Police: 50 killed in Florida nightclub terror attack.
June 12, 2016 9:12 AM   Subscribe

Fifty people were killed and at least fifty-three more were injured in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. According to ABC news, "The shooter has been identified by officials as Omar Mateen of St. Lucie County, Florida, an American-born citizen with Afghani parents." Mateen had previously been considered a person of interest by the FBI in 2013 and 2014. Mateen was shot and killed by police.

"One officer suffered an eye injury when a bullet struck his Kevlar helmet, said Danny Banks, special agent in charge of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's Orlando bureau. The helmet saved the officer's life, Banks said."

Pulse is not alone: A brief history of attacks on gay clubs

There’s an Urgent Need for Blood Donors in Orlando. Most Gay Men Still Can’t Donate.

Equality Florida:
“We are reeling from the tragic news that a gunman opened fire on the 2am capacity crowd at Pulse leaving 20 people dead and 42 injured according to preliminary reports.

We are heartbroken and angry that senseless violence has once again destroyed lives in our state and in our country.

We have received a steady stream of emails and messages from those seeking to help or to make sense of the senseless. We make no assumptions on motive. We will await the details in tears of sadness and anger. We stand in solidarity and keep our thoughts on all whose lives have been lost or altered forever in this tragedy.”
posted by Drinky Die (1239 comments total) 47 users marked this as a favorite
 
50. Horrifying.
posted by modernnomad at 9:13 AM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


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posted by AlexiaSky at 9:13 AM on June 12, 2016


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posted by Drinky Die at 9:13 AM on June 12, 2016


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posted by One Second Before Awakening at 9:14 AM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


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posted by mochapickle at 9:14 AM on June 12, 2016


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posted by supermedusa at 9:15 AM on June 12, 2016


OneBlood, a local blood center in Orlando, reportedly has temporarily lifted the ban on gay male blood donors.


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posted by rewil at 9:15 AM on June 12, 2016 [55 favorites]


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posted by helloknitty at 9:15 AM on June 12, 2016


My city's pride parade is this weekend and I was waffling about going but this steels my resolve. I will march for those who can't, I will march against hate, I will not be silent.
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 9:16 AM on June 12, 2016 [88 favorites]


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posted by Ber at 9:16 AM on June 12, 2016


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posted by inconsequentialist at 9:16 AM on June 12, 2016


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posted by graventy at 9:16 AM on June 12, 2016


Marriage equality doesn't mean they don't still hate us. We have so much work still to do before LGBTQ people are regarded as fully part of society. Twitter tells me that the shooter's father said that his son was bothered by seeing two men kissing. Apparently his son sought out this club deliberately, not just a random choice.

I'm so sick from this I don't even want to leave my house today.
posted by hippybear at 9:16 AM on June 12, 2016 [85 favorites]


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I am so fucking sick of this. We should not be doing this again.

Here is a GoFundMe page to support victims and their families.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:16 AM on June 12, 2016 [19 favorites]


[We're going to go with this one but this is not a politics or election post, and definitely not a place for fighting about politics or the election. Be respectful.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:16 AM on June 12, 2016 [81 favorites]


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posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:17 AM on June 12, 2016



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posted by ZeusHumms at 9:18 AM on June 12, 2016


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posted by aerotive at 9:20 AM on June 12, 2016


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posted by dismas at 9:20 AM on June 12, 2016


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posted by sukeban at 9:21 AM on June 12, 2016


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And thoughts to all the injured, the friends, the families, and the first responders.

I really wish we lived in a different kind of world.
posted by TwoStride at 9:21 AM on June 12, 2016 [11 favorites]


First that singer was murdered and now this?! Not a good weekend for Orlando.
posted by Rhomboid at 9:21 AM on June 12, 2016


TMZ has a bit more info about the shooter here.
posted by great_radio at 9:21 AM on June 12, 2016


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Fuck guns.
posted by Artw at 9:23 AM on June 12, 2016 [54 favorites]


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posted by riruro at 9:23 AM on June 12, 2016


From Rhea Butcher's Twitter:

THIS is why we have #Pride. Because everyday there is someone who wishes we didn't exist, and yet we do, with love and joy.
posted by harujion at 9:24 AM on June 12, 2016 [140 favorites]


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posted by downtohisturtles at 9:24 AM on June 12, 2016


All I can do is think of that poor woman outside the club weeping as she wonders what happened to her son, whose boyfriend was shot and taken to hospital, and wonder why would someone want to do this to people, why you'd want to create more parents weeping for their children who just wanted to go out and be with their friends and loved one. Isn't the world awful enough already?

Those poor people and their families and friends and loved ones.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 9:24 AM on June 12, 2016 [30 favorites]


First that singer was murdered and now this?

IIRC That guy had multiple guns and ammo two, so probably was planning to go on a spree if he hadn't been immediately tackled.
posted by Artw at 9:24 AM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


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posted by longdaysjourney at 9:25 AM on June 12, 2016


Damn it.
posted by bardophile at 9:25 AM on June 12, 2016


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posted by ghharr at 9:26 AM on June 12, 2016


Horrifying and sickening.
posted by Dip Flash at 9:26 AM on June 12, 2016


Whatever you do, do not read the comments on the TMZ link. (I mean, I know it goes without saying, but I'm saying.)
posted by Rhomboid at 9:27 AM on June 12, 2016 [10 favorites]


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posted by edd at 9:28 AM on June 12, 2016


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posted by Poegar Tryden at 9:28 AM on June 12, 2016


Obviously my thoughts are with 100+ people and their friends and families whose lives have been ended or changed by this attack. But I can't also help but realize how dramatically different Pride will feel this year after the shooting compared to last year after Obergefell.
posted by great_radio at 9:28 AM on June 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


I was in Orlando last week for some excursions to Disney while my wife was at a conference and this is really shocking and depressing that in a place that is designed to deliver joy and wonder to so many people can be victimized by so much violence and suffering.

My heart goes out to the victims and their families and it reinforces my belief that there is still so much work to be done to make the world a kinder safer space.
posted by vuron at 9:28 AM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


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posted by box at 9:29 AM on June 12, 2016


This happening to the Orlando's LGBTQ community in their safe space, during such a celebratory time of the year, is absolutely heartbreaking. My thoughts go out to all the families, survivors, and every LGBTQ person around the world impacted by this.

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posted by The Notorious SRD at 9:29 AM on June 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


If you are in Central Florida, please know that OneBlood is not turning anyone away because of their sexual orientation today. Even if you fall into the one year blood ban for gay men/MSM, your blood will be accepted today.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:29 AM on June 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


I went to college at Stetson University, in DeLand, Florida, about an hour or so away from Orlando. We were in Orlando a lot on the weekends to have fun, and I've been to the place during those haunts. Orlando helped me find myself. It helped me realize who I am, a wonderful soul, and although my status is unclear (I identify as bi and interested in women, but I'm engaged to and mostly dated men previously, so long story), it still feels too close, too personal, too much.

I remember going to my first gay club in Orlando, and thinking that these were my people. The weird ones, that really weren't all that weird. There was beauty, there were friends. My friends from college still have friends who were there, in the middle of everything in Orlando, at Pulse. It hurts, it makes me so angry, and feeling so helpless. Too many dead, and so many tears. Those were my friends. My people.
posted by PearlRose at 9:30 AM on June 12, 2016 [50 favorites]


Fifty people were killed and at least fifty-three more were injured in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

It feels tragically poetic to have the number of people dead (currently) be the exact number of US states. Especially this year, when the White House was gloriously lit up with pride colors.

Fuck the people that do this insane shit.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:30 AM on June 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


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posted by sockermom at 9:31 AM on June 12, 2016


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posted by Halloween Jack at 9:31 AM on June 12, 2016


Absolutely horrific.

Maybe this time something can be done about guns in America?
posted by dazed_one at 9:32 AM on June 12, 2016 [11 favorites]


For anyone needing support today, you may call the Zebra Coalition hotline at (407) 228-1446 to speak to a counselor. The GLBT Community Center of Central Florida will be staffing counselors all day at their location: 946 N. Mills Avenue Orlando, FL 32804.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:32 AM on June 12, 2016 [13 favorites]


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posted by mosk at 9:33 AM on June 12, 2016


Wow this just sucks so much. I'm feeling heartsick today.
posted by peacheater at 9:33 AM on June 12, 2016


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posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:34 AM on June 12, 2016




I've no words.
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posted by chococat at 9:35 AM on June 12, 2016


Oh god. This is so horrible. Fuck.



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posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? at 9:35 AM on June 12, 2016


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posted by mordax at 9:36 AM on June 12, 2016


I don't feel very hopeful about my species right now.
posted by drlith at 9:36 AM on June 12, 2016 [9 favorites]


This is sickening.

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posted by homunculus at 9:36 AM on June 12, 2016


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posted by lizjohn at 9:36 AM on June 12, 2016


My mother is currently a patient at Orlando Regional Medical Center, a quarter mile from the nightclub. She was being taken for a test early this morning when the hospital went into lockdown. It's crazy there right now. Clearly I won't be making it in to see her today, that entire area is still shut down.

I am worried sick for all of my friends here in the LGBT community. I am just numb right now.
posted by Lokheed at 9:36 AM on June 12, 2016 [12 favorites]


This may be the event that finally broke my belief in humankind's innate goodness. I'll never understand hating love.
posted by kariebookish at 9:36 AM on June 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


I had a dozen notifications on my phone when I woke up this morning.

This is so horrifying. Twitter is a shitshow as usual; I've had to block more people in the past couple of hours than in the entire time I've been on Twitter.

I somehow have to go to work today as though, in the biggest mass killing in the USA's history, some asshole didn't specifically target people like me (as in queer; I am not whitewashing that it was a Latinx event) and kill us while we were celebrating our very lives.

In Florida, hundreds of people have to move on with their profoundly changed lives, helps put that in perspective. And yet this was an act of terror (not Islamic terror--it's obvious this asshole was deeply messed up) against queer people everywhere.

I
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:37 AM on June 12, 2016 [18 favorites]


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posted by jim in austin at 9:37 AM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


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posted by billiebee at 9:38 AM on June 12, 2016




🌈
posted by nicebookrack at 9:38 AM on June 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


This young man is a reason not to give up on humanity. Look for the helpers.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:39 AM on June 12, 2016 [59 favorites]


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posted by dreamyshade at 9:40 AM on June 12, 2016


surely this…

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posted by murphy slaw at 9:40 AM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


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posted by rhizome at 9:40 AM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Breaking: Shooter "made pledge of allegiance to ISIS"
posted by Tyrant King Porn Dragon at 9:43 AM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]




Twitter tells me that the shooter's father said that his son was bothered by seeing two men kissing.

NBC News talked to the shooter's father:
Because of his name and heritage, there were immediate questions about Mateen's possible ties to Islamic fundamentalism — but his father said it may have been a recent incident involving two men showing each other affection that set the gunman off.

"We were in Downtown Miami, Bayside, people were playing music. And he saw two men kissing each other in front of his wife and kid and he got very angry," Mir Seddique, told NBC News on Sunday. "They were kissing each other and touching each other and he said, 'Look at that. In front of my son they are doing that.' And then we were in the men's bathroom and men were kissing each other."

"We are saying we are apologizing for the whole incident," Seddique said. "We weren't aware of any action he is taking. We are in shock like the whole country."

Seddique added, "This had nothing to do with religion."
posted by homunculus at 9:44 AM on June 12, 2016 [74 favorites]


Fuck.

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posted by Caduceus at 9:45 AM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


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posted by SandCounty at 9:45 AM on June 12, 2016


This is saddening, sickening news.
My thoughts are with the victims and responders.
posted by jonmc at 9:46 AM on June 12, 2016


Fuck.
posted by Keith Talent at 9:46 AM on June 12, 2016


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posted by Alterscape at 9:47 AM on June 12, 2016


And he saw two men kissing each other in front of his wife and kid and he got very angry
Is this his wife or his ex-wife? I can't read the article because I've hit my limit for the month, but the Washington Post interviewed someone who described herself as his ex-wife, and she says that he was unstable and physically abusive.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:47 AM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


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posted by sharp pointy objects at 9:48 AM on June 12, 2016


Twitter tells me that the shooter's father said that his son was bothered by seeing two men kissing.

I don't know how somebody becomes so steeped in hate that a single kiss is worth fifty lives.
posted by Emma May Smith at 9:48 AM on June 12, 2016 [31 favorites]


America.
posted by Artw at 9:49 AM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


@TrevorProject: #Orlando, we are here for you 24/7 at ❤️866-488-7386. If you need a safe space, The Center is free and inclusive: http://www.thecenterorlando.org ❤️
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:49 AM on June 12, 2016 [12 favorites]


In at least one report, it says that the murderer (I refuse to give him the fame he sought by repeating his name or calling him merely 'the shooter') anyhow, the murderer was enraged because he saw two men showing each other affection..... so he attacks scores of other people, people who were minding their own business like he should have done?

I will never understand the terrorist mindset.

Peace and prayers for the dead and their families; good wishes for the injured.
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posted by easily confused at 9:49 AM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


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posted by doctornemo at 9:51 AM on June 12, 2016


[If you'd like to have an abstract/academic discussion on the politics of gun control in the US, there is an open thread here specifically about that. I think it would be better to take that sort of distanced or theoretical response over there while people are actively mourning and reacting here.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:52 AM on June 12, 2016 [32 favorites]


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posted by chicainthecity at 9:52 AM on June 12, 2016


"We were in Downtown Miami, Bayside, people were playing music. And he saw two men kissing each other in front of his wife and kid and he got very angry [...] They were kissing each other and touching each other and he said, 'Look at that. In front of my son they are doing that.'

I don't understand how anyone could hate so much that they would throw away life with their family and children just to hurt and kill other people. I don't want to understand that kind of blind hatred.
posted by nicebookrack at 9:54 AM on June 12, 2016 [9 favorites]


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posted by introp at 9:56 AM on June 12, 2016


. x50
posted by nubs at 9:56 AM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Another resource for anyone who would like support today:
http://www.glbthotline.org/national-hotline.html
posted by chicainthecity at 9:56 AM on June 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


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posted by lullaby at 9:56 AM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Truly sickened by this awful news.

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posted by haiku warrior at 9:57 AM on June 12, 2016


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posted by drezdn at 9:58 AM on June 12, 2016


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I want to feel angry. I really do. Just feel numb instead.
posted by brecc at 9:59 AM on June 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


Breaking: Shooter "made pledge of allegiance to ISIS"
"What I've heard from the Department of Homeland Security this morning is that, according to local police, he made a pledge of allegiance to ISIL," Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said on CNN, using an alternate acronym for ISIS.

"[He] was heard praying in a foreign language and I don't know if this was at some point during the course of the shooting but that's what I'm hearing, obviously second hand, coming ultimately from local police."
[...]
Schiff cautioned against jumping to conclusions, noting it is still early in the investigation.

"Often the information you get at the very early stage of an investigation turns out to be, at least in part, erroneous," he said.

"So I think we all have to let the FBI do its job and wait to see the full evidence that comes forward."
He says, directly to reporters who he knows will instantly tweet out a "SHOOTER WAS ISIS" headline completely devoid of context. This is exactly the same bullshit I saw in the NYT article, where the writers seemed to be falling all over themselves to speculate on any sort of connection to international radical Islamic terrorism so that nobody has to admit the obvious, which is that we Americans are pretty good at killing ourselves, thank you very much.

Rep. Schiff, if you don't know that there's an ISIS connection, and you know nobody knows that there's an ISIS connection, why don't you take a break from propagandizing for ISIS and shut the fuck up?
posted by J.K. Seazer at 10:01 AM on June 12, 2016 [128 favorites]


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posted by avalonian at 10:02 AM on June 12, 2016


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posted by Myca at 10:03 AM on June 12, 2016


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posted by getawaysticks at 10:03 AM on June 12, 2016


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posted by What'sAPedantWalter? at 10:03 AM on June 12, 2016






People do not react to gay people displaying affection, or to gay people in general, in a violent and hateful way unless they learn it from someone else. No one is born a raging homophobe. Call that kind of thing out when and where you see or hear it and you can help, however slightly, to break that chain.
posted by delfin at 10:04 AM on June 12, 2016 [18 favorites]




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posted by Kabanos at 10:05 AM on June 12, 2016


Melt The Guns.

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posted by Devils Rancher at 10:05 AM on June 12, 2016 [52 favorites]


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posted by Tawny Owl at 10:08 AM on June 12, 2016


i wrote this today:

in spaces that we are supposed to be safest, someone can come, and open fire. after marriage, and after the complacent blessing of the state, we think that everything will be safe, but the hate that people have for a man placing his lips on the mouth of another man, is more often not lethal. never be complicit. never forgot that people hate us so much that they are willing to kill us. never forgot that they will enter our most sacred spaces, the spaces where we have created so we are safe, and they will gun us down. they will take the holidays that we have created, so we can cave space for who we are, and they will take the spaces that we have created to be safe, and they will kill us. they will hunt us like dogs, beating us to death on city streets, and we are used to that, but they have entered our citadels, and we are not safe. pray for the dead, for everyone of those fifty people, who thought they were safe, who thought they could have a few hours to dance and just get angry. this is not a single person who broke. this is the upswing, the backlash, the natural consquence of the fueled fire--of the fire that proves they hate us. this is the lack of sex ed, this is the trans bathroom laws, this is that as people are bleeding and that donations are needed, that we cannot donate, this is the conversations about queerness that occurs in our churches and temples, this is what happens when the conversation sill is told, that we can be hated with murderous fury. in our house. they killed us in our house.
posted by PinkMoose at 10:08 AM on June 12, 2016 [31 favorites]


This is via NBC now: @PeteWilliamsNBC reporting now the suspect phoned a 9-1-1 number in FL and swore allegiance to head of ISIS
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:08 AM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


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posted by trip and a half at 10:08 AM on June 12, 2016


.

Hopefully that can stay.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:09 AM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's important to note that swearing an oath of allegiance to ISIS (well, to their Caliph) is different to actually being a member trained and resourced by them. Anybody wishing to do something unspeakably awful to their fellow humans can take that oath and wrap themselves up in religious legitimacy, regardless of how much contact they have with the organization.
posted by Emma May Smith at 10:09 AM on June 12, 2016 [48 favorites]


This breaks my heart, y'all. It's pride month, it's summer. There's been so much joy in the community, with people across the world sharing pride photos, going to events, being able to learn about our history.

I'm devastated that this tragedy has smeared what is supposed to be such an enriching time.

I fear for all the young lgbt who see this, and the ‪pride‬ they've built up is shattered. The young lgbt who don't feel safe coming out now. The young lgbt who will have family talk negative about our community because of this.
Stay strong. I'm ‪proud‬ of y'all.
posted by FirstMateKate at 10:10 AM on June 12, 2016 [12 favorites]


Yeah, Adam Sandler could call 911 and swear an oath of allegiance to ISIS but that doesn't make them responsible for the next shitty movie he makes.
posted by delfin at 10:11 AM on June 12, 2016 [61 favorites]


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posted by Small Dollar at 10:11 AM on June 12, 2016


The Washington Post interviewed someone who described herself as his ex-wife, and she says that he was unstable and physically abusive.

