Here are my thoughts on the shooting at Pulse, the gay nightclub in Orlando.  I lived in Florida for 13 years and though I have never been to Pulse, I had heard of it.  There is a lot of homophobia in Florida.  In fact, I had to move because I got fired from my job for being gay and than got blackballed throughout the state and for that reason so can never work there again.  You can also be denied housing and have your children taken away from you for being gay in Florida.  So, yes it is like many other Southern states in that respect.

Yes, a person of Muslim extraction was the shooter.  Yes, he had possible ties to terrorism.  Does that make all Muslims terrorists? Does it make all Muslims homophobes? No to both.  That is simply what HE was connected with and what HE thought.  There are terrorists and homophobes in every religion.  There are people out there twisting the Bible, Koran, etc and trying to call it religious freedom and saying that they are being discriminated against because giving us LGBT people our rights somehow violates their right to be a bigot.  However, the vast majority of people use religion for good, not evil.

This was a hate crime, pure and simple.  He hated gay people and my guess is that he hated himself.  Homophobia is fear.  It is the fear that you are gay yourself, so you need to attack and hate gay people to feel better about yourself.  I have no problem with Muslims and in fact if you are going to blame this on his religion please don’t be my friend, follower, etc.  There is nothing worse than a bigot and if that is you we can’t be friends.

Bigotry of any kind is wrong.  It is not patriotic.  It is not what Jesus, Allah, etc would want.  My heart goes out to the victims and their loved ones.

Author: Stacie M Stark

Activist with 25 years of experience in human and animal rights and welfare. Specializing in children's rights and issues, LGBT rights, and companion animal welfare and rights. Member and always will be of Amnesty International, Best Friends Animal Society, and PETA. Mom, queer, vegetarian. Hello Kitty and Disney Princess collector. Cat lover. Sagwa fan. I want to live at the public library.

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