Check for a Pulse?


My attitude has been shifting all morning, I don’t know what to think or say. As I scroll down my timeline there it is, post after post news reports about 50 unidentified presumed to be gay individuals who were murdered last night in an Orlando, Florida nightclub. Pulse Nightclub, hailed to be one of the hottest Gay nightclubs in the heart of Orlando and now known to be the scene of the deadliest shooting in U.S. history, ever. As media reports build up, gay community members grieve with similar thoughts of fear and ‘what if’ notions, I can’t help but think what it will take for US to get it. I’d love to say that we live in a proactive nation where things of this sort simply do not happen based on the power of the people. Being gay is all too common for it to still be a relevant issue over war, hunger and human manipulation as to what is really going on in our world. Even those of you reading this have had some sort of an encounter with a gay, lesbian, transgendered and questioning individual. Whether they are your sister, brother, cousin, friend or mother why won’t you stand for them? Fear could be one reason or maybe is that you never felt like you truly should be involved. So now that you are reading this and you see that our world is a discriminatory playground for those to just dedicate all over how do we go on?It’s easy to make an impact without taking a loss, it could be educating someone who utters a gay slur in your presence. Maybe informing your salacious co-worker who thinks it’s okay to call an unfamiliar gay man a faggot. Ignorance cannot be ignored until something like this happens because it could’ve been your family member you read about you this morning. I’ve found myself lost deep in thought erasing, writing and then erasing again not knowing how to put my feelings into words. Although this does not directly affect me and or any members of my family I feel as though it has. I am sad, angry and gay so whom shall I fear?

Two men embracing one another at the sight of grief Sunday am in Orlando, Florida

I live my life everyday as an identifiable gay man, having mixed feelings about when I will be discriminated against and who will stand up for me (if I am in an helpless situation just as those 50 plus people were). Although I don’t frequent the gay club scenes too often I could’ve very well been among that 50 thinking I was going out for a typical Saturday night of dancing only to be greeted by the bullets of a gun shooting myself and others dead. Regardless of how the media tries to twist and turn this to appeal to the masses, I will not identify the man who thought it was his purpose to walk into that nightclub and kill because of a homosexual bias. He will not get ANY publicity from me as he has already won, he killed more people at once since the 9/11 “terrorist” attacks. Now lets clear one thing up; Terrorism is defined as the use of violence and intimidation to make a political point. Where in this hate crime do politics fall regarding a man walking into a publicly known gay nightclub totally armed and ready to open fire on a room filled with gay men and women?  It’s not important as to what his religious background is despite it playing a part he still made a conscientious effort to target a group of people. Why do we label things to be what sounds about right instead of what they really are? If I walk into a room filled with White Americans, at a renewed country club in the Berkshires known to frequent nothing but (upper class White men/women) and I open fire would that be an act of terrorism? Maybe I’d be identified as an African-American unprivileged thug wanting to rob and kill anyone for the almighty dollar. How about a group of White males walking into a Mississippi church killing an array of members for no reason, how do we identify that outside of suggesting metal issues only to watch as the case is dismissed. The reality is that things can only get worse from here. Gun laws aren’t tight enough to fix the problem, voting will not be enough to fix the problem. This is forty-five years in the making, since gay men and women had to fight for America’s standard of freedom, not to be looked at as equal tax payers attributing to the economy, social stability and medical advancement but to be able to pay money to enter a nightclub only to be carried out in a body bag.

Gays are tax payers, lawyers, football players, doctors and still we judge those we need to keep life. Allowing another person to feel oh so comfortable to take one from another based on feelings seemed from hate that we allow others to spread. Well I hate to break it to you but YOU are apart of the problem. We need to thrive in numbers, not being apart of a particular group does not make you exempt from helping fix the problem. When earthquakes hit third world countries, we post a message, donate a dollar and move on but what changes? Not one time have I ever witnessed someone stand up for someone being gay-bashed or discriminated against based on the sexual orientation but we are expected to support your America? Vote at the polls but not be counted when it comes to donating blood or getting married. We’ve abandoned most of the practices known to the origins of this misguided nation where we publicize sex, glamourize violence and praise financial wealth, where’s the substance? Unity is not felt by me or any other LBGTQ member especially today. As we live and breathe everyday we teach ourselves to ignore what does not affect us and to cry once something does. I will no longer fight for you hunger campaigns, brag about you corporate accomplishments or attend you fake ass peace rallies that do not address the problem in the people and why things really aren’t being done to educate to change.

With a tightness in my stomach and hurt in my heart I can’t lie about what this has done to me. I may not feel comfortable entering into another gay social setting again. Some may call that being dramatic but this act has left me feeling like nobody will stand for me and anyone of my community. Let’s be clear and say that this will not change the fact that a man felt comfortable enough to take the lives of so many others leaving family and friends of a stricken community left to feel weaken once again. Nobody deserves to be slaughtered at that fact that they are different but like so many others we see everyday. The days of the first HIV/Aids case, first known transgendered woman and gay couple to be married are over. The focal point of the a ignorant joke and target a hate crime is what should not be. We rather pay attention to the hate rather than to fight for the love. I know, it doesn’t mean anything until it happens to you but you’re an American, you live here with a voice and a pulse. Free guns, free violence, free hate, free crime with little to no love for someone who looks just like you is the name of the game. Sexual orientation does not depict a man’s value nor will the amount of money you have or followers you gain. Influence is the key and if you stand by and watch the world around you crumble at the hands of hateful hearted people aiming to tear down what we (gay community) live and evidently die to uphold than what does that say about you? To my follow gay, lesbian, transgendered and questioning people, let’s live beyond the portrait of hate and love all others in spite of. Positivity is rare and silence is no longer golden, speak the fuck up before you see yourself begging for mercy at the hands of a ‘terrorist attack’ <—- JOKE!

VashonWade 2016

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