Not again! As an out and proud gay man, I feel both sick and angry when I heard the news of a hate-filled AR-15 gunman killing five and injuring at least 25 at Colorado Spring’s Club Q. Club Q was hosting a drag show during the attack to commemorate the Transgender Day of Remembrance, which is a time to focus on the disproportionate number of transgender people killed by violence. (Read my initial blog about this day.) An all-ages family friendly drag brunch was scheduled for the next day.
Why does this keep happening and who is to blame?
A large part of the blame must go to many conservative Republican politicians who continue to demonize the queer community.
US Representative Lauren Boebert (R-Colo) says that drag performances are intended to “groom” children. And what? Turn them into gay or transgender kids?
My own state’s North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson referred to LGBTQ+ people as filth.
Florida passed a law which basically outlaws mentioning gay people or gay families in grades K through 3. What are young kids living with two moms or two dads to think when their own state government sends the message that there is something sick or sinful or wrong with their families?
This continued messaging of hate against any community incites violence. It gives permission to people that because these “others” are a scourge to society, it is perfectly fine to kill and hurt them.
Now to the hard discussion. Anyone who votes for political leaders who demean any group with hate speech is just as responsible for those night club murders as the gunman who fired the bullets. If you care about life, you have the responsibility to tell the people you vote for and the political party you support that you will not support any form of hate. Your failure to do so makes you complicit in these lost lives.
And not only are individuals who vote to blame, but companies that give political contributions to these hate-mongering leaders at the same time while waving the pride flag and telling their employees they support all diversity are totally hypocritical. We saw that Disney Company could not get away with proclaiming their LGBTQ+ inclusiveness while at the same time donating money to Floridian lawmakers who passed their “Don’t Say Gay” Law. (Read my blog “Companies cannot claim to be LGBTQ+ supportive while contributing to anti-LGBTQ+ legislators” that I published back in April. It tells part of this Disney story.)
Next time you read about a mass killing, please examine your own heart and actions, and ascertain if you are contributing to this pandemic of murder, or doing your part to fight it.