He was "violent and mentally unstable and beat her repeatedly" but wasn't very religious, according to the article. But that was in 2009, her parents intervened and brought her to safety, and she's never had any contact with him since.
posted by effbot at 10:11 AM on June 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


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posted by Catblack at 10:12 AM on June 12, 2016


Anger is an entirely appropriate response.
posted by Artw at 10:13 AM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


Yeah, Adam Sandler could call 911 and swear an oath of allegiance to ISIS but that doesn't make them responsible for the next shitty movie he makes.

Oh, for sure. This man was, however, on the FBI watch list.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:13 AM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


this is the upswing, the backlash, the natural consquence of the fueled fire--of the fire that proves they hate us

Precisely. This guy isn't from ISIS, he's from American homophobia and straight-man entitled murderous rage (like that guy who killed that poor singer this weekend).

It pisses me off so much that this will be used against Muslims by the same right-wingers who profit off homophobia. They hate us, but they're happy to use violence against us if it's convenient.
posted by Frowner at 10:14 AM on June 12, 2016 [122 favorites]


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posted by spinifex23 at 10:15 AM on June 12, 2016


this is horrific. this is the worst attack on LGBTQ people in my lifetime.
posted by jb at 10:16 AM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


He could be number one superfan of ISIS forever and he'd still be part of Americas guns and homophobia problem.
posted by Artw at 10:16 AM on June 12, 2016 [108 favorites]


This guy isn't from ISIS, he's from American homophobia and straight-man entitled murderous rage

Sadly, he can be all of those things at once.
posted by gwint at 10:16 AM on June 12, 2016 [33 favorites]


"I will never understand the terrorist mindset."

where the mental defect ends and the 'terrorist mindset' begins is an open question IMO

shooting up your high school, an elementary school, the immigrant center you were taking classes at, the military bases [two incidents] you work at, movie theaters [two incidents], a black church, your workplace's holiday party, the college community you live in, a unitarian church, an abortion clinic . . .
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 10:16 AM on June 12, 2016 [9 favorites]


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posted by cazoo at 10:17 AM on June 12, 2016


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I'm so, so sorry.
posted by Too-Ticky at 10:17 AM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


It's Ramadan and I was just listening to Muhammed Ali's memorial on the radio a couple of days ago, hearing him praised by Muslims, Jews, Christians and others for his strong, loving, open-minded faith. That is how I think of Islam. My Muslim friends bring flowers to the moms at my Unitarian Universalist Church on Mothers' Day. That is how I think of Islam. This person filled with hatred and violence was no representative of the Islam that I am familiar with.
posted by Cookiebastard at 10:17 AM on June 12, 2016 [86 favorites]


This morning when the media was saying it "might be" terrorism I thought the media might actually be coming around to describing these shootings as they should be. Should have instantly twigged that they were using the shooter being Muslim as a get-out for that.
posted by Artw at 10:17 AM on June 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


ok -- that sounds so stupid. this is one of the worst attacks on LGBTQ people ever.

But I had a weird reaction to 9/11: while it saddened me, I didn't relate to the victims personally. I wasn't American, I knew no one in New York - never even been there.

I've never been to Florida either - but I've been in that club.
posted by jb at 10:18 AM on June 12, 2016 [18 favorites]


I'm heartbroken and angry.

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posted by mixedmetaphors at 10:18 AM on June 12, 2016


Precisely. This guy isn't from ISIS, he's from American homophobia and straight-man entitled murderous rage (like that guy who killed that poor singer this weekend).

Yeah, he can be both. ISIS preaches a murderously anti-gay ideology and we are kidding ourselves if we believe that didn't feed into his actions, at least in some way.

If somebody blew up a black church and "pledged allegiance to the KKK" we would all agree that they shared some responsibility.
posted by Tyrant King Porn Dragon at 10:18 AM on June 12, 2016 [35 favorites]


No one is born a raging homophobe.

Yes. Omar Mateen was American-born and raised. He's as much or more a product of North American culture as he is of Islam's. He was known to be abusive and unstable, and yet he had access to American-made assault weaponry. It is the U.S. that needs to look at home and figure out how to prevent or at least decrease mass shootings.
posted by orange swan at 10:18 AM on June 12, 2016 [39 favorites]


REMINDER:

If you find this kind of news overwhelming, distressing, and traumatic. Consider signing out of your social media/news-feeds. In a few days the news will settle and more truthful and reliable information will be out. And emotions will also not be at as high a level.

I for one will be checking out of this thread and my twitter feed for the next couple of days. It's just too much for me. I hope everyone is safe.

And remember, we should all try to be kinder to each other.
posted by Fizz at 10:19 AM on June 12, 2016 [67 favorites]


wasn't very religious,

Once again, there's evidence that many Islamists aren't highly religious. The Paris murderers didn't live Muslim lives even up to the time of their attacks. They are, instead, often angry young men who have hijacked a religion to legitimate their own anger.
posted by Emma May Smith at 10:19 AM on June 12, 2016 [88 favorites]


via Red Durkin: Love and strength to LGBT people who have the courage to leave the house today. Love and strength to those who simply don't.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:20 AM on June 12, 2016 [9 favorites]


If somebody blew up a black church and "pledged allegiance to the KKK" we would all agree that they shared some responsibility.


Pretty sure the Dylan Roof case shows they would be a "lone wolf".
posted by Artw at 10:20 AM on June 12, 2016 [43 favorites]


posted this on my social media:

Let's be clear: homophobia and transphobia know no religion, race, or creed. Don't try to blame this on Islam when whole states are banning trans people from using bathrooms and fighting the codification of gay and trans identities as protected classes. The line between legal discrimination and mass murder is not as far as some craven, cringing politicians would have you believe.
posted by schroedinger at 10:21 AM on June 12, 2016 [55 favorites]


During Pride month, Ramadan, and at a place where people feel safe and free :(

So very, very sad. Deepest condolences to all affected.

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posted by fraula at 10:22 AM on June 12, 2016 [11 favorites]


As someone whose own safe space was violated by indiscriminate violence when I was a student at Virginia Tech, my heart breaks for the victims, their friends and family, and their whole community, not only in Orlando but through the web of human connection and love that they have built which extends across the country and the world. To those who survive, please take care of each other and yourselves. During this time the vultures who call themselves journalists will seek to create anger, blame, division, and controversy. Turning off the news and spending time grieving with your loved ones can be an important step in preventing them from retraumatizing you and your community by exposing yourselves to those who would profit from your grief, anger, and confusion.

Remember always that these acts of hate target the web of love that most of us spend our lives building together. No one can minimize the horrible impact of such hate, but for every one of these acts, there are hundreds, thousands of acts of love and kindness that bind us together, and in the end that web is stronger than their hate.

Today I will grieve the victims of this awful act, and remember and grieve again those who came before.
posted by biogeo at 10:22 AM on June 12, 2016 [12 favorites]


often angry young men who have hijacked a religion to legitimate their own anger

and the religious movement hijacks them, too.

'meme theory' or whatever -- that our very thought processes are incorporeal organisms moving among us is interesting, and useful.

we humans overall have got a lot of garbage in our heads, still
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 10:23 AM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


Sad. Those people.
My country.
posted by mule98J at 10:24 AM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Pretty sure the Dylan Roof case shows they would be a "lone wolf".
posted by Artw at 10:20 AM on June 12 [+] [!]


Everyone here on Metafilter knew exactly who to blame when that happened. We all understood that Roof was enraptured by white supremacy, neo-Confederates and and the alt-right idiots who infest our nation. We understood that they share in the blame for his actions.

Don't back down from fighting fascism just because it's politically awkward. Call out bigotry wherever you find it.
posted by Tyrant King Porn Dragon at 10:26 AM on June 12, 2016 [31 favorites]


.
posted by snuffleupagus at 10:27 AM on June 12, 2016


Statement from the Transgender Law Center:

We are heartbroken today and we send our thoughts and strength to those injured and the families of those who died in the shooting in Orlando. The shooting, which media outlets report took at least 50 lives with over 50 more wounded, was an attack on an LGBT nightclub on Latin night. In this first moment of shock and grief, we call on our community not to promote Islamophobia and unfounded assumptions.

What we do know is that one need not look outside of the U.S. mainstream to find a climate of extremely violent rhetoric, systems, and laws and policies targeting LGBT people of color. As we mourn those lost this morning, we also hold in our hearts the transgender people, the majority of whom were Black and Brown transgender women, murdered in record numbers this past year, and those who have been torn from their families and subjected to assault in inhumane immigration detention centers and prisons. We continue to demand safety for our communities, and an end to violence in all aspects of our lives – from homes and healthcare to schools and workplaces to state legislatures and nightclubs.
posted by gingerbeer at 10:27 AM on June 12, 2016 [22 favorites]


Really hoping that we see "no fucks Obama" this afternoon.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:27 AM on June 12, 2016 [22 favorites]


What is wrong with this country that we keep letting things like this happen? Fuck the 2nd amendment. Fuck all the hate.
posted by HiddenInput at 10:28 AM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


the FDA ban on gay donors has apparently *not* been lifted at OneBlood:

http://gawker.com/reports-orlando-blood-center-lifts-ban-on-blood-donati-1781837902

https://twitter.com/my1blood/status/742035796824186880
posted by l_zzie at 10:28 AM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


If somebody blew up a black church and "pledged allegiance to the KKK" we would all agree that they shared some responsibility.

It should also be noted that encouraging and recruiting Western lone wolves is a deliberate ISIS strategy, even if they aren't providing direct material assistance.

FBI chief warns of Islamic State recruits, lone wolf attacks:
The radicalization of Americans by Islamic State and other groups, particularly through sophisticated use of social media, is a top concern for the FBI as it grapples with evolving terrorism threats, Director James Comey said on Thursday.

Like other militant groups, Islamic State, also known as ISIL, has called for lone wolf attacks in Western countries and has specifically encouraged attacks on soldiers, law enforcement officers and the intelligence community, Comey said at an appropriations subcommittee budget hearing.
Oh, and in more terrifying news:
Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein asked Comey about a more tangible piece of that threat: that known or suspected terrorists are not banned from buying guns in the United States.

She cited a General Accountability Office report that, from 2004 to 2014, 91 percent of the 2,233 known or suspected terrorists on the federal terrorism watchlist who tried to buy a firearm were successful in passing a background check.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:29 AM on June 12, 2016 [23 favorites]


.

I am sick with sadness. This is my community, my safe space. When will the violence end? When can my mom stop worrying that I'll be killed at a gay bar?

Denver Pride is next weekend. I'm going, I'm performing, and I will celebrate life and love.
posted by switcheroo at 10:30 AM on June 12, 2016 [23 favorites]


So would this be the third worst terrorist attack on US soil, after 9/11 and OKC? (My five minutes on Wikipedia says yes.)
posted by Jacqueline at 10:31 AM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


For anyone in San Francisco, we're organizing a vigil at 8 pm this evening at Castro and Market.
posted by gingerbeer at 10:31 AM on June 12, 2016 [12 favorites]


So IS blood donation from gay men dangerous? If so, how can they lift the ban, even under these circumstances? If not, why is the ban there to begin with?
posted by small_ruminant at 10:34 AM on June 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


And the worst mass shooting by a single individual in US history, taking that horrible distinction from Virginia Tech. For the sake of us all, I had hoped we would remain the worst, though in my heart I knew it was a matter of time.
posted by biogeo at 10:34 AM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


.

So, so unbearably sad.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 10:34 AM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


.

I'm so sorry. Nobody deserved this.
posted by Harald74 at 10:35 AM on June 12, 2016


.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:36 AM on June 12, 2016


.
posted by and they trembled before her fury at 10:36 AM on June 12, 2016


Horrifying. With additional pain being inflicted by being banned from donating blood.
posted by knapah at 10:36 AM on June 12, 2016


[Gun policy debate here, general political debate here, threats and bigotry nowhere. Thanks.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:36 AM on June 12, 2016 [51 favorites]


.
posted by Mitheral at 10:36 AM on June 12, 2016


I'm going with angry. Angry at American gun culture, mostly. Angry at fanatic religions that encourage nutjobs to go on murderous rampages. Angry for so many young people partying in a club, murdered. I mean fuck, how do you kill 50 people by yourself in a building? With American-sanctioned assault rifles, presumably, but still. Also angry at the internalized homophobia that has me reading the murderer's father's statement about "men kissing in front his kids" and thinking "oh gee, maybe those gays shouldn't have been so publicly affectionate", knowing full well how internalized-homophobic that sentiment is. I've been out 30 years and still think stupid shit like that sometimes.

Mostly angry at gun culture. It could have been a straight nightclub, or another elementary school, or another women's health clinic. This time it was a gay club, and that hurts doubly for me.

Mostly just angry.
posted by Nelson at 10:36 AM on June 12, 2016 [36 favorites]


.
posted by Little Dawn at 10:37 AM on June 12, 2016


[LA link has been posted already, trying to keep the thread relatively streamlined while keeping up with very fast-moving and tense posts, hit the contact form with moderation questions rather than asking in-thread.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:38 AM on June 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


I've been posting a lot of dots lately and this one really sucks.

.
posted by jabo at 10:39 AM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


.
posted by marimeko at 10:39 AM on June 12, 2016


.
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:40 AM on June 12, 2016


Obama will be speaking in a few minutes: PBS live ustream
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 10:40 AM on June 12, 2016


Sigh. I know someone who frequents Pulse and lives a few blocks away. Thankfully he wasn't there last night. I'm pretty angry that it seems to be all about whether the gunman is ISI related or not. That ain't the problem, folks. Easy access to guns is the fucking problem.

He could still have done some damage with only a knife, but there's no way he would have killed 50 people and injured even more.
posted by wierdo at 10:40 AM on June 12, 2016 [19 favorites]


.
posted by an animate objects at 10:40 AM on June 12, 2016




.
posted by Diagonalize at 10:42 AM on June 12, 2016


I am so very sorry that our country will be seen by others as a gun-crazy, homophobic nation. This latest incident just makes it harder to believe that Americans care about peace and dignity for all citizens. Orlando's loss is our loss. And I am so very sorry for our loss.
posted by Lynsey at 10:42 AM on June 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


So IS blood donation from gay men dangerous? If so, how can they lift the ban, even under these circumstances? If not, why is the ban there to begin with?

No, no idea, hangover from AIDS panic. All they have to do is screen on behavioural grounds and perform a rapid HIV test at time of donation and we'd be allowed to donate while controlling for other risk factors.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:43 AM on June 12, 2016 [18 favorites]


.

I have no words for this. How could one human being do such a thing?
posted by octothorpe at 10:44 AM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


In response to a nightclub shooting in Orlando Sunday morning, members of the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations are urging Muslims to donate blood to those who are injured.

"We condemn this monstrous attack and offer our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of all those killed or injured," Rasha Munarak, the CAIR Florida Orlando regional coordinator. "The Muslim community joins our fellow Americans in repudiating anyone or any group that would claim to justify or excuse such an appalling act of violence."
posted by Cookiebastard at 10:46 AM on June 12, 2016 [33 favorites]




Please do not forget that, while all queer people are undoubtedly impacted by this, it was Latinx queer people at the center of these attacks. I say this because this detail is conspicuously missing from much of the major mainstream media reportage, and I fear that the omission of race here is a deliberate tactic to sell a nationalist narrative of radical Islam versus white American culture. It is important that we counter this co-opting of queer culture for nationalistic and Islamophobic motives.
posted by Conspire at 10:47 AM on June 12, 2016 [148 favorites]


I've just had to twice explain to my mother that this time it wasn't the police killing people.

This fucking world.

None of these people should have died and my condolences go out to them and theirs.
posted by comealongpole at 10:48 AM on June 12, 2016 [10 favorites]


..................................................
posted by augustimagination at 10:53 AM on June 12, 2016


#WeAreOrlando website with information on vigils around the country.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:54 AM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


So sad, I wish we could do better at creating a world where all know love and don't have to live lives in fear. We all share this Earth together, and what helps, helps us all. What hurts, hurts us all. Hugs to anyone who wants them.
posted by jet_pack_in_a_can at 10:54 AM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


How could one human being do such a thing?

And it almost happened twice, in one morning.

I'm pretty angry that it seems to be all about whether the gunman is ISI related or not. That ain't the problem, folks. Easy access to guns is the fucking problem.

The original tweet of sheriff's report says the person arrested in LA had five pounds of explosives, assault weapons, long rifles, taped clips, and security gear. The car had Indiana plates.
posted by snuffleupagus at 10:55 AM on June 12, 2016


i'm so tired.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:55 AM on June 12, 2016 [35 favorites]


.
posted by Faintdreams at 10:56 AM on June 12, 2016


So sad, I wish we could do better at creating a world where all know love and don't have to live lives in fear. We all share this Earth together, and what helps, helps us all. What hurts, hurts us all. Hugs to anyone who wants them.

FWIW, it helps me to think about how, on the same day, brave people marched in Kiev despite being themselves threatened with a "bloodbath."
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:57 AM on June 12, 2016 [9 favorites]




The original tweet of sheriff's report says the person arrested in LA had five pounds of explosives, assault weapons, long rifles, taped clips, and security gear. The car had Indiana plates.

The assholes are coming out of the woodwork. I work in a fairly gay-heavy and gay-friendly area. I'm starting to get a little worried as well as angry and saddened.
posted by jonmc at 10:58 AM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Obama talking now
posted by mochapickle at 10:59 AM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


I wonder how this will affect the US conversation about the rampant homophobia that exists on a national level here in the US. Sadly, at this point, the talk is mostly about his connection to ISIS or sensational descriptions of violence (I had to abandon MSNBC for C-Span while waiting for the president's speech after listening to an anchor describe the horror of the audio I could get to hear if I stuck around through the ad-break) so I suspect the news will be mostly pitting two vulnerable groups against each other. With homophobic politicians using these deaths as an excuse to spew anti-Muslim hate.

