There is not a lot I can say about Orlando that hasn’t been said by many others. I am so sad for the people affected by this. The victims and their families and friends have suffered terror and tragedy that is unimaginable to me, because of hatred. It makes me so sad that we live in a world in which hatred like this can exist. My heart goes out to everyone affected!
As we keep in mind the outrage and grief this tragedy has caused, can we also acknowledge that these are by far not the only victims of crimes like this? Just looking at the transgendered community worldwide, it is estimated that one trans person is murdered every 21 hours, on average. That is the equivalent of the Orlando massacre every 44 days, and that is just the transgendered community, it does not include any other targeted communities.
I just heard today that a gay man was attacked on his way to the vigil for Orlando right here in the city I live in. Hatred and violence are very real concerns everywhere. I feel like crying because I have to worry about my own personal safety just because I choose to live in a way that is authentic for me. My decision does not harm anyone else, if anything, by making me happier I am probably even nicer to the people around me.
One other thought on violence against transgender people (yes, all these groups being targeted are just people, like anyone else). Canada has recorded zero hate crimes against transgender people, ever! Before celebrating, look at the reason. In the Canadian Criminal Code, there is no official recognition of transgender people as a class that hate crimes could be committed against. So these crimes are not tracked and are not reported as hate crimes. A bill has been introduced to change this, let’s hope it passes.
Violence is not acceptable, period! Violence based on another’s lifestyle is deplorable! Having to fear for your safety because you don’t conform to someone else’s idea of right and wrong is horrible! What can we do to change the culture that has allowed this kind of hatred to exist?