Rarely have I been left speechless by current events as I have yesterday. When one has a natural inclination towards punditry, it takes a lot to run out of — or be overwhelmed by — words.
It can be overwhelming looking at society at large and remembering that hate is alive and well. Alive and well enough for someone to commit a massacre. Enough for politicians to taunt or erase the target community. Enough for some in the public eye to gleefully advance their popularity or agenda. Enough for the faith and national origin of a perpetrator to become a divisive rallying call against them.
I can only imagine what it is like to live in the intersection of these communities.
I’m interested in how society can fix itself. The LGBT community will be fine — eventually. The queer community is no stranger to facing off against lethal hatred. It will mend itself in time, as it had to do often.
Perhaps this is as good a day as any to talk about the role we all play as active bystanders to each other’s communities. Nothing is more unfortunate than the “I don’t care you are __” (queer, transgender, of a different ethnicity, religious belief, etc.) attitude many adopt towards diversity. Diversity is celebrating, not ignoring, identity. Being indifferent to diversity seems to rely on a supposition that the range of identities in society no longer matter. But hatred is not over. Hatred that discriminates by identities is not over. By pretending it is, we allow it to propagate. From Norway to Isla Vista and Planned Parenthood to Orlando, anti-Muslim, anti-Woman, and anti-Queer hatred is not over. No race, ethnicity, national identity, or religious belief has monopoly over hate.
This is overwhelming. Yet I also realized over the last day that it is empowering. We all do have a role to play.