read more articles, go outside talk to some people, learn a little outside of yourself & circle

      • Outside my circle? Oh, you mean the one that includes Latinas, East Indians, Sri Lankans, Iranian, blacks and whites? Yeah, honey, I’m not the one who needs the “edumacation.”

    • This comment makes me sick.

      You’re the one trying to make things a “wedge issue”. The LGBT community includes black people, until they are treated justly by the police then it IS an LGBT issue. I don’t know what propaganda you are reading about skewed statistics and anti-social behavior, but turn it off.

      BLM has not killed any cops. Or anyone for that matter. And they didn’t highjack anything, they were INVITED to lead the parade.

      STOP USING OUR/MY PEOPLE WHEN YOU ARE SPEAKING FOR NO ONE BUT YOURSELF.

      • BLM shut down the parade and made outrageous demands. Even the usually sympathetic mainstream media found their actions distasteful. Just because you want to pander to the lowest common denominator, don’t expect every one else to.

        The number of blacks killed by cops annually is a mere fraction of whites killed by cops. Those who are killed are not “sweet, innocent people.” Blacks kill thousands of other blacks each year, but BLM does not care about those victims. And, by the way, trans women of color are not killed by cops or by whites. The vast majority of them are killed by their johns and pimps–also people of color.

        It hurts to have to admit it when the biggest threat to your safety and well being comes from your own kind, doesn’t it. It’s a lot easier to externalize the problem to someone else. Just don’t expect the rest of us to indulge you in your denial. Try reading FBI statistics, child.

        • Wow. This is a despicably racist comment. The likes of which I have never seen on this website before. All of your so called statistics are nothing more than generalizations and none of it has any basis in fact. I’m so tired of racists like yourself spouting on about “black on black violence” to justify your hatred towards people of color and lack of interest at the inequalities they face. Even if those statistics were real, none of it justifies the murders of people of color no matter how “not sweet and innocent” you believe them to be. Trans women(of color or otherwise) aren’t ever killed by white people? Say what? BLM kill police? When? If you are talking about the guy in Dallas he has no affiliation with that group, nor has BLM ever called for the killing of police. In fact, they condemned those murders. They have always simply fought for the police to stop killing people of color and in the case of Toronto Pride asked for queer people of color to have more roles in events(something that has been lacking the past) but I guess that is too much to ask.

          As for LGBT history and the Stonewall riots, you do release that people of color are apart of LGBT history and many were there for the Stonewall riots right? But fuck QPOC of color I guess.

          And no it doesn’t hurt to “have to admit it when the biggest threat to your safety and well being comes from your own kind” because it is simply untrue. I am no more afraid of black people as a collective group than any other race and anybody who believes otherwise is an ignorant racist. Point blank period. Have a nice day.

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