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Charlize

Hate crime affecting you?

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Charlize

I feel that the recent attack on a GLBT club in Florida is a hate crime that does affect me. I had some of my first public experiences as a woman in gay clubs so this hits home for me. Regardless of your feelings it is a tragedy and one which shows the hate that some have grown to have to the GLBT community. This seems to grow as right wing extremists make comments which can be construed as or outwardly call for violence focused on those who may be different.

I will try to not let it build in my mind as there is little i can do to change these things but i do need to vent.

My prayers and thoughts go out to our community now. May we all find peace despite the hate that exists in this world.

Hugs,

Charlize

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Guest Kenna Dixon

My wife and I frequented another popular gay club in Orlando. We have a lot of friends in the LGBT community as a result of some of my outreach work. At two of her previous jobs, the owners were gay couples and we're still friends with all of them. No word yet on whether anyone we know was directly impacted.

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bobbisue

There is such hate in this world but there is also a lot of love i went to my first pride event yesterday an felt the love and acceptance so please dont let a few haters change your view of the world my heart goes out to those affected by this hateful act and any others victims of hate within our community or not we must not let hate win

bobbisue :(

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Guest Kenna Dixon

There's no indication yet that this was directed at the LGBT community. It's more likely a target of opportunity - a number of potential victims in a crowded venue.

The casualty numbers were just updated to 50 dead and 53 injured (some critically).

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Guest LesleyAnne

Until religious leaders of all faiths come together and preach love and acceptance, rather than the demonizing of a class of people to the point of justifying this kind of hate in the minds of their fringe followers.

I do believe this was both a hate crime against the LGBT community, and a terroristic act by a religious extremist. .

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Guest Kenna Dixon

The gunman was from Port St. Lucie. I would be surprised to learn he drove all the way to Orlando to target the LGBT community. If that had been his intent, I would guess that Fort Lauderdale and Miami would have been more likely choices.

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Guest LesleyAnne

The father of the shooter(Omar Mateen) was interviewed by the press, and was quoted as saying that his son became very enraged when he witnessed two men kissing in Miami recently.

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SoSarah

Justification in the name of ( your ) accepted higher power to commit atrocities, death, hate and the denial of civil rights. I have seen to often my least favorite word in the english dictionary given reason for their actions,then I wake up to my nightmares. You are be justified to life and your rights and love. My thoughts and in my case prayers to all those innocent victims. So Sad....Sarah

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Guest Mickey

There's no indication yet that this was directed at the LGBT community. It's more likely a target of opportunity - a number of potential victims in a crowded venue.

The casualty numbers were just updated to 50 dead and 53 injured (some critically).

That's wrong. His own father said that this murderer saw 2 men kissing and became so angry. This was an attack directly on the LGBTQIA+ community. It was a specific attack that stems from his own homophobia. So yes, this IS a hate crime. And it WAS directed against our community. We must not forget this. And we must not let the media try and erase us. Yet again.

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Ravin

This one affects all of us.

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Charlize

I'm listening to the news this morning even though i probably should let it drop. What i find shocking is that there are no mentions to this being a hate crime directed at the GLBT community. Instead it seems that the media is turning this into a terror incident. It certainly is an act of terror but if any of ask ourselves why this target the feeling of hate which we all fear and know comes forth.

I'm just listening to an imam who says that the actor claimed to be muslim but wasn't. "you can't have that kind of hate and be a muslim". That holds true for the christian community as well.

I'm upset, hurt and having trouble with understanding my "fellow" man.

Hugs,

Charlize

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JJ

He was a hate filled man and could just as well have attacked a group of women or people of color had there been a large gathering to give him an opportunity.

What I have experienced of hate personally has not been for being trans. Not even on my Facebook page where the redneck locals are.

But I have experienced hate and bigotry and vilification along with stereotyping on my trans page. Two fold. One as a male. Those have not been direct but the "All males are jerks" and testosterone poisoning posts feel like attacks.

But by far the worst have been for being Christian . Told what I personally believe based on the views expressed by men whom I despise not only for their bigotry but for co'opting the name of my religion when they personify everything it opposes and have none of the virtues. They are pseudo Christians, posers. And to hold me and other Christians responsible for their behavior is beyond belief. I practice a religion of tolerance and love - not one specializing in out hating or out shouting the haters. Nor is it fair to demand they divert their limited resources from the human service programs they feel they are mandated to support in order to purchase media time to attack others.

70%of our community is Christian. How do they feel when these other Trans people demonstrate a bigotry that only adds to their pain and dedpair?

