Omar Mateen was disgusted at the sight of two gays kissing in Miami. The devout went on to make our community his target of choice among the sea of Western infidels ISIS despises. BigGayNews regularly reports on ISIS mechanically throwing gays off rooftops, and stoning women. Let’s make no mistake. The common thread between the latest shootings and the 9/11/01 events is religion, not assault weapons. Praying to our own gods and indoctrinating our children can only fuel the clash between reason and religion. Let’s seize this opportunity to let our legal system prevail over faiths.
As I listen to the reports of the horrific massacre in Orlando, I am acutely reminded of an experience with my transgender sister shortly after she began living as her true self. My sister had been my older brother and I had invested many of the attributes a younger brother gives to their older sibling: stronger, bigger, braver than me (all of those continue to be true after her transition), so I was taken aback as I walked her to her car following dinner at local restaurant. As we began to turn the corner from a well lit street to one more dimly illuminated, she stopped and looked back over her shoulder. I asked her what she was doing and she told me she was making sure there wasn’t anyone around so that she knew she wasn’t being followed (and was safe). I asked her why (she had never done that before) and she reminded me she was now female and as such, she was far more vulnerable than her younger (male) brother, who didn’t give a second thought in walking down the street. My sister has a double whammy: she’s transgender and she’s female. She invokes fear in those already predisposed to thinking of others as “less than” because of gender or orientation. And, despite all the rhetoric of Islamic radicalism let us not forget this shooting was prompted because of homophobia and fear. His actions have once again stripped away our feelings of safety and reminded us there continue to be people out there who hate and take drastic action to fulfill their hate.
In full disclosure, Ellen Krug is my sister (and I am so proud of her).