That’s how I have been…lately. See, someone asked me “How have you been doing, lately?”
It was a common question asked in a common way. When I answered that Orlando had really shattered me, she shrugged and said that the world was going to hell in a handbasket and that we just had to deal with it.
Indifference mixed with derision that I was “emotional” and “unprofessional”.
And I flinched under a fresh hail of words which might end up being something else…let me explain.
Here is why I have had these nightmares of being chased, being hunted and slaughtered, being tortured and tormented and left to suffer and die:
Because this man took action in the real world as an avatar of what our culture throws every single day…words.
As you read here…people from all walks of life…you statistically are cis-normative and as such you swim thru the waters of our culture with the current, finding it easy to slip and slide thru waves of words which wash over you and pass downstream without even a scratch.
But that is not the case for me…for millions in the LGTBQIA community…for tens of millions of others who are not privileged…and ultimately, it is not the case for you.
Every day words are slung around by trigger tongues shot from missile silo hearts loaded with radioactive fissionable words and those words destroy over and over and over. But bodies do not drop to the ground right away and we think that there is no effect.
I have read hundreds of so-called christian messages that say God hates LGTBQIA people, that God is punishing us for what we have “sown” (but it is implied that God doesn’t punish a cis-normie cus they are not … what?). I have read people who are celebrating and saying they wish he would have killed more people.
In a strange way, I think this man was more honest about things than the vast majority of haters, because he actually did it: he actually took instruments of death, and looked human beings in the eye, and shot them down in hatred, in horror, in fear.
But you? You who use your words everyday on others and shoot them dead in the heart? You who sit three thousand miles away and use words to hurt and silence and kill? You who cast stoney words? You who use chemical weapons of mass destruction in the name of “hating sin” and call that “loving the sinner”?
You are him. And anytime, anywhere, any of us indulge our evil and hating hearts with our words?
We are making our Our Own Private Orlando. Our own little abattoir of blood and bone and terror.
I read a FB friend who was so eager to decry the so-called terrorists of radical Islam that she momentarily forgot to carry the slaughtered in her heart…a gentle and indirect prompt stirred her, thank God and to her credit she took down the post and remembered the true enemy…but I tell you this:
Every single slur, every single sarcastic remark, every single angry slam, every single troll comment is a bullet.
And I have nightmares because all this man did was precipitate into the physical world the death and destruction and rape and violence and horror and rage that surrounds me, assaults me, overwhelms me every single day.
Yes…I remember the days before I came to myself…and I was like any other typical white privileged christian who thought they did not hate anyone and yet made casual callous jokes and had no awareness of anyone different than me as a hurting human being…and I will always bleed over those years of blindness, for they indeed qualify me as chief of sinners.
But no more…and now I can see how each and every time christians say that God is punishing the LGTBQIA community with actions like this, and that God is angry and pissed off because They feel mocked and thus slap us down, and that we are reaping what we have sown when in fact we had nuffin to do with how we are made…each time this is the attitude? They have made the sacrifice of Love that Jesus made for us on the cross null and void…
…and they nail us up there…and they nail their shadow and sin there…and they are the ones who vent their wrath and fear and loathing…on us there…and they have made Jesus sacrifice to be in vain.
What I am trying to say is this:
Each and every time you speak in insensitivity, unawareness, privilege, hatred, anger, prejudice, and judgement?
You are the Butcher of your Own Private Orlando and the hearers of your words your victim.
I am gonna go out to the world today and walk in that hail of bullets, that storm of bullets flying everyday.
And when I show how they wound me? I am gonna be the one jeered at, the one others recoil from with the forked fingers thrust at me with the christian evil eye ward…
When you stop killing with your words, creatures like that killer will not have nearly the power waiting to channel as an avatar of a culture of hate.
I am having nightmares.
I am a pincushion of death-words thrust into me…
Let us wake one another up, for the hour is getting late.
As I said in my comment when I shared this on Facebook, this is one of the most poignant expressions I’ve read of that mix of grief, fear, and anger that so many of us feel. Thank you.