This has been a rough week. The massacre in Orlando of 49 people and injuring of more than 50 has left a permanent scar on my heart and soul. When this news broke on the networks and the eventual information about the shooter was released about his own struggles with identity, attractions and sexuality…it hit home quickly. These exact same thoughts and questions came up in my own case back when I was younger, around the age of 12 or so. Being a Jehovah’s Witness meant that it could and shouldn’t EVER be discussed much less disclosed. Yet I never had any hatred for those around me who didn’t approve of same sex attractions, though I really disliked their jokes, haughty attitudes of being better for being straight (though I know many were NOT, just keeping quiet) and continual preaching of God’s hatred of anyone who was not monogamous, straight and spent every moment and dime they had in the ” spiritual work”. But I was one of them in some ways, not leaving until way too late. I eventually got out of there and became a changed man, for the better, and lived my life of honesty and freedom from those judging eyes.
So this week has been one of not only pain and heartache, but one of reflection. That someone has to hide from everyone: family, friends, church or religious family….because they are either ashamed or threatened by said groups. Since the attack, many religious leaders have said hurtful, unchristian , unloving and painful things about why more had not been killed. The same men who pick and choose scripture to fit their lives and who break most of those commandments in other ways , disliking people who they no nothing about. Hypocrites for sure, yet somehow they have followers. These are among the many reasons I will never be part of organized religion again. Ever. But you know, I still respect those who are religious, pious, kind, loving and who do indeed try their best to love everyone. The hate mongers will always be around and will get their just desserts in the end. Is it karma?
But what I have learned from this weeks violence and the underlying problem with being a bisexual/pansexual , polyamorous human in this early 21st century is that no matter what I do, it is ultimately ME , this person, who makes the decisions on how I want to live my life. This same life I refuse to let others determine for me, according to their own flawed and imperfect ways. That ” you MUST be like ME in order for me to like, love you” will never happen. Filling my life with others like me or who are understanding, loving, kind, mindful, passionate and caring…THAT is the life I want to lead. Not one of hate and despair, not one of worrying about who is unhappy with how I live my life nor what I do. It’s none of their business. That, is what I wish would happen to everyone. Leave others to live their lives, in love. Worry about yourself and enjoy your life.
Now is the time for all to come together and show love and compassion, to move forward and be free. But be vigilant and safe in this world, as well. May there never again be a horrific and horrible event such as that.