This is so unbelievably depressing.
posted by AtoBtoA at 11:01 AM on June 12, 2016 [10 favorites]


Obama: An attack on the LGBT community is an attack on all of us.
posted by mochapickle at 11:03 AM on June 12, 2016 [23 favorites]




Just for context, 70 other people were also killed by guns this weekend in the U.S.
posted by JackFlash at 11:04 AM on June 12, 2016 [20 favorites]


I am disappointed by that speech. A whole lot of "the people of Orlando" and took a while to get to talking about queer people. I like that he recognized gay nightclubs for what they are, but it took him way too long to get there. Better than nothing I suppose.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:06 AM on June 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


...................................................
posted by Doc Ezra at 11:06 AM on June 12, 2016


.
posted by erst at 11:06 AM on June 12, 2016


I dream that one day a person's skin color is as unimportant as the color of their eyes. And that someday, a person's religion or sexuality is as uninteresting as a person's favorite food.
posted by double bubble at 11:06 AM on June 12, 2016 [7 favorites]




.
posted by brainwane at 11:08 AM on June 12, 2016


fffm, Obama looked exhausted to me. Not an excuse for the way the speech was written, but very likely he's in his 12th hour or something of knowing about this.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:08 AM on June 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


Obama seemed tired and depressed to me. "Actively doing nothing is an option." Wow.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:08 AM on June 12, 2016 [9 favorites]


This absolutely vile and horrifying.
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 11:09 AM on June 12, 2016


obamas speech was shitty and didn't make me feel any better
posted by Strass at 11:09 AM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yeah, he can be both. ISIS preaches a murderously anti-gay ideology and we are kidding ourselves if we believe that didn't feed into his actions, at least in some way.

If somebody blew up a black church and "pledged allegiance to the KKK" we would all agree that they shared some responsibility.


When you say "we", you might be referring to this community, as you later emphasize.

The rest of America, not so much. Blaming this on ISIS will allow most of straight, non-Muslim America to wash their hands of their bigotry and toxicity against the Queer community, and double down on their hatred of the Muslim community.

Just look at Mike Huckabee's statement, which completely elides what kind of club this was, in what month this was, and his part in creating an atmosphere of hate, and focuses entirely on blaming "Afghans", and "Muslims", claiming that it's not his ilk also fomenting this kind of environment.

So, sorry, no. This "we'd all agree that they shared some responsibility", outside of communities that lean left, is utter. fucking. bullshit.
posted by qcubed at 11:09 AM on June 12, 2016 [29 favorites]


Drinky Die, I think he said actively doing nothing is a decision.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:10 AM on June 12, 2016 [12 favorites]


d took a while to get to talking about queer people. I like that he recognized gay nightclubs for what they are, but it took him way too long to get there. Better than nothing I suppose.

I found the speech to be pretty boilerplate stuff, but this criticism reads like you were absolutely determined to find a way to be offended by it.
posted by the bricabrac man at 11:10 AM on June 12, 2016 [17 favorites]




.
posted by sammyo at 11:11 AM on June 12, 2016


.
posted by onecircleaday at 11:12 AM on June 12, 2016


I'm just fucking exhausted. I have C-PTSD already. I'm at UCLA. We had a shooting 2 weeks ago. Today, I was supposed to be doing PrEP outreach at L.A. PRIDE. I lost 50 members of my community to terrorism this morning. What can we do? We have got to stop this.
posted by Sophie1 at 11:12 AM on June 12, 2016 [21 favorites]


I'm not sure what Obama could have said differently at this point. Information is still coming in. I don't think this will be the last statement.
posted by mochapickle at 11:12 AM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


Drinky Die, I think he said actively doing nothing is a decision.

That could be. He definitely wasn't saying it was an option/decision he thought we should take. Wasn't trying to imply that, he was calling out the people who will be making that choice. It was a depressingly resigned statement.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:13 AM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


No comforting lie this time.
posted by Artw at 11:14 AM on June 12, 2016 [11 favorites]


.
posted by klausness at 11:14 AM on June 12, 2016


[Removed a long derail all responding to a deleted comment.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:14 AM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


.
posted by get off of my cloud at 11:14 AM on June 12, 2016


obamas speech was shitty and didn't make me feel any better

Yeah, but I don't blame him. I mean, fuck, it's the 15th time. He knows he's going to have to do it again before he leaves office. What is there left to say? He's been disappointed and he's been angry and he's been sad and still, nothing.
posted by yasaman at 11:14 AM on June 12, 2016 [82 favorites]


.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:15 AM on June 12, 2016


.

It was terrible enough when the news first broke. It gets so much worse the more details that come out. I don't know what to say anymore.
posted by SisterHavana at 11:15 AM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


I found the speech to be pretty boilerplate stuff, but this criticism reads like you were absolutely determined to find a way to be offended by it.

That's a really terrible read of how a gay man is feeling today.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:16 AM on June 12, 2016 [19 favorites]


.
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 11:16 AM on June 12, 2016


Make no mistake this was a terrorist attack directly aimed at LGBT people.
posted by Annika Cicada at 11:16 AM on June 12, 2016 [35 favorites]


Oh my god. I just woke up at 4AM to get a flight and go on vacation. I hope they'll let me on the plane with tears running down my cheeks.
posted by Diag at 11:17 AM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


That this happened during pride month really twists the knife.

Pride week just wrapped up here, in Edmonton, with a big party downtown. A bunch of us reminisced about how much has changed in the last several years (the first parade here was only in 1992), when pride was small and scandalous to now where it is a huge family-friendly event and all the politicians scramble to be seen at it. It felt like maybe the bad old days were just that, finally relegated to the past, and the kids these days (kids! I am only 32 but I feel ancient!) would only hear about it as hazy stories from the past, or in some far off horrible repressive regime. That stuff just doesn't happen *here* anymore.

Then I woke up this morning and this had happened.
posted by selenized at 11:17 AM on June 12, 2016 [11 favorites]


This is Obama's 18th statement following a mass shooting. He clearly desperately wanted to pass legislation to prevent this, and he was blocked at every turn. He can't accomplish that alone. So if you're an American, it might be worth asking what you personally can do to prevent more shootings like this. Because it's pretty hard to be eloquent the 18th time you're talking about something, when it's 100% clear you will not be able to accomplish anything to prevent the next time.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 11:18 AM on June 12, 2016 [105 favorites]


My heart pours out to Muslim queer people who inevtably will be erased by the coming onslaught of islamaphobia.
posted by Annika Cicada at 11:19 AM on June 12, 2016 [62 favorites]


It may be cynical, but I have to think that if Obama's speech was weak, it was to leave the debate for Hillary and Trump (and us, by extension).
posted by rhizome at 11:19 AM on June 12, 2016


We gave blood right before the lines got huge. Two or three times around some blocks. Too upset to comment further.
posted by Splunge at 11:20 AM on June 12, 2016 [18 favorites]


if Obama's speech was weak, it was to leave the debate for Hillary and Trump

Trump is too busy congratulating himself.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:21 AM on June 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


Obama: An attack on the LGBT community is an attack on all of us.

I don't know. This bothered me. This was clearly an attack on a specific group of Americans. Not "all" Americans. This wasn't an attack on vague "American values" it was an attack on very specific values. This couldn't have happened anywhere. It doesn't benefit anybody to speak in generalities.

I understand this was probably a quickly put together speech and the details are vague but speeches frame the conversation. This was not an attack on America it was an attack on homosexuality.

Hopefully he'll speak deeper and more eloquently about this in the future.
posted by AtoBtoA at 11:21 AM on June 12, 2016 [12 favorites]


I'm sort of stunned that all the headlines seem to be saying that the shooter was pro-ISIS rather than the more obvious anti-gay.
posted by JackFlash at 11:22 AM on June 12, 2016 [17 favorites]






It's the narrative they'll always go for. And don't mention guns.
posted by Artw at 11:24 AM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


It's not surprising at all. Accurately reporting the homophobia means the spotlight gets shined on a lot of people. Othering this murderer as a Muslim plays right along with the war on terror playbook.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:25 AM on June 12, 2016 [16 favorites]


As someone pointed out, claiming to be ISIS is the Ramones t-shirt of terrorism.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 11:25 AM on June 12, 2016 [37 favorites]


This was clearly an attack on a specific group of Americans. Not "all" Americans. This wasn't an attack on vague "American values" it was an attack on very specific values. This couldn't have happened anywhere. It doesn't benefit anybody to speak in generalities.

Surely the idea is to drive home the point that an attack on LGBT citizens as such is an attack on basic American values. It's lip service, but it's the same statement that we'd expect be made in the event of an attack on a religiously or racially identified celebration. It's a principle worth stating, even if talk is cheap.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:26 AM on June 12, 2016 [22 favorites]


I'm sort of stunned that all the headlines seem to be saying that the shooter was pro-ISIS rather than the more obvious anti-gay.

well yeah, obviously. it's way easier to get people riled up about hating ISIS than it is to get them to be angry about the actions of someone whose homophobia might mirror their own.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:26 AM on June 12, 2016 [26 favorites]


First, I am so saddened and horrified by this cruel act and hope the days to come bring some peace to the families and friends of the people murdered at Pulse.

The rest of America, not so much. Blaming this on ISIS will allow most of straight, non-Muslim America to wash their hands of their bigotry and toxicity against the Queer community, and double down on their hatred of the Muslim community.

I am so afraid of how this feeds into the current political climate. I'm an Afghan-American Muslim (female) raised in a religious household. I can't recall any homophobic statements, slurs, etc, ever spoken by either of my parents. When I went off to college, some of the best friends I made (to this day) were gay men. I spent a lot of time in the local gay club because I loved the open-hearted environment and because I loved to dance. I guess I made a choice to be inclusive. The point I'm getting at is that despite our similarities, he made a choice too. Living in the US, with unabashedly vocal homophobes and hearing discussions about how awful and dangerous members of LGBT community were especially to children on any radio station/television channel/his neighbors/his co-workers, etc., certainly played a part in the choice he made.
posted by nikitabot at 11:27 AM on June 12, 2016 [113 favorites]


.

Shepherd and I will definitely be marching in our city's Pride parade on Saturday to show our love and support for the LGBT community.
posted by Kitteh at 11:28 AM on June 12, 2016 [9 favorites]


I wanna go to Pride but I am too heartsick to get out of bed.
posted by Space Kitty at 11:30 AM on June 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


This was not an attack on America it was an attack on homosexuality.

I'd interpreted it to mean that our LGBT community is an inherent part of America, and that as Americans we are responsible for maintaining the safety of the LGBT community.

I think there was so much more he wanted to say.
posted by mochapickle at 11:30 AM on June 12, 2016 [29 favorites]


I'm sort of stunned that all the headlines seem to be saying that the shooter was pro-ISIS rather than the more obvious anti-gay.

I'm not. It's an excuse that some will feel absolves them from their complicity in creating an environment where this could happen. It's fingerpointing.

"I would never!" cry those who easily type out, "It only takes one good guy with a gun..."

"I would never!" cry those who call LGBTQ+ "abominations" against "god".

"I would never!" cry those who work tirelessly to legalize discrimination against queer individuals on "religious" grounds.

"I would never!" cry those who view all Muslims as the frightening Other, here to destroy the "American" way of life.

We saw this with Dylan Roof. Once links to white supremacist movements were uncovered, those who spent their lifetimes ignoring the concerns of black people, those who smugly proclaimed that "all lives matter" and "concerned" themselves with black-on-black violence, those who thought nothing of redlining, of systematic plundering of black wealth? It was so easy for them to point the finger at Dylan Roof and the KKK and say, "I would never!"
posted by qcubed at 11:30 AM on June 12, 2016 [50 favorites]


Same, nikitabot, except I wasn't raised in an especially religious household. It's just--I'm queer too, and this is like, horrible on every front. As if it wasn't already, but you know. Even more horrible. I'm tired and angry and heartbroken already anticipating and seeing what the media narrative will be, how it will enable rhetorical and likely actual violence on so many fronts.

I am so tired and heartsick.
posted by yasaman at 11:31 AM on June 12, 2016 [12 favorites]


I don't know. This bothered me. This was clearly an attack on a specific group of Americans. Not "all" Americans. This wasn't an attack on vague "American values" it was an attack on very specific values. This couldn't have happened anywhere. It doesn't benefit anybody to speak in generalities.

When I heard the news this morning, my first thought was "Oh my God, those poor people," not "Oh my God, those poor LGBTQ people." I think that is the point Obama was trying to make.
posted by gatorae at 11:31 AM on June 12, 2016 [31 favorites]


Heartsick. I don't want to feel hopeless but I do. I don't see any end to this horror. My heart hurts for those who were murdered and for their loved ones.
posted by bookmammal at 11:32 AM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Space Kitty, my fiancé and I are going to the Tony Awards tonight. And now in part for you, and every other queer person too heartsick to go out today.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:32 AM on June 12, 2016 [9 favorites]


How horrific for the victims and the people they leave behind. My thoughts also go out to all LGBTQ Mefites, I can't even begin to imagine how difficult it must be for your right now. An attack on you is an attack on all of us.

.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 11:33 AM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


My heart has been ripped out.
posted by Annika Cicada at 11:33 AM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


gatorae, I think for some of us it's the wrong point to be making right now. Those victims were chosen for a really specific reason, and eliding that is to ignore a big part of the problem.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:34 AM on June 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


gatorae, I think the larger point is, though, that the Obama administration has been great in the past few months about calling out transphobia and homophobia in light of the HB2 in North Carolina and all of the bathroom nonsense. And so to have him sort of ignore the direct targets today feels disappointing.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:34 AM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]




I don't know. This bothered me. This was clearly an attack on a specific group of Americans. Not "all" Americans. This wasn't an attack on vague "American values" it was an attack on very specific values. This couldn't have happened anywhere. It doesn't benefit anybody to speak in generalities.

Yeah, have no idea what you mean here, because it *sounds* like "fuck it, this is queer people problem, why would the President include all of us in an issue for them?" And that can't be what you took the time to think about and type out right?

'Cause the leader of any country should of course be taking an attack targeted against any specific group of citizens is an attack on all citizens.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:36 AM on June 12, 2016 [9 favorites]


I knew it was gonna get fucked up going into the election season but this is just devastating.
posted by Annika Cicada at 11:36 AM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


Space Kitty, I hope you can find the will to go. Common grief with your community is a powerful experience for helping to process that grief. You know what's best for yourself, of course, but I think you will find it helpful.
posted by biogeo at 11:37 AM on June 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


My daughter came out to me this year. It didn't come as a surprise. All I want for her is to be happy, to love and be loved, and to be safe. Today is a reminder that there are still people out there who hate her for...reasons...no good reasons as far as I can tell; it chokes me up to think about it because she is so sweet and empathetic and droll.

In 1982 I married outside my race and never thought twice about it. Is it too much to ask that (if she wants to) she can marry someone someday with the same freedom?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 11:37 AM on June 12, 2016 [33 favorites]


And can everyone please center on LGBT people
posted by Annika Cicada at 11:37 AM on June 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


I wish I could be with other queer people right now. Instead crying in the cab on the way to work.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:38 AM on June 12, 2016 [17 favorites]


I'm sort of stunned that all the headlines seem to be saying that the shooter was pro-ISIS rather than the more obvious anti-gay.

Why not both? ISIS routinely executes homosexuals back home. It's part of their overall agenda.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:39 AM on June 12, 2016 [11 favorites]


When I heard the news this morning, my first thought was "Oh my God, those poor people," not "Oh my God, those poor LGBTQ people." I think that is the point Obama was trying to make.
That isn't how terrorism works, though. It's not just an attack on the people who were immediately targeted. It's an attack on everyone like them. It makes them feel unsafe and terrorized in the spaces that were safest for them. It matters that they were queer and that this was a safe space for queer people, even though I understand the impulse to claim solidarity.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 11:39 AM on June 12, 2016 [21 favorites]


Apparently OneBlood is not actually taking blood donations from gay men.
posted by Greg Nog at 11:40 AM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


.
posted by clavdivs at 11:42 AM on June 12, 2016


Repost since several people missed the info (please leave the html unobscured)
_____________________________________________________________________
The FDA ban on gay donors has apparently *not* been lifted at OneBlood:

http://gawker.com/reports-orlando-blood-center-lifts-ban-on-blood-donati-1781837902

https://twitter.com/my1blood/status/742035796824186880
posted by l_zzie at 10:28 on June 12
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posted by hank at 11:42 AM on June 12, 2016


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posted by Feisty at 11:43 AM on June 12, 2016


🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈
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🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈
posted by nadawi at 11:44 AM on June 12, 2016 [55 favorites]


(the rainbow seemed more apt than the dot to me rn)
posted by nadawi at 11:44 AM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


My wife is 2300 hundred miles away and it'll be weeks before I can hold her. I just can't deal right now. I'm gonna go skate my rage out.
posted by Annika Cicada at 11:45 AM on June 12, 2016 [19 favorites]


When I heard the news this morning, my first thought was "Oh my God, those poor people," not "Oh my God, those poor LGBTQ people." I think that is the point Obama was trying to make.

For this trans person, at least, it feels like the queer equivalent of "All Lives Matter" -- which, yep, is true, but not the point today, right now, for us.
posted by dorque at 11:49 AM on June 12, 2016 [36 favorites]


.
posted by Kevin Street at 11:51 AM on June 12, 2016


Yesterday, my wife and I were discriminated against in an Italian Restraunt (which generally doesnt happen because we look so much alike that people assume we are sisters)
And this hit me very hard.

With Pride 2 weeks away, and already reeling from Chicagos gun violence as this is my first summer working in a Chicago hospital my heart is devistated and overwhelmed.

I dont understand why some people dont get that gun violence is a huge problem.

Want planning on doing pride, but this year I think I will.

I love my community.
posted by AlexiaSky at 11:51 AM on June 12, 2016 [12 favorites]


it *sounds* like "fuck it, this is queer people problem, why would the President include all of us in an issue for them?"

Jesus, this is the least charitable way of reading that comment. You're filling in a lot of space and making a lot of assumptions about my personality. Which is fine, I guess. The risks of wading into online comments.

But since it seems I need to clarify a bit:

That is not even close to what I was saying. My issue with framing this primarily as a problem "for all Americans" (which this is to an extent and worth noting) is that "all Americans" are not treated equally. And that often times by speaking of and to "all Americans," those who's values are under represented or openly despised often get tucked underneath the rhetoric. So even something that is clearly a very specific hate crime can get discussed in a way that pushes that to the side.

We are not all included in every hate crime. I am not a member of the LGBTQ community, this was not an attack against me. Surely, it's an attack on some of my values but my community was not the main target. And I don't feel any real change will come until we can discuss these things openly and truthfully. Re-framing every issue as an attack against America dilutes them and make the specific horror related to specific acts of hate more difficult to discuss. Those who can spout off homophobic remarks in one statement can also defend "American values" in the next. Their voices can be considered in a conversation where they not only don't belong but where they've actually added fuel to ideologies that lead to the very tragedies they're supposedly speaking out against.
posted by AtoBtoA at 11:52 AM on June 12, 2016 [18 favorites]


.

This is so sad and distressing- as fizz suggested up thread, I'm checking out of the news for today, but my heart is with the families and friends of the victims, and all who feel threatened today.
posted by motdiem2 at 11:57 AM on June 12, 2016


So horrifying and so sad.
I want to see a massive field of thousands of LGBTQ kissing - and that this be published on every billboard, newspaper, social media outlet, day after day, until the hate is gone.
posted by what's her name at 11:57 AM on June 12, 2016 [10 favorites]


As someone pointed out, claiming to be ISIS is the Ramones t-shirt of terrorism.

