We Cannot Let Hate Win… We Will Not Be Bullied #OnePulse

Note: This is a rant in many ways, coupled with feelings of anger and hopelessness over the tragic incident that unfolded in Orlando, Florida.

Let’s face it, we are doomed as a species. If there is anything that we can take away from the several terror attacks that have unfolded in the past six months, it is the fact that extremists are gaining momentum at a breathtaking speed and they are out to murder anyone and everyone who doesn’t comply.

As a young man walked into a gay club with an assault rifle and shot innocent people down, humanity died a hundred times over. It’s a tragic representation of how harmful hate crime can really get. And this makes members of the LGBTQIA community all over the world nervous. People who are now out of the closet, including me, are forced to reconsider if this is really a safe environment for same-sex couples? Sure doesn’t seem like it.

This is definitely a huge setback for the LGBT rights movement. Almost a year after the epic SCOTUS decision, 50 innocent individuals have been shot dead by a deranged lunatic, who had easy access to a dangerous weapon. Really frickin convenient.

My blood is boiling as I type this. Where do we go from here?

I didn’t sleep last night. I couldn’t. A thousand things have been running through my mind. We aren’t safe anymore. How could we be? America, the melting pot of different cultures, breeds freedom and bigotry in equal measure. And bigots are winning. There is no denying. Because even as the world mourned the tragic incident and the lack of proper gun control laws in the land of the bald eagle, others took to the internet to applaud the attack.

“Good riddance from those faggots,” said one tweet. “They had it coming. God sent his wrath on these filthy creatures.” I am appalled at the fact.

The Westbro Baptist Church, which has a long-standing history of hate-fuelled protests against LGBT rights for years, has come out in support of the shooter. In fact, they claim God sent him to finish the gays.

Divided by religion, united by bigotry.

Now here’s where the rant ends and hope begins. Well, whatever’s left of it.

I have only heard about Stonewall Inn through history channel documentaries and other re-enactments. But I always wish I was there to witness that fierce African-American drag queen pelt a brick towards the cops. ‘Enough is enough’ was the united slogan. A generation tired of hate and suppression was fighting back. And then Harvey Milk, the bad-ass that he was, gave the world the perfect answer by actually being vocal about gay rights. Many who followed him were themselves closeted. But Milk gave them the courage to speak up and tell their loved ones that they are sexually not wired like the straight folks. It wasn’t easy back then, and still isn’t today.

As the gay ideology is seeping through mainstream media, it is attracting equal number of admirers and haters. And surprisingly, both can be equally extreme. The ones who hate, spare no dime in giving you all their hate, along with some Bible verses (read Bhagavad Gita or Quran). And on the extreme end are the ones who are our allies, who know the pain, who see that the world needs to move on, but is stuck in this rut of violence and oil wars. They can be so giving and understanding of what you go through, that it makes more sense to live for and with them instead of the haters.

There is a lot of hope. A good part of the Internet has erupted into negative comments, but a major part is showing a whole lot of love and positivity. People are even lining up for miles to donate blood. That’s the power of love.

There’s more love and positivity in this world than anyone can imagine. Alas, we are just lost in petty quarrels. Moving ahead, we need to accept ourselves and be honest to those we love. It was extremely difficult for me, and is way worse for several others who are rendered homeless. That is not what any God would intend, for their young ones to be lost and without love.

Ever since I decided to step out of the closet, many have asked me why I am doing this. Do I want to attract attention? Is this a gimmick? The truth is, this is who I am. And I accept that. And I am surrounded by enough positive people who keep me going. So let’s mourn the tragic loss of 50 brave souls, but also gear up for the upcoming storm.

PS If you’re a young gay person looking for inspiration to come out of the closet, then this is it. Sooner or later, they will find others like you and try to hurt them or worse, murder them. We cannot let hate win. We will not be bullied ever again. #OnePulse

Navin Noronha