We need to demonstrate the acceptance and tolerance we want for ourselves as trans people. No one is asking people to be Christian or any religion. That is your choice. But I am saying we need to oppose bigotry and hate wheereeverr we find it. Even in our own community. And sadly some of these are people who are good and knid people otherwise. People I like but like all bigots they see their particular belief as right and justified in vilify in others on a blanket bsdis. You know like all trans people are crazy because some of us struggle with mental illness or all trans people are sex workers because some have been forced to be and murder and crime have made them more visible.

Somehow we must change this climate and culture which has existed too long, that hating a group, stereotyping a group is okay because we are the ones who feel it.

Something radicalized this American man and drove him to violence. And I wonder how many times it took hearing Trump vilify Muslims, or being told to go back where he came from though he was American or being called towelhead before he crossed that line and the seeds of bigotry that had been done burst into blood and violence

Johnny

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Guest Kenna Dixon

Somehow we must change this climate and culture which has existed too long, that hating a group, stereotyping a group is okay because we are the ones who feel it.

Having spent almost all of my first 22 years in the Deep South (Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama), I was witness to not only routine racial segregation but the fight for civil rights. And you're right. The culture you describe has been with us for far too long. It certainly predates my experience.

As we Americans became more mobile and local populations became diverse, it was no longer a given that everyone around you held the same beliefs and biases. Cultural support for overt action against a group based simply upon skin color or "being uppity" began to fade, and most of those who might literally or figuratively have donned the white hood of bigotry in the past gradually became outliers who were pretty much all talk.

I think that what we're seeing now is very different. The horrific acts of violence are being perpetrated for the most part by those who are mentally ill, fanatically religious, and/or driven by political ideology or some perceived grievance. Others are motivated by nothing more than the notoriety others of their ilk have achieved. These are people so far gone that they're willing to die in pursuit of whatever they think they're going to accomplish.

It's not simply bias or prejudice as we have come to understand it. One deranged individual targeting an African-American church or another choosing to shoot up a gay club are not trends. They're individual, despicable acts. The perpetrator may harbored a personal bias or even hatred, But none of them so far has proven to be a harbinger of a string of acts with the same motivation.

If and when a group such as ISIS demonstrates the ability to organize assaults against a particular minority (as opposed to praising and taking credit for individuals acting on their own), that will be a threat far more serious than whatever latent racism or homophobia exists in this country.

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JJ

Living in the South as a child I did hear about sanctioned acts of violence. Attacks on minorities or LGBT people were common and people sometimes bragged about them because there would be no legal reprissl. The police would not file a report of minority on minority crime much less white on minority or LGBT. Once that changed crime rates shot up I'm may Southern cities and haters cited the Civil rights movement as being to blame. They were right that it caused the rise in stats because crimes that had always been committed were being reported

I think we have always had Rhee marginalized and violent individuals. There has long been a history of mass shootings but I do think there has been a rise in the tolls as well as incidences.in tolls because in the past a guy only got off a few tounds till he was brought down. Assault rifles have given these men an opportunity to expand their body count exponentially. And in the past when someone exhibited the irrational and dangerous behavior most of these men and boys have displayed someone - law enforcement or family - had them committed. Those services no longer exist for the most part. Plus we have social media where these marginalized individuals can make the unthinkable seem normal and contact with other radicals can enhance the instability.

And though I am a gamer I also think that the first person violent and ultra realistic games can become a reality that trains these individuals while desensitizing them to individual lives and makes the taking of life a game. Very similar to what the military uses to train it's snipers and assault personnel. And I know that from knowing 3 people so traoned.

It is complex. With no easy quick fix. In my mind getting the assault rifles out of their hands is the first and easiest step. Something concrete we can address now while we struggle with all the social issues that are going to be incredibly challenging

Johnny

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Guest Kenna Dixon

In my mind getting the assault rifles out of their hands is the first and easiest step.

You would think that there's a middle ground where responsible gun owners could agree on more stringent purchase and/or use requirements for that kind of weapon, at the very least. I can understand people resisting confiscation, but with the pattern of such "assault-type" weapons repeatedly being used in these most heinous crimes, how can anyone justify them being so readily available to those who cannot make an acceptable case for owning them?

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Ravin

The shooter was a licensed security guard with an associate's degree in criminal justice.

Maybe if Florida knew how to handle DV better, he would have had a record that would have prevented him from getting a weapon, but the fact is he lawfully owned a variety of firearms, and there was nothing substantial to prevent it. People can mouth off and say hateful things online, and beat their wives who are afraid to go to the police because the consequences of being dragged through the justice system as a victim are worse than just fleeing or putting up with abuse.

