Gatekeeping In The LGBT Community Harms Us All
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Politics and Activism

Gatekeeping In The LGBT Community Harms Us All

The Orlando shooting should bring us together, not cause a rift in our community.

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Gatekeeping In The LGBT Community Harms Us All

The LGBT community is tired. I am tired.

We are also scared, and unsure of what the future holds. The Orlando shooting was so out of the blue for a lot of us, though in retrospect it isn’t surprising. All of the recent anti-LGBT policies going through state legislation encouraged this. Thanks, politicians.

The thing that this community should be doing is binding together to shout “No!” at these politicians, who are capitalizing on our siblings’ deaths in order to promote their Islamaphobic policies, and forgetting that not a day before the shooting at Pulse (the gay club in Orlando) they were promoting policies to ruin our lives. We should be reaching out to the kids who feel unsafe, to the adults who are terrified of what to do. We should be helping the injured and mourning the casualties.

The thing that the community should not be doing is fighting. We should not be using this horrific tragedy to gatekeep and decide who is more deserving to grieve. We should not be deciding who is worthy of sadness, fear and anger.

Mara Wilson, famous for her portrayal of the title character in Matilda, came out on Twitter following the anti-LGBT attack at Pulse. People’s responses prior to her coming out were to criticize her tone in her tweets, insisting that she was an outsider to LGBT problems. When she revealed her bisexuality, people blasted her for coming out after the massacre: “making it about herself” and blasted her for the way she came out. As if people can validate the authenticity of someone’s romantic, sexual or gender identity based off of “how” they find out about it.

And here we all are, in the same breath, grieving about how the victims of the shooting are probably going to be outed to their homophobic and unaccepting family members. Disgusting.

On Tumblr.com, my friends have already begun to notice members of the LGBT community using the Pulse massacre against LGBT people as a means of invalidating the acceptance of asexual and aromantic people and their place in the community. As if we aren’t scared enough. As if we aren’t grieving the deaths and injuries of nearly 100 siblings.

I’ve already seen some of my friends get into a fight about this tragedy and validity of placement in the community. It happened in what should be a safe space.

This kind of behavior the community is expressing is deplorable. This is not what I need from my people. What I need is solidarity. I need to be able to openly mourn and cry. I need to hug people who understand, who can feel the loss I feel. I need a hug that doesn’t have the answers and I need us to share our lack of understanding, our lack of solutions, our feeling of a surreal horrible event.

It’s not the time for this. It is the time to hold each other close and mourn our loss together. It is the time to put our heads together and figure out how else we can get our points across. How else we can save ourselves in childhood, in adolescence, in our adult years. How else we can be supportive of one another and help protect ourselves. How to make our safe spaces more safe. How to stop the influx of anti-LGBT policies. It is not the time to be shutting each other out of our own spaces.

A place made by us for ourselves has been violated. Why are we violating all of the other spaces by fighting?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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