The Pulse massacre in Orlando on Sunday has forever changed me.
I used to be very careful about how I expressed myself in regards to my sexuality because I didn’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable.
I wanted to let people know ‘Yo, I’m not straight’ but leave the distinction there and not do anything to make anyone else feel uncomfortable.
And then Sunday June 12th happened.
And now I don’t care who feels uncomfortable.
Why you ask?
Because I have come to the realization that for all of the “conscious” people I know. For all of the shouters of #BLACKLIVESMATTER and individuals who claim they love everyone equally and reassure me that they view me as an equal despite my homosexuality it is in fact my homosexuality that makes me appear lesser in their eyes. And now I see it. They may not have ever said it to me before, but their silence on this matter speaks louder than they ever could. Their lack of concern for this matter gives me greater insight into how they feel about the community as a whole. And all of this overwhelming knowledge saddens me.
Because I could have been at Pulse that night.
I could have been there knocking back shots of Jameson, dancing to the music surrounded by a variety of beautiful brothas and sistahs, having the time of my life until this unstable, sad little roach of a man (an AMERICAN mutha fucka from New York mind you. Miss me with the terrorist ‘He Was Radicalized’ bullshit please) comes a callin’ with self-hatred in his heart and death in his eyes.
And he opens fire.
And he kills me.
Because all I wanted to do was go out, get fucked up and have a good time.
And in the wake of my death, I would no longer be referred to as who I know I am.
My life would no longer be remembered by my superb writing skills, my love of family, my wit, my charm, my love for cooking, my love for travel, my constant support for all those I know and love, my positivity, my intelligence or my being.
I would no longer be Ben Robinson III.
I would become the fag that died at the fag club.
And outside of my close family and friends, nobody would give a fuck.
And so to that, I say I will no longer do anything to make anyone feel comfortable because I no longer give a fuck about anyone being comfortable.
I will not, however, become the victim and hope that people will accept me for who I am. Love me for who I am. See that I’m human too and not care that I’m gay.
If you’re cool, great. If not, that’s fine too.
I no longer give a fuck.
I live in a world where religion dictates how everyone should feel about people that are not like them. Pastors and preachers going out of their way to enrage their flock with the ideals of homosexuals ruining the world, yet when these so called leaders steal money, cheat on their wives and fuck different members of the congregation they’re still allowed to lead without question, accountability or consequence.
Anyone who was even remotely close to coming out of the closet never will now because of tragedies like this. Who wants to be treated differently by people because of something they have absolutely no control over? I honestly don’t blame anyone for never coming out, especially the way the world is running right now.
Their time will either come or it won’t. Mine came damn near 20 years ago when I was 21. And I’ll be damned if some self hating homo with too many guns or a broken country that ridicules itself with its morals and antithetic behavior dictates how I live my American experience.
I don’t think that silence has ever sounded louder in my entire thirty-eight years on this planet than after the Pulse massacre.
I don’t want to compare this tragedy to anything else because I believe every tragedy is its very own entity. But this one hits home for me because it affects the entire LGBT community and that includes me as well. I cannot deny who I am and I cannot deny the pain I feel knowing that had I been one of those individuals that night in Orlando my name would now appear on a list of people that many believe deserved to die just for living their lives.
I guess what I learned the most from the Pulse massacre is that the real crime here isn’t too many guns or terrorism.
For our community, the crime is merely being yourself.
And the punishment is unfair.