There is not one single legitimate civilian use for an AR-15 that can't be accomplished with a less powerful weapon. You don't need an assault rifle to hunt deer. It is based on a military weapon that was designed for one purpose: killing people.

The reason for the right to bear arms was to allow citizens, if needs be, to rise up in revolt against an unjust government. The founders who had that notion did not conceive of unmanned drones, ICBM's, nuclear weapons, and so on that make governments massively more powerful than even a very well-ordered militia armed with only the weapons that are legal today could muster. The also could not concieve of the power of other freedoms in the Information Age.

Hate cannot answer hate, and more guns cannot answer gun violence, if it is ever to end.

I have been on the fence for decades about gun control. I'm getting off the fence and stepping up on a soap box. I've been wrangling with people online a good bit of the day, on FB and on another forum I frequent.

Deep down, I remember being an awkward queer kid who found refuge in a club with pounding music and people who told me it was okay to be myself and love whoever I loved.

The message you hear from Christians is gradually changing, but back then the voices of love and tolerance were a fringe outlier. By dribs and drabs, more Christians and their churches are coming around, I can acknowledge that.

But I'm never going to forget being that kid who was told there was no place at the table. For those like me, we found somewhere else to sit. And dance. And belong.

I just hope this tragedy doesn't destroy that refuge forever.

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Guest Razilee

It may not be politically correct, but I believe it to be true that the devil made him do it. Such hatred is beyond normal human hatred. Satan is the enemy of all of us. I pray for all those affected by this tragedy.

Raz :(

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Guest Kenna Dixon

I just hope this tragedy doesn't destroy that refuge forever.

One of the themes of tonight's vigil was "Love Conquers Hate". Orlando's LGBT community is very strong and resilient, and local government backs them all the way. The owners of Pulse are defiant and plan to reopen bigger and better than ever.

So far, we know of three friends who had planned to be at the club Saturday night but changed their minds.

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JJ

There are reports from reputable sources online that the gunman was a regular at the nightclub.

A closet gay man whose homophobia drove him over the edge. The conflict between the ideology he identified with, who murder all LGBT they can find, and his own sexuality must have been extreme.

Tragic for all. The one heartening thing is the enormous change in the support for the LGBT community being expressed even here. It may not last but it will never go back to the way if was.

Johnny

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Guest Kenna Dixon

Within the last hour, I've learned that Westboro Baptist Church members are on their way to Orlando to protest the funerals of those killed at Pulse.

Calls have gone out on social media to motorcycle clubs for volunteers to keep them away peaceably.

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Charlize

The fact that the shooter had issues with his sexuality only brings home and emphasizes the horrible way that homophobia affects all of us. He must have lived in a hell, knowing he was gay while both society and many vocal religious groups made that the devil's realm. I certainly know the shame of being trans*. Hiding my feelings and reality for years hurt me deeply. He must also have felt that pain.

I am not making an excuse for him only pointing out one of the consequences of a world that can't accept anyone who is different. Unfortunately some individuals retaliate instead of accepting themselves.

Regardless the pain still exists and is too often seen as "our fault" by society which to a great extent is responsible.

As some protest the compassion given to the dead they only create more angst in the living. Hopefully time will cure all of us.

Imagine that.

Hugs,

Charlize

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Guest Kenna Dixon

Tonight, a vigil will be held not too far from where I live. One of the speakers will be a friend who has been an ally of the gay community for thirty years. She was my supervisor when I did volunteer work in the office of a hospice organization.

Despite all of her work and that of others like her, homophobia seems to be as entrenched as it ever was.

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Jennifer T

The fact that the shooter had issues with his sexuality only brings home and emphasizes the horrible way that homophobia affects all of us. He must have lived in a hell, knowing he was gay while both society and many vocal religious groups made that the devil's realm. I certainly know the shame of being trans*. Hiding my feelings and reality for years hurt me deeply. He must also have felt that pain.

I am not making an excuse for him only pointing out one of the consequences of a world that can't accept anyone who is different. Unfortunately some individuals retaliate instead of accepting themselves.

Regardless the pain still exists and is too often seen as "our fault" by society which to a great extent is responsible.

As some protest the compassion given to the dead they only create more angst in the living. Hopefully time will cure all of us.

Imagine that.

Hugs,

Charlize

Hope will save the world, Charlize. Thank you for this post.

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