Content warning: Pulse, mass shooting, religious homophobia, and anti Muslim bigotry
I want justice. I want change. I don’t want scapegoats. Muslim hatred of LGBT identities and practices was certainly a factor. The killer said as much himself, during conversation with police while holding hostages. It does no good to erase this.
Muslim and ex-Muslim LGBT people know full well the bigotries that exist in their faith and community. Just as Christian and ex-Christian queers know the hatred our churches and communities espouse. There are liberal, tolerant, accepting, and even queer Muslims, and there are also the other sort.
I do not want a Muslim witchhunt on behalf of the Pulse victims and survivors, on behalf of Puerto Ricans or Floridians or the LGBT community. I do not want anti Islamic violence done in my name.
I want the Christians, atheists, and minority religion members who are enraged over this to look to the anti-LGBT prejudices in their communities. Is heterosexual marriage the only kind recognized? Are trans people welcome as themselves? What are you doing to make life safer for queers?
Anti queer bias persists in all facets of American life, in the workplace, in families, in legislation, in houses of worship. This is not a foreign problem, or a religious problem, or a problem of mental illness. This is a culture problem that infects the whole country.
Unlike the shooter, some of the victims were foreign born. Many were people of color; over half were Puerto Rican. Several were religious. Undoubtedly, given the rates of depression and anxiety among LGBT people, several were mentally ill. What the victims weren’t was violent, or hateful of LGBT people.
Do not use this attack on Latin queers as an excuse to bully and assault Muslims. Do not use this backlash against Muslims as a reason to erase the bigotries in Islam that cause such pain to queer Muslims and LGBT people living in Muslim majority countries. Homophobia (which is not really fear but disgust) is a poison found in many wells. We need to eradicate it in all of them. We do that by starting with our own communities.