If wearing a Ramones tee instantly validated your punk rock cred, the analogy would be apt, but ISIS policy is to welcome those who pledge allegiance in their attacks.
posted by rhizome at 11:58 AM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yesterday, my wife and I were discriminated against in an Italian Restraunt (which generally doesnt happen because we look so much alike that people assume we are sisters)
And this hit me very hard.


Please. If it was the staff please file a discrimination complaint with the city. There is no place for discrimination like this in civilized society.
posted by Talez at 11:58 AM on June 12, 2016 [23 favorites]


I do want to remind people that yes this is an attack on the lgbt community, but it is also an attack on allies of the community who may have had friends, family or been at the scene.
posted by AlexiaSky at 12:00 PM on June 12, 2016 [5 favorites]




This is a result of anti-LGBT bigotry and the availability of guns.

Republicans will make it about Islam while a good portion of their base are happy that this attack occurred.

I'm so angry and the worst thing, other than the fact that innocent people died, is that I know that nothing even productive will come of this. Because this country does nothing to prevent mass shootings. These people didn't need to die. But because of bigotry and the availability of guns it happened.
posted by No One Ever Does at 12:01 PM on June 12, 2016 [24 favorites]


I am not a member of the LGBTQ community, this was not an attack against me.

But it was, though. I'm sorry you don't see it that way, and I understand how you can choose to distance yourself from it in this way.

It hurts my heart that we feel we have to categorize violence and death in these ways. But I understand.
posted by erst at 12:02 PM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


So very sad................
posted by bjgeiger at 12:02 PM on June 12, 2016


It hurts my heart that we feel we have to categorize violence and death in these ways

It's absolutely essential that we categorize hate crimes as hate crimes.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:03 PM on June 12, 2016 [34 favorites]


. ....
posted by eviemath at 12:05 PM on June 12, 2016


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posted by valkane at 12:07 PM on June 12, 2016


I understand how you can choose to distance yourself from it in this way.

It's not about distancing oneself from the tragedy.

On a personal note, some of my fondest memories from my childhood are marching in the NYC pride parades with my father, his partner, their friends and family. This attack has hit me harder than any of the other mass shootings. Maybe it's just the straw that broke the camel's back, but this one feels the most personal.
posted by AtoBtoA at 12:07 PM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


It doesn't matter if you're not LGBTQ, any of us can get shot at any time, anywhere, if a madman with a gun is ready to murder. If you go to the grocery store at the wrong time, you can get shot even if you're not the shooter's supposed target audience. Okay, so maybe if you're a straight white man you're less likely to be targeted for being obviously the wrong gender/race/orientation for someone's hatred, but that doesn't mean you still can't get winged by a stray bullet. We're all at risk. Hell, small kids get mass murdered because they went to school (which they have to do) on the wrong day.

And there ain't shit that is ever going to happen to stop this. Y'all want Obama to make you feel better with yet another hopeless speech on the same topic? He can't. If the damn president can't get anyone else on board to stop mass murder, we're all at risk forever. Ain't nothing we can do but die if and when the bullets hit us.
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:08 PM on June 12, 2016 [17 favorites]


Don't we all have LGBTQ family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, etc. these days? Those of us who are cishet might not be hurt as much as those targeted, but we most definitely are still hurting. If he'd chosen to target Seattle instead of Orlando, it's quite plausible that I could have lost a couple of loved ones myself.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:09 PM on June 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


.
posted by exlotuseater at 12:11 PM on June 12, 2016


I can't leave a dot.

I'm going through letters and need to say this. In the mid/late 80s, My father was nearly beaten to death for who he was, by the way he looked.
When we found out he had HIV, he sent me this Christmas card, dad did not write but he said this:

"Son, I wish we could talk-I have things to say that I hope will ease the matter between us. I put myself through a lot this past 2 years-but I'm ok now and I think we can talk now and I think we can talk and will open minds-
Please we need to talk."

Love dad.

We did and I was with him when he passed. I'm grateful today and greive for those who won't have that chance to talk to thier loved ones.

I can't reconcile this. My love and hope to those who survived and thier families.
posted by clavdivs at 12:13 PM on June 12, 2016 [88 favorites]


How convenient that he had a private security guard license (somehow), which will give the gun apologists a convenient scapegoat: "we don't need tighter gun laws, we need tighter security guard laws" or somesuch nonsense. Ugh.
posted by turbid dahlia at 12:14 PM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


As you hear about how Omar Mateen's bigotry might have been shaped by ISIS propaganda, remember that he was raised in the United States and the oldest and most consistent anti-gay messages have come from elected officials and alleged Christians.

Anyone who has ever supported these messages or anyone who has supported those who have profitted from them (the 21st century GOP as the largest example) have the blood of Orlando on their hands today.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:14 PM on June 12, 2016 [84 favorites]


I'm going to hug my cats, then go out in the garden.

I feel so sickened by this.

I need to purge all hate from my heart. I don't want to share anything with this murderer.
posted by yesster at 12:18 PM on June 12, 2016 [17 favorites]


Further evidence that armed citizenry are basically useless in these situations. Florida has almost 2 million residents with concealed carry permits, or almost 1:10 Florida residents. Their impact on this was zero and instead it took a SWAT team to bring the shooter down.
posted by humanfont at 12:18 PM on June 12, 2016 [28 favorites]


People need to be on the streets, massively, and not go back home until gun ownership is banned. No "ifs" and "buts", every single person expressing their horror at this should be carrying out their civic duties via country-wide protests(and not fckn twitter hashtags for fcks sake, enough with this social media masturbation and grief porn).

There is not one, not a single fucking rational reason why access to weapons is anyone's unquestionable right in a society that wants to call itself civil, and anyone defending gun ownership, even under restrictions, is consenting to and providing intellectual shelter for criminals. Repulsive is too weak of a word to describe this and the inertia of everyone, from government to citizens, in the face of such hate crimes.
posted by ariadne_88 at 12:18 PM on June 12, 2016 [24 favorites]


There are lots of reasons why this individual was radicalized and chose his victims and why he was able to do so much harm before being stopped.

Guns
Homophobia
Radicalization
Toxic Masculinity
Etc

All of these probably contributed to this event and all of them will continue to be massive issues once the headlines fade.

I have to believe that things will get better that tolerance will eventually win out or we will get tired of innocent people getting killed but I have to say I am getting really tired of people using violence as a way of lashing out at the world for whatever grievances they have real or imagined.

I am sick of young men because most of the time it's young men perpetrating these types of crimes feeling that they have the right to kill people because they are so mad at the world for whatever reason.

I understand being angry and mad but I am sick of this culture of entitlement that seemingly encourages young men to take out their rage on innocent people just trying to live their lives. I know that there are often various reasons these young men lash out but I have to believe that the constant cycle of violence is indicative of something deeply wrong in our society that is telling people that this sort of violence is somehow okay.
posted by vuron at 12:22 PM on June 12, 2016 [21 favorites]


.
posted by halifix at 12:23 PM on June 12, 2016


.
posted by elisse at 12:23 PM on June 12, 2016


If this guy was a full on ISIS recruit directed by HQ, and not some dude enraged by two guys PDA, I expect the target would've been more US military or Jewish in nature, of which FL has plenty of both.
posted by PenDevil at 12:24 PM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


It's the queer specific things hetero people will miss if we don't center this on LGBT people, things like:

Discrimination at the hospital trying to reach or God forbid dentify loved ones, situations like an adult child being asked by hospital staff "how do we know that's your (potentially misgendered) parent? We need to see adoption papers"

Situations like trans people being referred to by their birth names in the media

Situations like closeted trans people having been murdered before they ever came out.

That's why you center on us. And feel for us. Don't make this about all Americans because plenty of fucking Americans are more than happy to other us every other goddamn day of the year. You don't get to erase us without me raising a lot of hell.
posted by Annika Cicada at 12:26 PM on June 12, 2016 [118 favorites]


love and kindness 🌈
posted by jden at 12:27 PM on June 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


If this guy was a full on ISIS recruit directed by HQ, and not some dude enraged by two guys PDA, I expect the target would've been more US military or Jewish in nature, of which FL has plenty of both.
...but on the other hand, the Bataclan.
posted by kickingtheground at 12:28 PM on June 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


While we're talking about making sure we center on LGBT people, let's also, as FFFM mentioned above, center this on queer POC, specifically Latinx.
posted by qcubed at 12:28 PM on June 12, 2016 [38 favorites]


It's the queer specific things hetero people will miss

Yea, my first thought about the aftermath was, will this one be handled with the level and amount of resources and support on par with, say, in the other shootings in the US and Europe? No, was my gut feeling as a gay person. It remains to be seen, of course.
posted by polymodus at 12:29 PM on June 12, 2016


I absolutely do believe this will receive the same resources and support as other shootings. The fact that the shooter is dead, however, changes the narrative.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:31 PM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


While we're talking about making sure we center on LGBT people, let's also, as FFFM mentioned above, center this on queer POC, specifically Latinx.


I one hundred ten thousand percent agree and full heartedly support this. Thank you for specifying.
posted by Annika Cicada at 12:32 PM on June 12, 2016 [9 favorites]


I absolutely do believe this will receive the same resources and support as other shootings. The fact that the shooter is dead, however, changes the narrative.

Yes, whereas, I'm not even talking about state or social/public resources specifically. I'm talking about, if I were a closeted young guy at that bar, and something happened to me, how do I go home and have the appropriate resources to cope with this? And that's just one example, and Anna Cicada listed 4 already. It's the structural discrimination that creates the differential, that makes it not the same. Maybe.
posted by polymodus at 12:35 PM on June 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


Yeah and how this intersects with structural racism towards black/Latinx people adds even more layers on top of that.

Tears.
posted by Annika Cicada at 12:41 PM on June 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


There will no doubt be people that engage in victim blaming and rationalizations to somehow transfer responsibility back to the victims because if we can somehow say that they deserved their fates or that it was a tragedy but somehow unavoidable we can avoid the soul searching and the hard discussions about making sure this shit doesn't happen again.

Otherwise we'll do the standard bullshit routine of going this is a tragedy and won't someone do something and all sorts of other excuses for why this continues to happen over and over and we stand by and do nothing. And it will all be forgotten until the next tragedy a couple of weeks from now and we will just repeat the cycle.

At this point I have to assume that to a certain degree we just don't care if a certain number of Americans are sacrificed if it allows us to avoid holding up a mirror to ourselves.
posted by vuron at 12:42 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


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posted by Cpt. The Mango at 12:43 PM on June 12, 2016


Yeah, everything I've read suggests that Pulse attracts a really young crowd: it's an 18-and-over (as opposed to 21-and-over) club, and the clientele skews towards people in their late teens and early 20s. I assume that some of the injured people are not out to their families, and this is a hell of a way to be forced to come out to the world. It's all of our responsibility to make sure that there are plenty of resources to support survivors who are going to be dealing with multiple levels of trauma.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 12:44 PM on June 12, 2016 [64 favorites]


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posted by QuakerMel at 12:44 PM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


On top of all of that, I don't have confirmation of this (Yelp contradicts it and Pulse's website is understandably overwhelmed) but I've heard from multiple people on Twitter that Pulse was an 18+ club, which, if we want to talk about queer centering the story, that makes (in my eyes at least) it an even more special sacred place. They are often communities with training wheels for young people making their first queer steps. You might think that they'd be the places with the most potential for predators, but they are, in my experience, the most protective and welcoming of younger people . To think what happened to those people in those hours this morning is horrific.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:45 PM on June 12, 2016 [64 favorites]


Vancouver: the pride society is organizing a vigil at the art gallery, at 8pm. More info here.
posted by heeeraldo at 12:47 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]




As you hear about how Omar Mateen's bigotry might have been shaped by ISIS propaganda

I kinda have the sense that ISIS:this pinhead::Jodie Foster:Hinckley.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:52 PM on June 12, 2016 [10 favorites]


I'm at work, if someone find out about a Toronto event please let me know
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:52 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


FFFM: Barbara Hill Park at 8 p.m.
posted by mochapickle at 12:53 PM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


WaPo: The father of Omar Mateen, identified by police as the man behind the carnage at an Orlando nightclub early Sunday morning, is an Afghan man who holds strong political views, including support for the Afghan Taliban.
posted by p3on at 12:55 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Growing up in a black and brown community where hyper-masculinity was acted out as a form of survival, I actually grew up hating on Pulse. In my community, like in so many others around the world, my identity as a gay man was viewed as a form of weakness. So much so that even when I came out, I refused to go to gay clubs because it meant that I would be one of “those gay men.”

It wasn’t until one of my last days in high school that my friends and I all decided to go together.

I’m never going to forget that night.


The site of the Orlando shooting wasn’t just a gay nightclub. It was my safe haven.

posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:55 PM on June 12, 2016 [24 favorites]


There are no adequate words. How anyone could attack children - 18+ and I don't want to deny their agency but from here they look so young - because two people were kissing and it offended you so mightily that you had to murder happy children in their safe place, the place of their joy - the mind recoils. Heartbroken.

I've been thinking we were okay - my daughter is 13 and figuring out herself and her and all her friends just think of this as not even a thing and prejudice as just something old fogies worry about and talk about having used to happen, and I just want to sweep them all up in my arms and love them.

A dot is not enough. The world seems a vile place today.
posted by corb at 12:56 PM on June 12, 2016 [14 favorites]


He may be influenced by ISIS and on any number of terrorist watch lists. He may be steeped in anti-LGBTQ rhetoric to the point of violence. But I put that gun in his hand with my acceptance of our gun culture and our gun laws as just the way it is and has to be. The best thing I can do in the memory of the people who died is to support change with my vote and with my physical presence at protests.
posted by Foam Pants at 12:56 PM on June 12, 2016 [9 favorites]


.
Wishing there were more I could do today.
posted by newdaddy at 12:56 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


I work outside and had no idea this had happened until a little while ago. I work in a public park and I just want to go and lower the flags to half mast.

(I'm sure I'll be doing it tomorrow once the mayor has requested that we do it for all city flags)
posted by sciencegeek at 12:57 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Seattle Vigil Info: 8pm, Cal Anderson Park, in Capitol Hill. Easy to get there from the Light Rail stop.
posted by spinifex23 at 12:58 PM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


Florida has almost 2 million residents with concealed carry permits, or almost 1:10 Florida residents. Their impact on this was zero[...]
I don't want to get into the gun-politics side. But I just want to point out that it is illegal for a concealed carry permit holder in Florida to carry a weapon into a bar, or into the bar area of a larger establishment.
posted by Hatashran at 12:58 PM on June 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


Damnit I'm crying again. I didn't know it was 18 and up. Fuck. Why.
posted by Annika Cicada at 12:59 PM on June 12, 2016 [10 favorites]


That's why you center on us. And feel for us. Don't make this about all Americans because plenty of fucking Americans are more than happy to other us every other goddamn day of the year.

FWIW, I think it's important that the White House say an attack on LGBT people is an attack on basic American values for this reason exactly. The idea is not to make it 'about all Americans,' but to use the authority of the Presidency (while Obama has it) to make conventional the idea that an attack on a group of citizens who are gathered to celebrate their LGBT identity is to be condemned in the same way an an attack on citizens who are gathered to celebrate their ethnicity, religion or other civic identity.

Saying this alone would not be enough, and it should certainly not be said instead of centering on LGBT people. But I don't think that was the idea here. The use of formulaic language like this is part of insisting that civil rights for LGBT citizens be seen through the same lens and as of equal gravity as other protected/minority identities. It's part of the job.

I feel like in a way it is more appropriate that a (cis-male) President should say something anodyne like this that focuses on the affront to human rights that everyone should feel (perhaps as a rejoinder to those who don't), and then get out of the way for people from the LGBT community to speak about their grief and pain.
posted by snuffleupagus at 12:59 PM on June 12, 2016 [39 favorites]


.
posted by batbat at 1:00 PM on June 12, 2016


I'm not referring to the presidents speech. I'm referring to this thread. I was fine with the speech. It was presidential and what the fuck even can anyone say. No one is going to get this pitch perfect. It's too much to take in and make sense of.
posted by Annika Cicada at 1:01 PM on June 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


I kinda have the sense that ISIS:this pinhead::Jodie Foster:Hinckley.

Maybe. But then Jodie Foster wasn't preaching killing Reagan. ISIS promotes killing LGBT people. A good chunk of Islam preaches killing LGBT people. There are entire Muslim countries I can't visit for fear they might execute me. I'm not arguing all Muslims are bad, of course not. Nor are all Christians good, of course not! But it's foolish to pretend that the anti-gay rhetoric of Islam as it is practiced in much of the Middle East is not a problem.

But the murderer is American, born and raised. And he murdered 50+ people with an American assault rifle, reportedly owned legally under American law with an American gun permit. I think American gun culture is the most obvious place for blame.
posted by Nelson at 1:02 PM on June 12, 2016 [30 favorites]


(I should amend that I've had similar thoughts about radical Christianity being part of the problem, when it's some radical-Christian-inspired nutjob shooting up women's health clinics. An American problem, egged on by a twisted religion.)
posted by Nelson at 1:04 PM on June 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


I kinda have the sense that ISIS:this pinhead::Jodie Foster:Hinckley.

Honestly, I think that's how most post-9/11 lone wolf terrorists have been. The San Bernardino shooters. The Tsarnevs. They're disaffected losers without real institutional ties to the actual terrorist networks they fanboy for.

The ideologies that fuel them are dangerous. But the real tragic thing is that Hinckley, Loughner etc. show that you don't have to be motivated by a hate-filled ideology to commit high-profile shooting attacks in this country. You can swap hate out for sheer insanity.
posted by Apocryphon at 1:12 PM on June 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


.
posted by The Vice Admiral of the Narrow Seas at 1:18 PM on June 12, 2016


Oh God, how awful. How utterly incomprehensible.

.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:18 PM on June 12, 2016


Just read a detail about the investigation that is the stuff of nightmares. Thinking an extra thought for the investigators who are identifying the victims and dealing with the crime scene today. I know it's their job, but they are still human and vulnerable, too.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:18 PM on June 12, 2016 [30 favorites]


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posted by zombieflanders at 1:19 PM on June 12, 2016


Honestly, I think that's how most post-9/11 lone wolf terrorists have been

Which, it should be noted, is very similar to right-wing terrorists like McVeigh, Rudolph, Nichols etc. Lone wolfs working mostly alone but with a network of like-minded ideologues who can help them commit the acts. This is partly why those types of attacks are more lethal than others.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 1:21 PM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


But it's foolish to pretend that the anti-gay rhetoric of Islam as it is practiced in much of the Middle East is not a problem.

Sure. I just expect that in this case it was the normal run of the mill anti-gay rhetoric of millions and millions of Americans that fueled this pinhead's problems. It's not like the country isn't hip-deep in it.

If you'd rather: I don't think this particular asshole's choice to dedicate his crime to Isis instead of Westboro, or Jesus, or southern pride, or any of a vast number of other toxic ideologies that are horrifyingly common in the US is very interesting.

