Tag Archives: pulse

What to Say to Your LGBT Friend

IMG_0993You’re a conservative Christian, or at the very least, you’re old school. Maybe you don’t have a particular religion that you ascribe to. Regardless of affiliations, you hold to traditional beliefs about marriage and family.

You want to reach out to your LGBT friends and co-workers, but you don’t know how. Maybe you’re afraid that somehow you would compromise your own convictions. Perhaps you believe that sitting silently is better than accidentally offending someone.

You’re wrong.

Silence only adds to the trauma. In the past two days, I can count the number of people outside of the LGBT community that have reached out to me on one hand. No one knows what to say or do, so they say nothing.

If you love someone whom you know is likely shaken by Orlando’s tragic shooting–tell them. Call, email, text, Tweet, Facebook, SnapChat, whatever….take 25 seconds to tell them that you love them. Let them know that you care, that you’re thinking of them and that you too are horrified by what has happened.

Right now, what we need as a community is to be reminded of all those who love us. We don’t need sermons, admonishing, or silence. We need love, listening and camaraderie.

I was reading on BBC of a young man who walked out of an interview when the reporters tried to minimize the importance of LGBT people as a target. He said something that I’ll paraphrase : “If this had happened to Jews, it would be deemed an anti-semetic hate crime”, he has a point. People everywhere are trying to make it about gun control, they’re trying to make it about “all humanity”, they’re trying to focus on the ISIS side of things (fueling an already pandemic amount of Islamaphobia) and are failing to call it for what it is. A hate crime.

This wasn’t just the largest mass shooting in the USA. It was the largest hate crime involving a shooting in the USA. I’ve seen editorials of people being upset that there wasn’t the same level of outrage for the attacks in Paris. There was, heavens there was. It took less than 24 hours for #Orlando to cease being a trending topic on Twitter. It was replaced by the usual celebrity gossip. Paris was trending much longer.

The reason the outpouring seems louder is because voices that have long been silenced will no longer be silenced. We’ve been afraid to be controversial. We’ve been afraid to speak out against what’s considered politically correct. We’ve had our fears labeled “the gay agenda” and now, we’ve lost incredible and valuable members of our community. We feel it deeply. It cannot continue.

I believe that this event has triggered a change in the way advocates will engage. It starts with you. If you haven’t yet spoken your heart. Do it now. We don’t know how much time we have.

~Cheryl

Reflections on Orlando Shooting

I just can’t stop crying. This is insane. The amount of hate that goes into a crime like this.

Please, if you’re of the mind that God is judging LGBT people through this act of senseless violence, keep it to yourself. Think of the families, the friends, those who are injured but will survive–don’t add to their trauma.

If you’re looking for a way to help, a GoFundMe page has been set up to support the 50+ families effected by loss today and the costs associated with that.

Lastly, if like me, you are too heart broken to participate in Pride events today, that is okay! Take time to feel this loss. Don’t judge yourself for being effected deeply by the deaths of people you didn’t know. As a community, they are us. We are them. 50 people just like you and me were gunned down, it’s right and acceptable to be devastated. Do not allow anyone, even yourself, to nullify that pain.

Likewise, we need to take time to reflect and heal. Moving forward, fear is real, but hiding is not an option. If we hide, hate wins. I learned something when I was young and I keep telling and re-telling myself this truth “being brave isn’t the absence of fear, it’s doing the scary thing anyway.”

With that, I encourage you to be brave, love fiercely and choose not to hide.

~Cheryl