It’s been a while since the Orlando massacre in a gay nightclub and I hadn’t really thought about it recently, until I saw Katy Perry meet one of the wounded, Tony Marrero on The Ellen Show. Tony was injured in the shooting and he said Katy’s song ‘Rise’ helped him through this tragic time, and joked he played it so much his boyfriend was fed up with it. Marrero is clearly an incredibly courageous individual, and Katy showed so much generosity in paying for his college studies in order to support him, and watching this got me thinking, even though I hadn’t thought about the events of Orlando for a while, they will always haunt the victims, and the families of those slaughtered.
Being gay, the news of the Orlando massacre send chills through my spine. Every massacre is horrific, and every life lost is a permanent scar on society, as well as those close to the victims. I can’t even bring myself to imagine the damage that the attack has had on the victim’s friends, families and of course, lovers. Probably the most chilling thing about the massacre was that a gay nightclub should be a place of acceptance, where those of all sexualities and gender identities can feel safe and just enjoy having a night out; hence why it made me feel physically ill when I heard the news of it. And obviously, it makes me question whether the LGBT+ community really are safe, or whether we’re still under threat from prejudice and violence. It can’t help but make me feel afraid of going to pride festivals, or publicly expressing my sexuality, and if the events in Orlando have enough power to affect me in this way, the impact on the victims must be horrific. Which I suppose is the attackers goal in any massacre- to generate fear. And sure enough, the LGBT+ community can’t help but feel afraid after having innocent blood spilt for no reason other than hatred and ignorance. Personally, I feel somewhat powerless in the fight for equality- it’s 2016, and homophobia is still widespread, even though you think society would’ve progressed.
But just because I don’t have a position of high power in society, others do, and I’m so glad that high profile figures such as Hillary Clinton are speaking out against hatred, and all I can do is hope and pray that this stamps out homophobia once and for all. And although I can’t affect millions of people, maybe I can affect one person through my writing, and to me, that means the world. After all, the only way forward is to unite against prejudice, and we all have the power to promote equality, whether it be in a big way, or a small way.
Although the damage has already been done in Orlando, and the pain might never go away for the victims and their loved ones, the least we can do for them is try to build a society where these kind of crimes against humanity will never happen again.
image sourced from: http://www.drphil.com/pray-for-orlando/