Honestly, I think that's how most post-9/11 lone wolf terrorists have been. The San Bernardino shooters. The Tsarnevs. They're disaffected losers without real institutional ties to the actual terrorist networks they fanboy for.

Yeah. I expect that being muslim in the US just gives you a larger menu when you're looking for some external rationale for why you're such an asshole.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:22 PM on June 12, 2016 [12 favorites]


I think in this case, the ideological network might include online cheerleaders who spread toxic memes and so forth, but the material network? Our own nation's easy and legal access to heavy firepower.
posted by Apocryphon at 1:24 PM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


I read on Twitter that the investigators had to tune out the sound of the victims' cell phones ringing as their loved ones tried to get in touch with them. Jesus.

.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 1:25 PM on June 12, 2016 [25 favorites]


Elementary Penguin, yeah, that was what I had read. Bless everyone doing their jobs today.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:26 PM on June 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


It's getting so I'm afraid to wake up in the morning to see what new awfulness 2016 has to offer.

The malevolence of turning a safe space for some of the most vulnerable people in our society into a killing place is... almost beyond comprehension, but then I think of the long trail of bodies and atrocities leveled at LGBT people, PoCs, the young, and it becomes all-too comprehendable.

And the excuses and deflections over the next few weeks will, I'm sure, be a new twisting of the knife every morning. What a thing to look forward to.
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:26 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Just read a detail about the investigation that is the stuff of nightmares.

I think I know the one you're referring to and yeah...heartbreaking.

I'm devastated and angry and feeling so hopeless about all of this, and I wish I could say that this is a turning point in how our country deals with (or doesn't deal with) homophobia and easy access to guns and toxic masculinity and all of the pieces that are a part of this tragedy. I don't know that there ever is a turning point. Maybe it will just be one more piece of earth that eventually creates a landslide.

I'm heartbroken for the family and friends of those lost, and for the people (especially young people) who now have even more reason to fear violence from a society that should be protecting them.
posted by Salieri at 1:32 PM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


Breaking: ISIS claims responsibility for Orlando attack
posted by Tyrant King Porn Dragon at 1:33 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


[marienbad, take a break from this thread.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:38 PM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


I think a major part of the problem is we in the US are simply unwilling to talk plainly, openly and critically about religion.
posted by osk at 1:39 PM on June 12, 2016 [12 favorites]


ISIS claims responsibility for Orlando attack

Bullshit. They're just capitalizing on it. Fucking media and their easy-headline mentality.

.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:39 PM on June 12, 2016 [23 favorites]


[several deletes responding to a deleted comment.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:45 PM on June 12, 2016


It would be nice if fourth-quarter Obama got out and tried again with the gun control issue.
posted by angrycat at 1:46 PM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


"they're just capitalizing on it"

what is your basis for this? the shooter himself said it.

The San Bernardino thread went very similarly to how this thread is unfolding - first, insistence that it was just a gun culture issue and that radicalization has nothing to do with it (ISIS being opportunistic, racist republicans making unfounded claims). Then as the evidence unfolds, that story falls apart. I wonder if we are doomed to repeat jumping on the politically more acceptable explanation and denial over and over again forever.

this does not appear to be completely divorced from religion (see especially the videos circulating from the Florida mosque speaker where this guy went) and clearly the shooter found an excuse in religion - the evidence at this point is that it's not entirely divorced from religion as people want to pretend.

and .
posted by rr at 1:47 PM on June 12, 2016 [15 favorites]


My heart goes out to the families of the victims, and my gay friends and family. They're all victims of our awful homophobic, sexist, racist, gun-loving cowboy-culture society. How can I reconcile that I bear some responsibility for their deaths without trying to do something about it?

(Maybe, if you keep trying to connect dots that would pin responsibility somewhere other than ourselves (as US citizens), it's time to re-examine your internal beliefs and see if you're actually one of the "good guys"? Maybe do something about that, if you're not?

The super-hero our country needs more than any other is Gunmeltor. Any time a gun is raised with the intention of perpetuating violence, either by threat or by action, they show up and the fucking thing is turned to slag in the hands of the aggressor. I can dream, anyway.)
posted by maxwelton at 1:47 PM on June 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


Daesh, that's not the kind of 'responsibility' that my mama taught me about.
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:48 PM on June 12, 2016


[Discussing ISIS is fine, just try not to be deliberately inflammatory; if someone's being inflammatory flag it rather than responding to it. Sorry, that all happened really fast while like six other things were happening.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:48 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


.
posted by nicolin at 1:50 PM on June 12, 2016


Breaking: ISIS claims responsibility for Orlando attack

Bullshit. They're just capitalizing on it. Fucking media and their easy-headline mentality.


Honest question: Is ISIS organized similarly to Anonymous, in that individual terrorists/activists can basically do whatever and claim that they're part of the larger organization? Or what?

Because there seems to be quite a few of these incidents where the perpetrators claim they're part of ISIS or doing it for ISIS, and then some time later ISIS comes back with some variant of "oh yeah, they're with us, sure."
posted by Jacqueline at 1:51 PM on June 12, 2016


As a queer person in the US, I am very, very clear that most of the hate and violence directed against me is rooted in religion. Indeed, it is rooted in almost nothing else.

I also think that blaming this on ISIS or another foreign terrorist group comes from people in the US who wish to believe that homophobia and hatred against LGBTQ people is something that "they" do and not a core part of US culture. I hear Christian churches here in the US far more frequently attempting to deny me my rights than I do Muslim ones. And yes, it can be both. But the need to blame someone else, far away, is working my nerves right now.
posted by gingerbeer at 1:54 PM on June 12, 2016 [82 favorites]


Fuck.

.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:54 PM on June 12, 2016


There is an organization, a headquarters, a caliph and all, but I think they are willing to after-the-fact accept individuals jumping in on their own too.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 1:55 PM on June 12, 2016


I am enraged that news channels are flashing photos of the murderer inbetween photos from the murder scene. I view this as utter disrespect for the victims and their loved ones.
posted by bookmammal at 1:56 PM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


they're just capitalizing on it"

what is your basis for this? the shooter himself said it.


The man's father disagrees: On Sunday morning, Mateen told NBC News that his son’s rampage “has nothing to do with religion.” Instead, he offered another possible motive. He said his son got angry when he saw two men kissing in Miami a few months ago. He said his son was especially enraged because the kissing took place in front of his own young son.


some time later ISIS comes back with some variant of "oh yeah, they're with us, sure."

Yup.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:56 PM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


Honest question: Is ISIS organized similarly to Anonymous, in that individual terrorists/activists can basically do whatever and claim that they're part of the larger organization? Or what?

Context/background on ISIS and 'lone wolves' on Rukmini Callimachi's twitter.
posted by roolya_boolya at 1:56 PM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


Honest question: Is ISIS organized similarly to Anonymous, in that individual terrorists/activists can basically do whatever and claim that they're part of the larger organization? Or what?

This series of tweets by one of the NYT reporters who cover ISIS has some good info:

https://twitter.com/rcallimachi/status/741990833872875521

Which includes these bits:



26. As early as 2014, ISIS explained that *anyone* could carry out an act of terror in their name. "Do not ask for permission," Adnani said

27. They later codified this, and advised that their supporters should pledge allegiance in a public forum, before carrying out the attack

28. Idea is simple: ISIS floods the internet with their gory propaganda hoping to incite anyone inc the mentally unwell, then claims credit
posted by cell divide at 1:57 PM on June 12, 2016 [31 favorites]


So many . I wouldn't know where to stop.

Nice roundup of how to help, and get help, from Lifehacker: http://lifehacker.com/what-you-can-do-to-help-in-wake-of-the-orlando-shooting-1781844169
posted by ApathyGirl at 1:57 PM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


The man's father disagrees

He's got a vested interest in that being true because it would reduce his responsibility. If you read that article rather than just the headline you'd see this is apparent:
The father of Omar Mateen, identified by police as the man behind the carnage at an Orlando nightclub early Sunday morning, is an Afghan man who holds strong political views, including support for the Afghan Taliban.
posted by Justinian at 1:59 PM on June 12, 2016 [12 favorites]


Honest question: Is ISIS organized similarly to Anonymous, in that individual terrorists/activists can basically do whatever and claim that they're part of the larger organization? Or what?

Yes, this is true. That's probably exactly why he made the 911 call.

And to repeat myself in a tl;dr point I made earlier, this bigot was raised in America. No matter how much ISIS propaganda he watched, he probably got more anti-gay messages from elected officials and Christians. Until we see Huckabee or Cruz or Pat Robertson answer for their complicity, I don't really give a fuck how this relates to similar assholes in Syria.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:59 PM on June 12, 2016 [45 favorites]


ISIL does a great job of making information accessible for those on the internet intent on planning and perpetrating terrorist attacks. The horrific effectiveness of this attack, head and shoulders above other mass killings in its lethality, is a clear indication that it was planned with meticulous care by someone who either was being advised directly, or took advantage of information on how to maximize the impact. It wasn't an Al-Qaeda plot like 911, but given the magnitude of it, if ISIL says they're involved, I wouldn't disbelieve them. This was the third Islamist terrorist attack on US soil this year, all of them with the same MO, and the most effective.

It's going to be a very bad time to be a Muslim in this country for the foreseeable future. There are millions of them, and with a very few exceptions, they are law-abiding and patriotic citizens or immigrants on a path to citizenship.
posted by Slap*Happy at 2:00 PM on June 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


I think a major part of the problem is we in the US are simply unwilling to talk plainly, openly and critically about religion.

The US is willing and eager to talk plainly, openly, and critically about any religion that seems sufficiently foreign or weird, like Islam or LDS.

I also think that blaming this on ISIS or another foreign terrorist group comes from people in the US who wish to believe that homophobia and hatred against LGBTQ people is something that "they" do and not a core part of US culture.

Thank you for finding words I didn't.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:01 PM on June 12, 2016 [12 favorites]


I did read the entire article, Justinian, and if anything it makes his claim of no religious basis even stronger. There's no love lost between the Taliban and ISIS, but they do agree on their hatred of the US.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:04 PM on June 12, 2016


.
posted by MikeWarot at 2:05 PM on June 12, 2016


The man's father disagrees

So wait. The father has more credibility than the shooter? Would you apply this logic to other mass shooters? Why?
posted by rr at 2:05 PM on June 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


It's entirely possible to be a homophobic fundamentalist whackjob while also believing that it would be wrong to literally, physically open fire at a club.

Who cares what his dad thinks. Fuck homophobia, fuck the US gun plague, fuck all fundamentalism, and best wishes and thoughts to the victims and their loved ones.
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:14 PM on June 12, 2016 [11 favorites]


I remember dancing to tribal as a beautiful bare chested Latino drummer smacked those skins into transcendence. I rediscovered my Afro-Latin@ roots in those sweaty undulating motions of our sublime folks.

I felt loved and lusted after in those spaces and met my first cis male lover in those clubs. Dancing healed me. It taught me to feel my fleshiness anew. Those clubs were our safe and sacred spaces. They remade my body into a holy queer subject.

After Orlando, who will tell me that those queer/trans Latin@ and Black folks won't think twice before going and letting the music set them free?

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:14 PM on June 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


The unspoken assumption here is that if ISIS is behind this attack- as in there were international members actively involved in not only radicalizing the shooter but providing him with intel, methods, and material support- then suddenly the narrative becomes about foreign terrorism. Suddenly, homophobia, religious fundamentalism, easy access to guns, the media's culpability in shaping sensationalism and in doing so inadvertently creating a perverse celebrity shooter culture, all get shelved because "the bad guys did it." The solution then becomes "let's go bomb them", or at least, "let's send guns to people who are fighting them." And for a hat trick, "let's ban Muslim immigration."

It doesn't have to be this way. All of these problems and issues can be true. We can spend time fighting all of them. Don't let narratives get in the way of what needs to be done.
posted by Apocryphon at 2:19 PM on June 12, 2016 [32 favorites]


28. Idea is simple: ISIS floods the internet with their gory propaganda hoping to incite anyone inc the mentally unwell, then claims credit

29. CNN and all other news outlets run wall-to-wall coverage for days and days, rewarding the terror act with the sought-after notoriety
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 2:19 PM on June 12, 2016 [20 favorites]


The father has more credibility than the shooter?

As someone familiar with him over time before his mental break, yes. The point I was trying to make is that there's no reason to believe ISIS had an active role or even foreknowledge of the shooting, rather that they're trying to count coup using a very broad definition. Others have offered better evidence than mine so I'll stop defending the father's claim now.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:19 PM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


.

Sending my love to the LBGTI community and the city of Orlando.

Hate breeds hate. Love breeds love.
posted by daybeforetheday at 2:21 PM on June 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


The reality is that regardless of whether he was motivated by faith or homophobia or just being a disturbed and angry person hate found its way into his heart and gave him license to do these unspeakable things.

People are going to cling to all sorts of elaborate rationalizations to justify doing acts like this and ultimately I am not sure that trying to decipher his rationales is particularly useful. It seems hard to accept the idea that religion or even homophobia is a particularly illustrative predictor of mass killing potential.
posted by vuron at 2:22 PM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


I took Obama's comment about an attack on LGBQT as an attack on all americans to be a statement of solidarity and also a subtle reminder to those less empathetic to be more empathetic and stand as a unified country against this hate crime.
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 2:22 PM on June 12, 2016 [11 favorites]


I wish the press hadn't even released the guy's name. What's the point? He's dead. Now ISIS gets to use another famous name for its recruiting propaganda.
posted by saulgoodman at 2:22 PM on June 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


People are going to cling to all sorts of elaborate rationalizations to justify doing acts like this and ultimately I am not sure that trying to decipher his rationales is particularly useful.

It seems almost like suicide contagion. The idea has caught on that shooting a bunch of people is just what you do when you're angry about something.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:25 PM on June 12, 2016 [15 favorites]


This hit so close to home for me for 2 reasons, as a queer person and as a resident of Orlando. I was really hoping to see a discussion on Metafilter knowing that it would be a safe supportive space for me to process my feelings. I was dismayed but not entirely surprised when the first FPP on this issue got deleted.

I appreciate all the love that has been shown in this thread, and thank you to mods for corralling the election/grar stuff out of this thread.

I took Obama's comment about an attack on LGBQT as an attack on all americans to be a statement of solidarity and also a subtle reminder to those less empathetic to be more empathetic and stand as a unified country against this hate crime.

I agree. I actually took comfort in that statement.
posted by cynical pinnacle at 2:26 PM on June 12, 2016 [22 favorites]


I'm heartsick.

.


(Does anyone know of a vigil or similar event in DC? I failed at googling.)
posted by seyirci at 2:26 PM on June 12, 2016


"Shooter angry about ________" getting their day in the sun is one of the way the media perpetuates the problem, yes. I guess in some cases, like Elliot Roger, there might be some benefit to examining whatever toxic landfill their mind has been stewing in, but mostly not: all that matters is they're super angry, have guns, and exist in an idiot culture that tells them this is the thing to do with that anger and those guns.
posted by Artw at 2:26 PM on June 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


.

Jesus wept.
posted by kinnakeet at 2:26 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]




(Does anyone know of a vigil or similar event in DC? I failed at googling.)

I would start with looking on the Facebook pages of LGBTQ support or advocacy groups in your area. For example, down here there's one being organized through the Lynchburg Diversity Center Facebook page.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:29 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


.
posted by pjsky at 2:35 PM on June 12, 2016


Toronto Vigil - 8pm, Barbara Hall Park, aka Cawthra Park, next to the 519.

Facebook event
posted by jb at 2:40 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Tucson vigil, 7-10pm, on 4th ave

Facebook link to the event
posted by lizjohn at 2:45 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


The monthly TGQ meetup at the butterfly bar in Austin is tonight. A lot of us will be there:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1127614267297169/

Trans, GQ, NB, allies, curious folks, literally everyone is welcome.

It's probably gonna be tough tonight, but we'll support each other through it.

(if you come wear black, it's not posted on the event page but on main TGQ site).
posted by Annika Cicada at 2:45 PM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


Ottawa vigil planned for 8pm at the Human Rights Monument on Elgin St.
posted by scrittore at 2:49 PM on June 12, 2016


Dave Holmes on "What It Costs to Be Gay in Public"
We have been terrorized by our own culture, a culture that will still, in 2016, indulge and coddle one's anger at two men kissing. We have had the need to create our own spaces, places where we can kiss and dance and dial it up as much as we want. These spaces have existed throughout time, all over the world. You can't intimidate and coerce them out of existence.

Everyone who walked through the doors of Pulse last night showed up pre-terrorized. Fifty people and counting survived a lifetime of cultural terrorism, and then lost their lives in an instant because someone was angry at two men kissing.

But they showed up. And those of us who are left will show up again. We will always show up. We are stronger than terror. We are stronger than disease. We are stronger than homophobia.
posted by gladly at 2:53 PM on June 12, 2016 [53 favorites]


Spokane WA has a vigil happening at Riverfront Park tonight, starting at 6pm. Not that there are many on MF who are in Spokane, but that's a thing that is happening.
posted by hippybear at 2:53 PM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


Oh, I'm so glad it's the Sisters leading the vigil here.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:58 PM on June 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


It was only a matter of time before an angry, aggressive man, influenced by an angry, aggressive religion/ideology created by angry, aggressive men, wreaked this much havoc using a tool created (and often sold) by angry, aggressive men. I remember feeling the same way when Newtown happened. I just...expect it. It's not an if, but a when, to me. And that makes me so sad.

What makes me angriest, though, is I don't think there's any way to prevent more of these atrocities going forward. In the U.S., both sides of the political spectrum have massive, self-imposed blind spots when it comes to these events and issues.
  • Most American conservatives refuse any sort of gun control or gun education measures, and liberals are unrealistic about how successful those measures would be. In this case, no background check could have helped. As someone in security, he bought the guns legally.
  • Liberals cry, "Toxic masculinity!" Conservatives cry, "Mental health!" And never the twain shall meet, it seems.
  • Conservatives don't want to address their own -isms (and want to ignore them when it's convenient), while liberals want to pretend the vast majority of those -isms aren't rooted in religious dogma.
I could go on, but there's no point. It won't change anything. I just feel so jaded about the tragic events that have led to this one, about the tragic events I have little doubt are coming. I really hope that those who survived this attack can find peace. I don't know how I'd handle being trapped in a scenario like this one.
posted by iamfantastikate at 3:00 PM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


I think there's a clear parallel between ISIS' indirect methods inciting attacks in the US and radical Christians' methods inciting attacks in the US. ISIS spreads a bunch of hate religion propaganda and explicitly encourages lone wolves to go murder a bunch of people in the name of God. It works. Anti-abortion extremists spread a bunch of hate religion propaganda and explicitly encourages lone wolves to murder doctors in the name of God. And it works. In both cases, an extremist religious group uses propaganda to extend the reach of their beliefs by inciting murder. It's a difficult enemy to fight; Jack Bauer isn't going to parachute us in and save us from some loner who read too many glossy Internet pamphlets.

