What Orlando means to me, living here in Australia

The reason that the rainbow has become a symbol for sexualities other than straight, is because sexuality and gender are a spectrum, not a black and white phenomenon. A rainbow is a symbol of hope. It is a promise that – one day – there will be peace and acceptance. Today is not that day …alas.

As politicians rush to make political hay out of this tragic event in Orlando, let us remember that this tragedy wasn’t about politics, it was about hatred.  Hatred is born out of fear, and fear is born out of ignorance. He was an ignorant, fearful, hateful man who perpetrated this atrocity upon all those innocents. He felt threatened by the freedoms enjoyed by those precious young people who were dancing, and who were happy in a way he could not understand. So he washed that freedom away with bullets and blood.

The dead and maimed, and their friends and families, are not the only victims. The survivors will never be as carefree or happy ever again. The whole LGBTQIA community is shaken and more fearful than they were before the atrocity occurred in Orlando. This is community that is already under siege, fighting for their right to be accepted. They have to watch as haters gleefully celebrate the deaths of their innocent friends and relations.

Living in Australia, one might think it would be easy to put a comforting distance between this massacre and myself. Not true. To paraphrase John Donne:

Any person’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.

 

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2 Comments

Filed under Opinion Piece, Uncategorized

2 responses to “What Orlando means to me, living here in Australia

  1. Well thought response to yet another atrocity. Even in the face of the attack, divisiveness remains. I doubt those who blame the victims realize the truth in John Donne’s words. From a political standpoint, this particular attack muddles LGBQT issues with religion, rights and freedoms afforded to all American citizens, gun laws, mental health, domestic violence, ideological beliefs, and terror. I wrote Angel’s Hellfire, poetry in response with this complexity in mind.

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