Not you, of course. You love us. Or, at least you love your girlfriend whose interest in women is entirely for your benefit. Or maybe you’re a girl who loves making out with girls when you get drunk. Or whatever.
I know that you mean well. Really, I know that you do. So if you genuinely mean well, prove it: listen, and pay attention.
This awful thing happened. You probably think it’s an anomaly, for someone to kill a bunch of queer men of color. You probably think it’s an anomaly because gays can get married now, and sodomy isn’t illegal, and your local gay club has the best music. And this thing that happened is an anomaly, in its scope. It is not anomalous in its target.
I know that you can’t see that. You like the gays in your life. They’re fun and friendly and dress so well and can dance. You feel gay friendly. I appreciate that, really. And I still need somebody to have my back. I’m not fun and I’m not friendly. I don’t dress well, and I don’t dance. If you pretend that this world is a safe place for me, you can’t have my back.
Many of you, gay and straight, probably don’t see the violence that many of us face. Trans women see it. They are being killed off in numbers that make me feel ashamed. Shocking, shameful numbers. You should feel ashamed too. Gay marriage did not make queer bashing go away. It made some, normative gay people safer. And many of us, trans people, queers of color, and especially trans women of color, are more vulnerable than ever.
Some of us still take lots of violent shit. We take it because we must, but we also do it to stand up for those of you who have never taken it. We do it for those of you who need to be safe, who can’t take it. I do it knowingly, and with pride. Somebody has to stand up for us. Please don’t forget that your suburban, married, normative life relies on those of us who take those hits. I’m proud to take those hits for you. But yeah, I do want credit. I don’t want to be invisible, and don’t pretend that you’re not like me. You’re queer too. Or your kids might be queer. Without me, and without my kind, you’d get bashed, or they’d get bashed, and possibly killed. I’m what stands between you and that. Me and my kind.
No soldier wants to be invisible. Queers, I’m fighting for you, and for me. Hets, I’m fighting for your kids, who haven’t yet come out.
Yeah, I’m angry today, and this is not my best essay (or even all that good). I don’t do sad well, and I don’t grieve well. I’m pretty good at rage. Today, I have a lot of rage. And I’m not surprised about what happened in Orlando, because attacking queers, and more so queer men of color, is not anomalous, and this has been my life too. And I’m angry that the rest of you were so fucking oblivious to my life, and to what other queers experience that you are surprised.
People want us dead. Americans, non-Muslim Americans, want us dead. Stop pretending that it’s all love, and joy, and Islamic terrorism. It’s queer hating violent fucks who want us dead. That is not remotely new. Don’t pretend that love will solve it all, and that we’re all just people, and that labels are bad, and that it’s just Muslims who hate queers. Some of us get targeted, get killed, get beaten. Yeah, by your friends, by your neighbors, and by your families. Maybe even by you. By white-ass, fucking all-American citizens.
I am angry. I’m very, very, so fucking angry today. I’m so fucking angry about all those murdered kids. I’m so fucking angry for their mothers. And I’m so fucking angry that some of you are surprised. Really. Fucking. Angry.
Really. Really. Fucking. Angry.