What would help is if it were harder to get assault weapons in the United States. Part of the reason the Bataclan attack in Paris was so shocking is that mass shootings happen very rarely in France and require military preparation. In the US we have a mass murder seemingly once a month at your local cinema / nightclub / elementary school by some local kid who bought his militia gear at Walmart.
posted by Nelson at 3:00 PM on June 12, 2016 [31 favorites]




also I think Obama's statement was a paraphrase of "An Injustice to One is an Injustice to All". It's an old solidarity statement and I think it comes from early labor movements. I don't think he was trying to pull an "all lives matter" thing; I think he was referencing an old solidarity phrase.
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 3:04 PM on June 12, 2016 [15 favorites]


Remember that time that Sheryl Crow had her entire album catalog deleted from the nation's biggest retailer because one song contained the lyrics "Watch out sister, watch out brother, Watch our children as they kill each other with a gun they bought at the Wal-Mart discount stores."?

Yeah, that was in fucking 1996.
posted by hippybear at 3:05 PM on June 12, 2016 [29 favorites]


So now we know that he was on a "FBI Terrorist Watch List". Now exactly how is that Watch List keeping us safer? Not by keeping potential terrorists from buying guns. Reportedly he'd purchased a couple guns legally just two weeks ago (but none are described like the big semi-automatic that he used to spray bullets). Apparently the FBI questioned him after he openly said to coworkers that he had connections to international terrorists, but they found none. No "connections", no big deal. Sigh.

When I googled for "Orlando shooter watch list", the FIRST news item to come up was from ZeroHedge (a heavily opinionated FINANCIAL news blog) and its headline read "Orlando Shooting Suspect Identified As Omar Mateen, Registered Democrat Of Afghan Descent; Pledged Allegiance To ISIS" and the byline was "Tyler Durden" (my quotes). GOOGLE SEARCH FAIL.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:05 PM on June 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


Yesterday while driving I was behind a car that had a “Straight Pride” sticker on its back window. Next to it was a screed about how people took photos of said sticker and complained about it on Facebook and she dared people to “put it on their wall” and it said how “terrible” it was that we were so very PC that we as a society “couldn't” allow straight people to show their pride.

That person has no clue what kind of privilege she has. Today's hate crime only underscores that. I bet she's been to a bar, amongst people who look and think like her, and hasn't feared for her life. I bet she's held her partner's hand without fear of retribution. I bet she feels like she can be herself and suffer no ill consequences. No discrimination. No outright hatred. No fear for just existing in this world.

---

My stomach is in knots. I'm angry. I am sad for my queer friends. I'm sad for the families of all of the victims. I'm sad and angry over the perpetual inaction. What will it take?
posted by hijinx at 3:06 PM on June 12, 2016 [23 favorites]


Nashville vigil: 8 PM, Public Square Park. Parking is limited due to FanFair/Country Music Fest/whatever they're calling it these days, so folks are encouraged to carpool.
posted by timestep at 3:07 PM on June 12, 2016


.
posted by Bwithh at 3:08 PM on June 12, 2016


Yesterday while driving I was behind a car that had a “Straight Pride” sticker on its back window. Next to it was a screed about how people took photos of said sticker and complained about it on Facebook and she dared people to “put it on their wall” and it said how “terrible” it was that we were so very PC that we as a society “couldn't” allow straight people to show their pride.

The word "Pride" was chosen because it was the antidote to shame and fear, which is what LGBTQ people have lived with for most of modern society. It's not about being proud. It's about no longer being afraid, and no longer being ashamed.

Anyone who thinks that "straight pride" is a thing doesn't understand what it means to live in fear simply because you exist. Fuck those assholes.
posted by hippybear at 3:09 PM on June 12, 2016 [87 favorites]


I'm not sure why we maintain a list of potential terrorists to watch if watching to see if they are arming themselves to potentially kill a bunch of people isn't one of the things we are watching for.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:11 PM on June 12, 2016 [38 favorites]


⠞⠕⠕⠀⠍⠁⠝⠽,⠀⠞⠕⠕⠀⠎⠕⠕⠝....
posted by whisk(e)y neat at 3:11 PM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


I am so angry about this that I am becoming incoherent. As the news coverage continues, it turns more and more away from the fact that a gay club was deliberately chosen as a target because that one guy saw two other guys kissing and felt he needed to make a statement, and it becomes more and more about Muslims and other bullshit things.
posted by hippybear at 3:12 PM on June 12, 2016 [25 favorites]


“Straight Pride”? My personal attitude is "Straight Shame", which grew a little stronger today. Any "Straight" person who has "Pride" today is taking as much credit for this atrocity as ISIS.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:13 PM on June 12, 2016 [9 favorites]


PDX vigils happening downtown tonight at 7pm and 8:15pm.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 3:14 PM on June 12, 2016


it turns more and more away from the fact that a gay club was deliberately chosen as a target because that one guy saw two other guys kissing and felt he needed to make a statement,

considering his father is literally pro-taliban, that account might have questionable legitimacy
posted by p3on at 3:14 PM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


..........
..........
..........
..........
..........
posted by genehack at 3:15 PM on June 12, 2016


I got to march in the Pittsburgh Pride parade today. While everyone was lining up to start, one of the organizers went to every group to announce there would be a minute of silence shortly after we started. At that point I hadn't yet heard about Orlando, so I assumed it was a moment of silence for all LGBTQ people who had lost their lives through suicide or violence over the past year.

Even without a mass murder, it did not strike me as odd that a Pride parade would have cause to commemorate members we've lost through bigotry and hatred.

It didn't even hit me until just a few moments ago how insanely fucked up that is, and now I don't even know what to do with this.
posted by DingoMutt at 3:15 PM on June 12, 2016 [49 favorites]


Hug from Toronto if it means anything, hippybear.
Hugs for everyone.
I had to yank myself away from Twitter.
I'm drinking beer and listening to the new Monkees album and grilling meat and just disengaging for a while.
posted by chococat at 3:16 PM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


considering his father is literally pro-taliban, that account might have questionable legitimacy

You can spin this any way you want but it doesn't change the fact that a gay club was deliberately chosen for this assault with a machine gun. Orlando has a multitude of clubs, but this one was chosen. It's not like the Paris attacks where a wide spectrum was assaulted. This was deliberate and I am shaking with anger right now.
posted by hippybear at 3:17 PM on June 12, 2016 [19 favorites]


hippybear I am right with you in feeling anger, a deep kind I haven't felt for a long time. This atrocity has brought back some ugly memories of homophobia I've experienced in my life, and to be honest I've had some dark thoughts I wouldn't normally expect from myself, rooted in that anger.

This is a historic/infamous moment in North-American gay history, and it should be about the victims, not the murderer.

I will march, I will fight, and I'll do it for those who can't anymore.
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 3:19 PM on June 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


Focus on the victims. Focus on PoC. Focus on LGBT folks. Focus on your friends and loved ones.

There's no reason to pick apart every nuance of the killer's reason for specifically targeting LGBT people in a terror attack when there's 50 dead and 50 injured whose cultural milieu and lives are and were a special and rare gift to the world.
posted by Annika Cicada at 3:20 PM on June 12, 2016 [20 favorites]


I think p3on wasn't saying that this scumbag didn't pick the club because it was a gay club (which would be absurd) but rather taking issue with the father minimizing the ideological and religious roots of his son's homophobia by writing it off as being grossed out by two guys kissing.

The father's ideology is rabidly anti-gay. He cannot distance himself from this tragedy. Just as the Christian Right in the USA cannot distance themselves every time an abortion clinic gets shot up.
posted by Justinian at 3:21 PM on June 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


i can think of a lot of reasons we might want to understand the motivations for ideological murder
posted by p3on at 3:22 PM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


If you want to show your opposition to ISIS and other "radical Islam", then show solidarity with your LGBT neighbors. If you can't be with them, you ARE with the shooter.

And I'll accept the term "radical Islam" if and only if you openly admit that the vast majority of the Islamic world is not "radical" as I am declaring now.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:22 PM on June 12, 2016 [13 favorites]


Agreeing with Annika. I don't care all that much if this was religious-inspired homophobia or some not-religious-inspired homophobia. The target was gay people in a gay club. The cause is homophobia.
posted by gingerbeer at 3:22 PM on June 12, 2016 [17 favorites]


My thoughts are angry. They do no good to the fallen. If my thoughts didn't even change things after classrooms of tiny children were murdered, my thoughts alone have no value.
My prayers are non-existent.
My blood...barely does me any good.
My moment of silence at 6 p.m. had no power. No amount of silence helps.
And I don't care about the murderer's mental state, or his political leanings, and have no desire to discuss it.

What I offer are my votes and my voice. I will vote only for candidates who stand for getting assault weapons out of our country and I will speak out even more loudly and firmly against politicians who will not support sensible gun laws. I will speak out to change the minds and votes of those who lack understanding of the dangers of guns in our society.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 3:24 PM on June 12, 2016 [17 favorites]


> The father's ideology is rabidly anti-gay.

And the son was raised in the US, so he definitely got extra helpings right here at home. Those of us who who are raised here have been steeped in this toxic brew of homophobia and misogyny and frankly it makes no difference to me if the shooter's motives were 50% Taliban and 50% American or what. He shot more than 100 people at a queer club. He hated queers. This is not in the least rare or special.
posted by rtha at 3:26 PM on June 12, 2016 [37 favorites]


i can think of a lot of reasons we might want to understand the motivations for ideological murder

This really isn't the time or place right now. People are hurting terribly.
posted by futz at 3:27 PM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


And of course, I stand with my LGBT friends and neighbors and fellow humans. Loudly. Proudly.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 3:27 PM on June 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


.
posted by slightlybewildered at 3:28 PM on June 12, 2016


I'm leaving the thread again to go give my love and support to my queer family here in Austin many of whom helped me through some of the roughest shit I've ever lived through. Some of them are mefites even.

You all have my love. I believe I've said what I feel needed saying here.

Hugs.
posted by Annika Cicada at 3:29 PM on June 12, 2016 [15 favorites]


The father's pro-Taliban sentiments seem to be based on nationalist/national liberationist sentiments, rather than literally advocating for their past alliance with al-Qaeda and directly wanting to attack America. It's weird and confusing and contradictory and unknown how much of it translated to his son and currently it's unimportant. The actions have been done. Motivations can be explored later on as the investigators do their jobs.
posted by Apocryphon at 3:29 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


For everyone talking about Islam's roll in this act, a reminder this guy was luckily caught before getting to the LA Pride event today.

And pretty much the conversation Obama has been trying to have around gun violence and gun control in America, yet the NRA and the Right Wing wont budge.

Our country has a party built on hate and exploitation for the profit of the few, who've used dog whistles to create a big tent hate group, now led by an orange faced, short fingered vulgarian.

And I also hope the NRA can be shut down as a terrorist sympathizer organization.
posted by mrzarquon at 3:31 PM on June 12, 2016 [14 favorites]


Yes, the Santa Monica Police did a great job today. Imagine if there were two of these events in 24 hours.
posted by Justinian at 3:33 PM on June 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


"just be sad, don't think about why he did it"

Why he did it is obvious. The US, despite SCOTUS rulings, is a horribly homophobic country. No number of laws passed or court rulings will change this. The Puritan legacy of this country still reigns supreme, and effects everything from the populace's attitude toward birth control and abortion to acceptance of gay people either in the workplace or encountered casually out in public to whether trans persons can shit in the bathroom of their choice.

Even if this one person didn't come from a Christian background, he was still raised in a culture where the state in which he lived was being led by someone who was pushing aggressively back against gay marriage. Which has nothing to do with whether gay people are actually accepted as being people in the culture, it merely gives them some minor legal protections for hospital visitations and inheritance rights.

I'm hated by most of those around me. I've come to accept that. I'm not at peace with it, but I accept it. It's a fact of living my life. It's exhausting. And I mostly can live my life, but then things like this happen, and the veneer that I put up about being a real person in our culture gets stripped away.

The depths of how this has affected me is probably lost on most of you.
posted by hippybear at 3:35 PM on June 12, 2016 [62 favorites]


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
posted by Deoridhe at 3:35 PM on June 12, 2016


Huh. This Frank Bruni op-ed seems like kind of a mess.
posted by Greg Nog at 3:39 PM on June 12, 2016


As a queer person of color who looks an awful lot like the shooter, I'm not even sure where to begin.

I woke up this morning and skimmed the headlines with my glasses off. Surely not, I thought to myself, and I dozed for a while longer. As we got dressed to go to brunch, I saw that I wasn't mistaken, 50 people had been killed at a gay club in Florida--mostly people of color--by another person whose color was a shade closer to my own.

We walked down the streets of Montrose, the Houston sky overcast and heavy with sorrow, and I wondered: who am I seen as right now?

I'm bearded and desi/I'm queer/I'm in the gayborhood/I look an awful lot like the man that just slaughtered and hurt so many people/what do other people see?/I am heartsick.

My own experience is nothing compared to the pain and anguish that others are feeling right now. My thoughts are with them. I'll be at the Houston vigil tonight, standing with my people.
posted by thack3r at 3:39 PM on June 12, 2016 [74 favorites]


Every time I have been to a gay club was on Latin@ night, or to places where every night is that way. The specificity of this attack makes me especially sad, and think of the people I know who would have been there if this had been in a different city.
posted by Dip Flash at 3:42 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


.
posted by dougzilla at 3:43 PM on June 12, 2016


.
posted by Token Meme at 3:45 PM on June 12, 2016


It doesn't negate his anti-gay hatred, but he did shoot a club known for Latinos. Stirring up anti-Latino hate has also been a recent national pastime.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 3:49 PM on June 12, 2016 [10 favorites]




I was walking in the park today, and I gave a smile and nod to an old man with a walker in a "LEGALIZE GAY" shirt.

He asked, in a quiet voice, "have you heard about Orlando"?

My heart broke right then.
posted by idiopath at 3:52 PM on June 12, 2016 [64 favorites]


From homunculus' link:

We have a positive genius for this kind of thing. Lincoln spoke about that when he spoke about the series of mass shootings that he had to address during his presidency.
Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other.
This thing happened because this is America, where these things happen more often than any other place in the world. This thing happened because who we are comes up so very short of who we believe ourselves to be.

posted by klanawa at 4:02 PM on June 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


.
posted by taff at 4:03 PM on June 12, 2016


Just as the Christian Right in the USA cannot distance themselves every time an abortion clinic gets shot up.

More directly, the Christian Right in the USA cannot distance themselves from their homophobia, or from these murders, regardless of the religious background of the murderer. They are a prime driver of American homophobia.
posted by soundguy99 at 4:10 PM on June 12, 2016 [19 favorites]


There's no reason to pick apart every nuance of the killer's reason for specifically targeting LGBT people in a terror attack when there's 50 dead and 50 injured whose cultural milieu and lives are and were a special and rare gift to the world.

Agreed. Let him be buried in a hole along with his politics. No matter how he spun it, his motives and his actions were horrifying homphobia and transphobia in action.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 4:10 PM on June 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


.
posted by rakaidan at 4:11 PM on June 12, 2016


Orlando Sentinel is posting about the victims in a page that will be updating.

The little details of this are crushing. His 51 year old mom knew he'd be hungry after dancing all night, so she made a tomato and cheese dip for him and put it in the refrigerator. I don't know why this is what's finally making me need to go lie down, but fuck.
posted by naju at 4:15 PM on June 12, 2016 [55 favorites]


I am planning to donate some blood in response to this, but I was wondering does anyone know when is best to donate? I'm not sure if it would be better generally to schedule an appointment for this week or to wait a couple weeks and donate after the initial wave of donations dies down. I do not know my blood type.
posted by Gymnopedist at 4:21 PM on June 12, 2016


the Christian Right in the USA cannot distance themselves from their homophobia, or from these murders, regardless of the religious background of the murderer. They are a prime driver of American homophobia.

QFMFT.

Religious people in my life wonder why I carry so much animus. They don't understand how much of my life has been made a living hell because of people who share their beliefs.
posted by hippybear at 4:24 PM on June 12, 2016 [27 favorites]


I am planning to donate some blood in response to this, but I was wondering does anyone know when is best to donate?

When I called into the Rockledge collection center, they were asking people to make appointments for later in the week. Unfortunately, I was just down for the weekend.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 4:24 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]




I am planning to donate some blood in response to this, but I was wondering does anyone know when is best to donate?

Prob be better to wait a couple weeks. Donated blood doesn't have a long shelf life, so it's possible that more than enough blood has already been donated.
posted by sideshow at 4:26 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


the Christian Right in the USA cannot distance themselves from their homophobia, or from these murders, regardless of the religious background of the murderer. They are a prime driver of American homophobia.

They export that shit to other countries and religions too.
posted by Artw at 4:27 PM on June 12, 2016 [21 favorites]


Uganda comes immediately to mind.
posted by hippybear at 4:28 PM on June 12, 2016 [14 favorites]


Hanging the last priest with the entrails of the last king is sort of where I'm at headspace-wise but I know that's just me being an angry internet atheist instead of all of these idiot caveman religions being somehow not right???
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 4:31 PM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


The father's ideology is rabidly anti-gay.

For those of you, who think that you are doing a service by hunting for these facts and bring them to light, consider why the queer people in this thread and elsewhere are by large asking you not to. You may consider yourself an upholder of truth for doing so. But we queer people have shared experiences of marginalization that Muslims are currently experiencing. We know that truth alone is not neutral. We know that no matter how you insist that you are making a commentary on just this shooter alone, the mere nature of his identity will mean that he stands as a proxy for all Muslim people. We know that as these facts get dug up and shared, without caution, without disclaimer, without context, without kindness, these facts will translate into hate for another marginalized community that we would rather stand in solidarity with, knowing that they are targeted by the same set of politics. These are facts that must be wrapped up in compassion; not facts shared coldly by those who declare themselves to be "for balance". If you do the latter, you are accountable for spreading hate, no matter how much you insist yourself to be neutral.

It is not that we do not want truth. It is that we do not want truth that tramples upon justice.
posted by Conspire at 4:33 PM on June 12, 2016 [146 favorites]


TBH, I don't have any hate for muslims or any religious group. I just hate people who hate me and who have made my life miserable for decades. And what their background is doesn't matter to me. I'm just exhausted from day-to-day living. It's easier to assume everyone hates me than to pick and sort through every encounter hoping that someone doesn't hate me.
posted by hippybear at 4:36 PM on June 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


I honestly have not felt this way since Matthew Shepard was beaten and hung on a fence to die.
posted by hippybear at 4:37 PM on June 12, 2016 [18 favorites]


.
posted by Stynxno at 4:39 PM on June 12, 2016


I understand that people are hurting and there has been a ton of hate directed at the LGBT community by religious figures for ages but I also feel that most of those that use the language of faith to spread and justify hatred have abandoned the central tenets of that faith.

I think it's critical for communities of faith to not just suggest that those who preach hate are abandoning faith but to also stand up and show that they support these attackef communities.

If you are a member of a faith community start a dialogue on how to be a good ally and show your support for these communities that have so often been targeted
posted by vuron at 4:43 PM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


Omelas is nice this time of year, isn't it.
posted by Etrigan at 4:44 PM on June 12, 2016 [9 favorites]


For those from afar looking for a way to help financially, The Zebra Coalition, which roomthreeseventeen mentioned above, accepts donations.
posted by gwint at 4:45 PM on June 12, 2016


It breaks my heart to see the ages on the list of victims. Most of these people were in their early 20s with their entire lives ahead of them. To spend your entire life learning, preparing for your time to shine, and then to be struck down just as you're getting started, that's unspeakably tragic.
posted by foobaz at 4:45 PM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


The back-and-forth about whether this guy was or was not influenced by ISIS or whether he was or was not on a watch list doesn't really matter, if you think about it - because if he WAS on an FBI watch list, or if he WAS a suspected terrorist, a background check could have stopped him from buying a gun in the first place.

But we don't have any strong laws requiring mandatory background checks, so....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:47 PM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


The basic culture in the US is entirely homophobic. Whether he was "influenced by ISIS" or not doesn't matter. The whole thing is, this guy picked a club full of gay people to shoot up, and did so deliberately.
posted by hippybear at 4:49 PM on June 12, 2016 [14 favorites]


I don't think that's right, EmpressCallipygos. There was a bill a couple of months ago to prevent people on the terrorist watch list from getting guns, and it didn't pass. Being on the terrorism watch list is a not a legal reason to deny someone a gun license.

(For what it's worth, some people opposed it because the terrorist watch list is a little sketchy, and they didn't want to create a precedent of using it to deprive people of rights.)
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:50 PM on June 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


I haven't seen a definite source that he'd been placed on the watch list, even if that law had, in fact, passed in time for it. Is there one? Would like to see it if so.
posted by Archelaus at 4:53 PM on June 12, 2016


Being on the terrorism watch list is a not a legal reason to deny someone a gun license.

All the more reason why harping on the guy's religious or political affiliations don't matter a damn.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:54 PM on June 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


There have been two major ISIS inspired shootings (in the US) in the last year - seems like something that is worth acknowledging and understanding
posted by rosswald at 4:57 PM on June 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


I'm sad and sick too. Saw this late last night and just couldn't. This happens and we wail what do we do, how do we stop it? We talk about gun control, about homophobia or racism , or extremism of all sorts. We talk about healthcare, especially mood and personality disorders. We talk about our culture. But I want to do something and I want to do it soon and I don't want to do it alone.

June 21st roughly is the longest daylight day for most of the US, certainly so here on the east coast. Plenty of extra daylight and hopefully good weather so I say we make it a national day of light and kindness. A day where you use those extra hours of daylight to try to love your enemy. Gays freak you out? Have a cup of coffee with a gay person. Hate Jews? ask one to tell you a story. Far left like me and hate/fear/rarely talk to a Trump supporter? Demand a brief, pleasant chat. Buy an old foe a beer. Got no issues with anyone? Go sit with the lonely old people, or the sick, or abandoned dogs at the shelter. Use the the light to create some kindness. Challenge yourself to love your enemy.Help someone.

I'm no christian, I'm a hopeful agnostic at best, and I know there are damaged people who are not capable of trying, but on June 21st this year in the USA I'm going to try. I'm going to go be nice to someone I don't like and whose politics disgust me. Do it with me, please.We are the United States of America, and we must try to love our country, one person at a time if that's what it takes.
posted by vrakatar at 5:00 PM on June 12, 2016 [21 favorites]


Please don't confuse ISIS and their agenda with the basic homophobia of US culture. This could easily have been someone from any background. I doubt the men who chased me through a parking lot with baseball bats back in the early 90s were associated with ISIS. But they certainly were part of America.
posted by hippybear at 5:01 PM on June 12, 2016 [62 favorites]


I'm angry at the father for teaching his son to hate like this.
posted by humanfont at 5:02 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Mateen did indeed pass a background check in order to buy the weapons. Which seems patently ridiculous but appears to be the case.
posted by Justinian at 5:03 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


There's an open gun thread here, which would be a great place for discussions of background checks and so on.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:09 PM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


As long as religions (Islam, Christianity, etc.) preach hate and homophobia, this will continue. One of the big reasons I stopped being a Christian is because I don't want to be associated with that bullshit. I feel doubly bad for LGBTQ Christans and Muslims who have to navigate through all the hate inside their faith communities.
posted by rikschell at 5:09 PM on June 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


For the umpteenth time, to those in this thread who really really want this incident to be because of some Other Religion/Ideology from Otherwhere: Just stop. Anyone who's grown up queer in this country can tell you an endless number of hideous stories - all too many of them originating with our From Right Fucking Here families - of abuse, assault, threats, and hate. These are not special or unique to Other Religions/Ideologies from Otherwhere. We have so much we export this shit (see: Uganda, for one).

Ask yourselves why you so desperately want this to be from Otherwhere, and why you cannot acknowledge that we grow our own hate quite effectively thankyouverymuch.
posted by rtha at 5:10 PM on June 12, 2016 [117 favorites]




Congress blocked an attempt to allow terror watch list data to be integrated with the background check system just about a month ago.
posted by humanfont at 5:20 PM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


There was a bill a couple of months ago to prevent people on the terrorist watch list from getting guns, and it didn't pass. Being on the terrorism watch list is a not a legal reason to deny someone a gun license.

GOP blocks bill to stop terrorists from buying guns
posted by homunculus at 5:27 PM on June 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


There have been two major ISIS inspired shootings (in the US) in the last year - seems like something that is worth acknowledging and understanding

Sure. We can do that. Apparently, it's never too fucking soon to try to pin the blame on brown people from another country with a faith you don't like.

It's never too fucking soon to gaze at the mote in the Other's eye, but the beams that are buried in our own? Yes, let's make this about ISIS, and wash our hands of the toxic miasma that surrounds us all here. Let's say that it's too fucking soon to talk about the free availability of guns in this land of the free. Let's elide the fact that far too many of us want to defend hate speech that engenders these things as free speech. Let's avoid recognizing that whenever it's a white fucker who murders a murder of people, it's a "lone wolf" with "mental problems" and we don't want to look too closely, unless we can pin it on the fucking KKK, but when it's a brown man who does it, it's gotta be Islamic terrorism.

You want to pretend that this savagery didn't come from here because his daddy likes the Taliban, because he called in saying that he liked Daesh. You want to pretend this brutality against queer folk, against poc, against queer poc didn't come from here because America isn't like that. You want to imagine that here, people are judged by the content of their character, not who they fuck, not the color of their skin. You want to ignore that we as a country export our bigotry to other countries, convincing them to smear their queers because we can't do it anymore here, not legally. You want to look past the fact that we have elected officials, candidates, and Christian extremist clerics who cheer what's happening in Russia, in Uganda.

Fine. Focus on the fact that there's a link with ISIS. Ignore the fact that this killer was born and raised and lived here, was trained here, got his guns here, breathed and soaked in an American culture that still isn't okay with the gay, and then saw two men kissing here and decided to fucking murder Americans here.
posted by qcubed at 5:32 PM on June 12, 2016 [171 favorites]


yes, because there was any point in this chain that led to this shooting of a gay nightclub that would have been prevented through any set of regulations on gun ownership or gun use or anything.

Yeah, that's exactly what would have been effective.

Yeah.

At some point, the US is going to have to simply face the fact that, as a culture, it hates the queers, and breeds a culture which supports killing the queers by the basic fact of their existence. Until the US actually addresses this fact, Matthew Shepard and the Orlando killings will just continue to be a part of the quilt of our national existence.
posted by hippybear at 5:34 PM on June 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


.
posted by foodbedgospel at 5:34 PM on June 12, 2016


To Hippybear and all LGBT metafilter friends, I was sick to hear this and agree we have quite enough home-grown fundamentalist hate, and that hate kills. There are no words, my heart is broken with yours.
posted by mermayd at 5:35 PM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


I was about to say what qcubed has so eloquently said, and I wish I could give your comment 100 favorites.
posted by maggiemaggie at 5:41 PM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


UK media is not doing a good job right now.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 5:42 PM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm 65 now, gay. I realized I was gay when I was about 14, in rural upstate New York. It was not easy. I didn't know any gay men (well, boys at the time) - we were probably all too scared - but in retrospect I know that I knew gay men. I came way too close to suicide more than once. I remember that like it was yesterday.

When I got to college it was 1969 and Stonewall happened. I helped found a gay student group (which was excoriated by the local newspapers), lived with a couple gay roommates, but with only a couple of relationships. Graduated, joined the Peace Corps and finally got fucked by another Peach Corps Volunteer (a big moment for closeted me - thanks Mike, if you're still out there). Returned to the US and became active in a local gay community group - we planned the first marches in the city, arranged busses to NYC pride marches.

Lost a few jobs at least in part because I was gay.

But the one thing I've always wanted, after my miserable adolescence and fight through college, was to find ways to help younger gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, trans people (that took a while, but a good friend helped me through it), come out, come to grips with themselves and with their families. I've managed that to some extent. And I've backed away over time, because I don't want to come across as weird or predatory. And because it seemed to really be getting better.

And with this, this tormented killer, it doesn't matter if he's moslem or christian or hasidic, but my experience in the US has been with more than a few christians who hate big time, goes and kills exactly the people, the young queer people, I've tried to support. The people who have been doing better because of all the little (and big) things that so many of us have done over the years.

It's been a very tough day.

But it's not about me, its about those who were shot, killed, wounded and their friends and lovers and families. I watched a yung man on CNN crying about his best friend, another who said "thats enough".

And every news story that elides the fact that these people were queer is another fucking knife to my heart. The shooter doesn't matter - he's just another tool of hate, the victims all matter and their friends and lovers and families.
posted by Death and Gravity at 5:43 PM on June 12, 2016 [92 favorites]


I sing in an LGBTQA choir and we marched in Pride today. We are a nonprofit group, we do a few concerts a year that bring in ticket money for us. It is a fantastic community group and a source of shelter against things like this.

If you are wondering what you can do to help, find a group like us near you. Go to their concerts or events next year. Support the groups, usually nonprofit, near you that help your LGBTQ neighbors feel strength and pride in their community. Help us keep going. (And of course, join us if choir or whatever is your thing).
posted by nakedmolerats at 5:43 PM on June 12, 2016 [9 favorites]


On the road from Quebec City to Montreal, I looked out the window. As the sun was setting, a rainbow appeared. This was moments ago. To us, it seemed like it was coming from the south. From Florida. From Orlando.

..................................................

🌈
posted by vert canard at 5:45 PM on June 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


And every news story that elides the fact that these people were queer is another fucking knife to my heart.

This and this and more of this. *wipes eyes again for the hundredth time today*
posted by hippybear at 5:50 PM on June 12, 2016 [12 favorites]


💔 🌈
posted by bologna on wry at 5:51 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Straight people, go check in with your queer friends (if you have them). Check in with your Latinx queer friends. Christ. I can see the half assed liberal wonders over on my opinions book bleating about fucking religion and gun control. Erasing us. Erasing us. You cannot erase us. I waited until this year to start transitioning because I thought I would be safe. Fuck you all. Fuck this sin world.
posted by beefetish at 5:53 PM on June 12, 2016 [12 favorites]


.
posted by rogueepicurean at 5:55 PM on June 12, 2016


A note, from my trip to work this afternoon. After I'd paid, the driver was handing me back my debit card, and asked me if I was okay.

"No... The news..."
"Florida? Allah loves everyone. But not that fucker."

Made me burst into tears all over again.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:56 PM on June 12, 2016 [187 favorites]


So what if this fucking guy was influenced by ISIS. Seriously. What does that do for us as a nation? Remind us ISIS is bad? Well, no shit. Should we go police some local mosques? Root through Muslim neighborhoods looking for more killers? Maybe bomb a couple foreign cities? Ignore the fact that, as others have mentioned above, he was an American citizen who used weapons he bought legally in America? Ignore the fact that he targeted a vulnerable monitory community? A community that is under constant attack from plenty of people with absolutely no connection to ISIS?

There are ways to deal with this as a nation that will actually honor those that have been killed. Framing this primarily as an international issue or responding to people's outrage at the obvious homophobic nature of this hate crime with "but ISIS" accomplishes nothing.
posted by AtoBtoA at 5:56 PM on June 12, 2016 [10 favorites]


Made me burst into tears all over again

Made me burst into tears again right now, too. Thanks. (Not a slam, truly glad to have tears over this)
posted by hippybear at 5:57 PM on June 12, 2016 [11 favorites]


On the flip side our fucking dishwasher asked me if he could meet girls at pride and I fucking lost it. May have included the words "it's not fucking about you, it's certainly not about you picking up a girl, and fucking today of all fucking days I do not need your straight nonsense so shut the fuck up"
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:00 PM on June 12, 2016 [27 favorites]


Allah loves everyone. But not that fucker."

Can I get that on a t-shirt?
posted by vrakatar at 6:00 PM on June 12, 2016 [12 favorites]


UK media is not doing a good job right now.

Well, that might not be doing well, but he's a voice that hasn't appeared at all on US TV. The US coverage is much more focused on ISIS.
posted by pjenks at 6:01 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


I've been so close to the edge all day today, I completely understand your reaction to your dishwasher. If I could just curl up into a ball and sleep for the next 20 hours I would but that isn't possible. But today has been so difficult...
posted by hippybear at 6:01 PM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


This is so heartbreaking

How could it even happen? How could he manage to kill and harm so many people before the police stopped him?
posted by mumimor at 6:02 PM on June 12, 2016


.
posted by postcommunism at 6:02 PM on June 12, 2016


I just started a new job on Friday, and the man who trained me is a gay man from Venezuela. He lived in Orlando for a while before he moved to Boston. We connected over nerdy things and seemed to develop a camaraderie.

I've been thinking about him all day today. I'm going back and forth about whether I should check in with him tomorrow...if it would be weird or too personal. I worked with an African American woman last year, and when I brought up Ferguson she changed the subject. I'm sure J. has friends he can talk to about this, but I can' imagine what he's thinking right now.
posted by pxe2000 at 6:02 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Love.

.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 6:03 PM on June 12, 2016


The vigil and march in downtown Austin tonight feels like a galvanizing moment here. I hope this feeling does not fade, that our memories remain long and our defiant ferocity compels us all to fight for equality to our last breath.
posted by Annika Cicada at 6:03 PM on June 12, 2016


Louisville. People as far as the eye can see.
posted by helloknitty at 6:04 PM on June 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


He might have been influenced by ISIS, but it seems to me like we can't blame any outside group for violence against people who plenty of Americans still believe are deserving of violence. It'd be like blaming your kid swearing on the fact that they see swearing on television and in music, when you also happen to curse like a sailor at home.

My partner is currently on the road and tonight will be the first time I've seen her in person for too long, and I am so glad for that. I've been cleaning like a crazy person today just trying to keep my mind off of things until she's here and we can spend just one night being safe and together before we have to tackle the world again.
posted by Sequence at 6:04 PM on June 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


Dance club. Loud, crowded, disorienting lights, darkness. Seems obvious you could get away with a lot.

pxe, if he's specifically out to you, you can tell him if he needs anything you're there. Put a pride flag on your desk. Live good allyship. Call out homophobia anywhere and everywhere you see it. Amplify our voices, especially amplify the voices of queer PoC.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:05 PM on June 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


...and now the right wing Christian counter protest just showed up screaming all sorts of hateful shit at us.
posted by Annika Cicada at 6:08 PM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


May have included the words "it's not fucking about you, it's certainly not about you picking up a girl, and fucking today of all fucking days I do not need your straight nonsense so shut the fuck up"

Big hug for you, fffm.
Is it inappropriate for me to mention how awesome I think it is that in the midst of all the "fuckings" in your response, you called his shit "nonsense?" Cause that's some adorable Canadian awesomeness.
posted by chococat at 6:08 PM on June 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


...and now the right wing Christian counter protest just showed up screaming all sorts of hateful shit at us.

But the guy was ISIS! /s
posted by qcubed at 6:09 PM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


...and now the right wing Christian counter protest just showed up screaming all sorts of hateful shit at us.

The fuck? Serious?
posted by Talez at 6:10 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yup. Totally serious.
posted by Annika Cicada at 6:11 PM on June 12, 2016


Annika Cicada, that is so extremly disrespectful, how are they even human?
posted by mumimor at 6:11 PM on June 12, 2016


They're obviously taking after their good Christian Lt. Governor, who wanted us to know that we reap what we sow, for mocking god, apparently, by being irredeemably queer.

Remember, though, that doesn't matter at all. We're talking about how the shooter was with ISIS.
posted by qcubed at 6:13 PM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


Annika get the crowd singing. Sing a song back at them drown them out.
posted by vrakatar at 6:13 PM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


Shitting hell. Is it Westboro Baptist, or more garden variety hateful bigots?
posted by biogeo at 6:13 PM on June 12, 2016


...and now the right wing Christian counter protest just showed up screaming all sorts of hateful shit at us.'

And yet there is all sorts of blame being put in "outsider religions" for this...

if I could have blamed outsider religions for the horror of the past nearly 3 decades of my life, living in the US would feel a lot better.
posted by hippybear at 6:14 PM on June 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


It's just gross that these people, these same people as ever will come and co-opt this tragedy for their same hateful, sickening agenda.
I don't know how to deal with that.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 6:14 PM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


Clearly these are thoughts and prayers.
posted by Artw at 6:14 PM on June 12, 2016 [12 favorites]


I have had msnbc on for hours and they have shocked me in a good way with their coverage. It has made me wonder if there is a mefite in an important position there. They have been incredibly thoughtful and have talked over and over again about the significance of this happening at a gay venue, the age of the victims, their ethnicity, the fact that many were probably closeted etc.

Many of the interviewees have been from the local area and have spoken out about how they intend to hold the media/politicians/religious establishment's feet to the fire.

i have been astounded at the compassion and lack of talk (mostly) about the murderer or ISIS. The coverage early on in the day was very awful and sensational and then about 2pm a switch flipped. They have repeatedly said that this is a hate crime first and terrorism.

They have talked about the importance and significance that the venue represented in the community. How it was a safe place. How important it was to have such a place for closeted people. A place to make friends and be a part of a family. I could say a lot more but I just wanted to let some of you know that msnbc has been a breath of fresh air today. And I can't believe that I just said all of that about a major news organization. I am normally a corporate news hater.

Their coverage wasn't perfect but it was the complete opposite of the breathless sensational shit that I am used to seeing. I am still dumbfounded.
posted by futz at 6:14 PM on June 12, 2016 [25 favorites]


They're obviously taking after their good Christian Lt. Governor, who wanted us to know that we reap what we sow, for mocking god, apparently, by being irredeemably queer.

Actually it appears highly likely it was just a bad coincidence. He does in fact do those Bible quotes every Sunday without fail and the images are created custom for his Twitter feed which would support his assertion that it was picked out on Thursday.
posted by Talez at 6:15 PM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


...damn it, Annika Cicada, I'm so sorry. How fucking hateful is that?

(There are so many people in this thread I wish I could hug right now.)

It's so important to keep the LGBT community front and center and don't let it be forgotten that this was a hate crime specifically directed at them (and, even more specifically, at LGBT POC). I'm sick when I click around to read the news and see that it's all ISIS all the time.
posted by Salieri at 6:15 PM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


Their coverage wasn't perfect but it was the complete opposite of the breathless sensational shit that I am used to seeing. I am still dumbfounded.

futz, I just saw your comment after I posted, and I'm really glad to see that.
posted by Salieri at 6:18 PM on June 12, 2016


I think I'm going to miss the tail end of the vigil. Queer Toronto mefites, who wants to go get hammered and be defiantly loud and queer?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:19 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


I am doing a super-gay thing instead of going to the local vigil (because I cannot people, even my people, tonight): Going to drink cocktails and watch the Tony Awards.
posted by rtha at 6:21 PM on June 12, 2016 [14 favorites]


I had the same experience, futz. Turned away from MSNBC's coverage earlier but was surprised to find thoughtful speech after thoughtful speech when I returned.
posted by AtoBtoA at 6:21 PM on June 12, 2016




My profile was looking bare, so I added some details. It is Pride Month, after all.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 6:24 PM on June 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


Man Who Plotted Attack on LA Gay Pride Parade Had 3 Assault Rifles

20 years old. And only caught because he was calling attention to himself. Previously arrested for threatening a neighbor with a gun.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:27 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


The "this was clearly ISIS and we need to analyze the ISIS attacks" arguments strikes me as rather strange, not only because people are trying to read a lot into two specific mass shootings when the US has seen 14 already in June and around 350 since this time last year (making the message more "I'm not very good at statistics" than "I've noticed something that we didn't know before"), but mostly because the attacks look very little like the ones that involve trained terrorists.

And like a European terrorist expert just pointed out, in this case the murderer doesn't seem to have known any more about ISIS than your average american; why else would he rant about the Boston bombers in his 911 call, instead of some attack that ISIS was actually behind?
posted by effbot at 6:28 PM on June 12, 2016 [10 favorites]


NYC WTC lit up with Pride colors.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 6:29 PM on June 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


Obviously if you join ISIS and you're from America they just hand you a note which says "go on a shooting spree like every one else there!", because really there's nothing else to differentiate it.
posted by Artw at 6:30 PM on June 12, 2016 [14 favorites]


Space Needle is flying a giant pride flag at half mast. All US navy ships flying flags at half mast.
posted by futz at 6:31 PM on June 12, 2016 [23 favorites]


Here's the speech I would have preferred to hear. To me, it would have made more sense.

"My fellow Americans. Earlier this morning, Orlando became the latest city to experience what we all allow to happen, in part because of the availability of assault weapons and loose gun restrictions, in part because we do not dare use a phrase like "radicalized extremism", and in part because we show shameful impotence in helping our nation's mentally ill. I am here to assure you and the world that this kind of event is not only acceptable, but encouraged by our collective inaction. God may bless America, but may He condemn our partisanship and feeble leadership."

Sending "thoughts, prayers, and condolences" proves embarrassingly insufficient. God, or to whomever folk address those prayers, will assuredly have the final say, and God doesn't need prayers. I believe in a God that expects action. Seeing the line for blood donations*, the fundraising, and hearing tales of heroism all give me sheer hope that there still exists some genuine human decency on an otherwise dangerous and ugly day.

*The irony of a partial ban from those having had a homosexual encounter in the past 12 months proves especially disgusting and tragic.
posted by Conway at 6:33 PM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm Australian, and not latinx or LGBT, but I want you guys to know that Sydney Town Hall is flying the pride flag at half mast today. You are not alone.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:33 PM on June 12, 2016 [43 favorites]


If your Pride parade encounters any "Christian" protesters, I'd recommend chanting the following 4 syllables at them repeatedly: "YOU ARE ISIS". Should cheer 'em up.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:35 PM on June 12, 2016 [12 favorites]




My understanding is that ISIS is like Anonymous, in a sense: any moron can do something and then say that they're part of Anonymous. It just so happens that ISIS agrees enough with "Allah demands that you murder gay people" such that nobody else related to ISIS seems all that bothered by the fact that the Boston Bombing was not an ISIS jam.

Like, I'm not even part of the conga line of people saying that this attack was definitely ISIS. This asshole pledged allegiance to ISIS over the phone, but he didn't receive any ISIS-funded training or what-have-you. He would have been an asshole with or without ISIS-qua-ISIS.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:36 PM on June 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


.
posted by Naib at 6:41 PM on June 12, 2016


I'm thinking about the ISIS aspect almost like a convenient way to justify things to himself. Part of me suspects that the shooter was gay/queer and was tormented by that fact. So much of what manifests as extreme homophobia has roots in self-repression and twisted self-torture. He could never come out to his family. He was taught by the culture (American and otherwise) and his peers all around him that it was unacceptable. He even believed it himself. He saw two men kissing and felt a mixture of disgust and extreme envy, like they were openly, flagrantly living the life he had to keep locked up at all costs. I just imagine the extreme self-denial that must have been going through his head. A relatively secular shooter with his background and American upbringing doesn't do something like this just because he thinks homosexuality is wrong. It's that it's wrong and something every atom in his body is aligning with, and he can't handle the disconnect. Militant Islam is almost like the handiest random thing to grasp onto to have his extreme hatred/jealousy be somewhat coherent. Like it may as well be an afterthought. If right-wing Christianity was more accessible to him, he would've grasped at that instead.
posted by naju at 6:44 PM on June 12, 2016 [15 favorites]


I wish I could join the Toronto vigil, but I'm recovering from surgery. This attack was an obscenity, and reading all the stuff in this thread about the hatemongers and opportunists leaping at the chance to divide people further and/or twist it to serve their own political ends made me feel physically ill. I started crying and had to lie down. So much hate and fear. I don't understand it. My heart and thoughts go out to the victims, their families and loved ones and...everyone whose lives have been made worse by this terrible act of hate and violence, really. I can only hope that somehow this will galvanize good people to make the world a better, more accepting, loving place for LGBT people everywhere. Don't let hate win.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:49 PM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


Maybe he was gay, maybe he wasn't. What we do know is his actions, and I for one give zero fucks about what was in his heart.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:49 PM on June 12, 2016 [20 favorites]


Jeeeeesus.

.
posted by Sebmojo at 6:49 PM on June 12, 2016


Look, fuck ISIS, sure. But this fucker wasn't ISIS. This was another dumb fuck justifying violence towards LGBT people with religious bullshit. The Florida legislature had bills this year, called the "Pastor Protection Act" that would have encoded religious discrimination against LGBT people into law. Any Florida legislator who voted for that shit but decries this as Islamic violence can go fuck themselves.
posted by Cookiebastard at 6:50 PM on June 12, 2016 [45 favorites]


For those killed: .

For the Latinx queer community in Orlando especially, and queer people in Florida, the US and everywhere, you are in my thoughts.
posted by Dysk at 6:50 PM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm thinking about the ISIS aspect almost like a convenient way to justify things to himself. Part of me suspects that the shooter was gay/queer and was tormented by that fact.

Pop psych analysis of someone you've never met is invidious, but yeah. It's hard to imagine caring enough about it to even yell at someone otherwise, let alone this.
posted by Sebmojo at 6:51 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Maybe he was gay, maybe he wasn't. What we do know is his actions, and I for one give zero fucks about what was in his heart.

I care only insomuch as it would explain some of the confusion we have about the narrative right now. He doesn't appear to have any more connections to ISIS than any of us do, so it's natural to try to puzzle this out.
posted by naju at 6:51 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


I have explained to my 3 and 5 year olds that some people don't want families like ours to exist (our extended family) and that was because we saw a group of protesters with their signs against ontario's sex ed curriculum (because it would tell kids about same sex families in kindergarten). I can't even imagine talking to them about people wanting to murder their aunts and uncles. I couldn't talk to them about it today. But I will. And I will explain why mummy is marching with their aunt in the Trans March this year. Big hugs to all LGBT mefites.
posted by biggreenplant at 6:58 PM on June 12, 2016 [40 favorites]


naju, I don't think any queer person has any 'confusion about the narrative.' We know exactly how this story goes, we know that homophobia will only be a footnote to this story.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:59 PM on June 12, 2016 [10 favorites]


I'm making the argument that ISIS is a red herring, so I seem to be on your side. But I didn't mean to offend, apologies. Backing off.
posted by naju at 7:01 PM on June 12, 2016




Get rid of the guns get rid of the guns get rid of the guns get rid of the guns.
posted by latkes at 7:06 PM on June 12, 2016 [17 favorites]


Jim Comey's face should be on a lot of stories this week.
posted by rhizome at 7:08 PM on June 12, 2016


Is that the right link? Coal gas?
posted by Justinian at 7:10 PM on June 12, 2016


Previously. Like, 1997.
posted by vrakatar at 7:13 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Fuck.
posted by Bob Regular at 7:14 PM on June 12, 2016




Fuck today, and the sad little man who inflicted his lunatic bigotry on innocent people. I'm sorry for the sake of the LGBT folks who have had their community shattered by this.

President Barack Obama receives an update in the Oval Office from FBI Director James Comey and Homeland Security Advisor Lisa Monaco on the mass shooting in Orlando

Oh damn... this is not going to be good.
posted by codacorolla at 7:21 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]




Is that the right link? Coal gas? Yup. Get rid of the means. Guns are, among other things, one of our greatest public health problems. People act as if we can't do anything about mass shootings or about gun deaths. We can. Get rid of the means. Lessons from epidemiology show that works.
posted by latkes at 7:32 PM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


.
posted by lester at 7:32 PM on June 12, 2016


Jesus Christ.

.
posted by lovecrafty at 7:33 PM on June 12, 2016


.
posted by parki at 7:35 PM on June 12, 2016


"Nothing here is promised, not one day."

No other road
No other way
No day but today
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:35 PM on June 12, 2016 [9 favorites]




And every news story that elides the fact that these people were queer is another fucking knife to my heart.

It looks like Drudge Report is going with "ISIS WAGES WAR ON GAYS" as their headline now.

I'm looking forward to telling the next bigot I encounter that he/she sounds like an ISIS terrorist, and that homophobic/transphobic policies are letting the terrorists win.
posted by Jacqueline at 7:39 PM on June 12, 2016 [15 favorites]


No. We are not connected to terrorists in any way. No. Their trans- and homophobic policies are hurting and killing people.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:40 PM on June 12, 2016


I can't even. I mean, the ISIS thing is a red herring. The dominant culture is to blame. Passing it off to some outside influence is just bullshit.
posted by hippybear at 7:42 PM on June 12, 2016 [25 favorites]


Nation Wishes It Could Just Once Be Reminded Of Preciousness Of Life Without Mass Shooting

I was at a birthday party for a six year old today, my daughter was one of only two kids invited who weren't related to the B-Boy. He had two younger cousins, one of them a very intense and intent 2 year old. He had a badminton racket. He had a shuttlecock. He was gonna hit it, and play badminton like his big bros and zins. Kid was determined. He would come over, with his super-serious game face, and ask random adults to hold and throw the shuttlecock so he could get a swing at it, or demonstrate the hold-and-throw-and-hit technique, and he'd study it very intently. Mostly he waved the racket around at empty air. Or, he'd throw up the shuttlecock, bend down to grab the racket, and frown when he realized he was too late, watching the absurd little rubber and plastic thing bounce upon the ground. Or he'd throw the shuttlecock away from himself and run after it swinging the racket wildly.

He settled his intense, 2yo energy, squared his shoulders, bent his knees, tossed the shuttlecock, swung the racket, and sent the shuttlecock into a nearby potted plant.

"Yay! I did it!" he said, picking it up to try again, oblivious to the grownups around him fainting insensate on the spot from the schmoopy.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:45 PM on June 12, 2016 [26 favorites]




Look, I know we all like to overthink the plate of beans here. But speculation about if and to what degree Mateen was involved with Daesh, and what we should do about it is drowning out conversations about what the LGBTQ community is doing right now. And that's all over the place, not just here.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 7:45 PM on June 12, 2016 [25 favorites]


Preach, CBrachyrhynchos. Please stop talking over us, please stop disregarding our grief and our sadness and our rage and our fear. It's not about you, it's not about Daesh. It's about us.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:48 PM on June 12, 2016 [13 favorites]


.

My heartfelt condolences to every person directly impacted and, well, condolences to everyone. Just everyone. Day by day, harder and harder to wrap the mind around the present reality of America. Good God.
posted by cwest at 7:49 PM on June 12, 2016


I'm considering calling sick to work tomorrow to just lay in bed all day and feel.
posted by Annika Cicada at 7:53 PM on June 12, 2016 [12 favorites]


I've been blocked twice on twitter (by people who don't actually follow me) twice today for insisting that this isn't about Daesh or ISIS or whatever but is about people who hate faggots... and I will continue to stand firm in that assertion.
posted by hippybear at 7:54 PM on June 12, 2016 [24 favorites]


(Mostly because I work in tech around a lot of libertarian bros and I just can't even imagine dealing with that tomorrow)
posted by Annika Cicada at 7:55 PM on June 12, 2016 [10 favorites]


I am feeling very, very tired. My Facebook feed is full of cis straight colleagues debating which presidential campaign this massacre will benefit. These are people who feel they are on the side of the angels, enlightened progressives.

The disconnect between my experience and theirs is really jarring.

I'm a trans man married to a trans woman in one of those states suing the Obama administration for their right to discriminate against trans students. Last summer, a drunk couple in a truck tried to run over my wife, laughing about "getting the tranny." She barely managed to climb over a wall to safety before the truck hit it. Every time she leaves the house, it is a challenge, due to daily aggressions both micro and macro. Thrown bottles. Parents yanking their children away. People spitting. Police harassment for walking while trans.

The shocking thing about this massacre for me is how it doesn't shock my little family at all.

Nor am I at all surprised that people who would count me as a friend post that they are shocked, absolutely shocked at the news, and then immediately start discussing how to use the massacre to further their social media proxy political campaigns. They're always shocked to find out our health insurance explicitly discriminates against trans people, but do nothing about it, or saying things like, "Oh, that's terrible that your wife almost got run down! But at least you can expect that, unlike poor Bob who got randomly mugged last month, a block from his house where he should have been safe."

There are people in this thread asking others to center the queer victims of this massacre, many of them Latinx, but I'm feeling like some people honestly don't understand what that request means. So I will speak personally about what it means to me. It means I would like people to talk about how brutal the manifestations of homophobia, and more than that, transphobia, and most especially transmisogyny can be in the USA today--especially for people who are poor, brown, gender-nonconforming and/or visibly transfeminine. I want help in fighting the erasure of the issue of why the patrons of Pulse were chosen as victims from media and public discussions. I want to talk about how hate kills. I know, I know, guns kill, and I'm all for gun control, but hate pulls the trigger. I want a discussion that recognizes that there are whole swaths of the LGBT+ community who live in fear for their safety every day. I want one that treats each of the victims with reverence that celebrates their queerness, rather than backgrounding it, one that carefully determines their pronouns, one that respects their ethnicities, one that treats with care and compassion the fact that some of the victims were closeted and have been killed or maimed and outed all at once, one that treats them as just as innocent and precious as the victims of massacres like Sandy Hook or Virginia Tech.

That's what would be helpful to me. Tired hugs to all those in need of them.
posted by DrMew at 7:57 PM on June 12, 2016 [174 favorites]


@Annika, I dunno about you, but I've had a few multi-fingered pours of whisky, so that's one way to deal with it.
posted by qcubed at 7:58 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Taking a mental health day is a long and honorable tradition, and I recommend it to anyone who feels they need it.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:58 PM on June 12, 2016 [10 favorites]


angrycat: "It would be nice if fourth-quarter Obama got out and tried again with the gun control issue."

Meaningful control of long guns in the US isn't going to happen, I want to say as long as the US is governed by the current US constitution but that is a long time so I'll hedge and say, in the next 30+ years. There is no way an amendment to the 2nd is going to get passed by 3/4s of the states that enables banning long guns; it's a complete non starter in rural states. Spending any time on trying to make it happen is a supreme waste of time.

Slap*Happy: "ISIL does a great job of making information accessible for those on the internet intent on planning and perpetrating terrorist attacks. The horrific effectiveness of this attack, head and shoulders above other mass killings in its lethality, is a clear indication that it was planned with meticulous care by someone who either was being advised directly, or took advantage of information on how to maximize the impact. "

I disagree that the high number of causalities is an indication of training. Many mass shooters, for whatever reason, stop shooting or turn their weapons on themselves before they run out of either ammunition or targets. A lack of will by perpetrators is what keeps body counts down.

Drinky Die: "I'm not sure why we maintain a list of potential terrorists to watch if watching to see if they are arming themselves to potentially kill a bunch of people isn't one of the things we are watching for."

The US has a watch list so law enforcement can spin it that they weren't caught napping when one of these terror events happens. Also so that big fish, small pond, petty dictator types in law enforcement can arrange for people to be harassed outside of their areas of influence.

Ok that was cynical. The stated purpose of the list is to allow and encourage law enforcement agencies, the CIA, NSA, and select foreign agencies to share information amongest themselves on persons of interest in terrorism investigations to support diplomatic, military, intelligence, law enforcement, immigration, visa, and protective processes. Because it's original intent was to screen people seeking entry to the country it is pretty much free of any constitutional considerations.

humanfont: "Congress blocked an attempt to allow terror watch list data to be integrated with the background check system just about a month ago."

I'd think using a secret list compiled without public due process, and which only a secret, privileged, internal arbitration process can possibly get you off of, to deny constitutional rights would be blatantly unconstitutional. And the scope is large; the list has more than a million people on it.
posted by Mitheral at 7:58 PM on June 12, 2016 [9 favorites]


I'm fucking terrified. At some point this intolerable situation will provoke a response of immense violence. Lots of innocent people will die and who knows where it ends.
posted by humanfont at 7:59 PM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


Jeebus, DrMew.. that's horrifying. All my hugs are yours.
posted by hippybear at 8:00 PM on June 12, 2016 [11 favorites]


I'm Australian, and not latinx or LGBT, but I want you guys to know that Sydney Town Hall is flying the pride flag at half mast today. You are not alone.

Yep, my most heartfelt condolences, thoughts & solidarity from the LGBT heartland of Sydney.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:01 PM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


Police have arrested a man with assault rifles and possible explosives who said he was headed to the L.A. Pride parade.

So according to the latest updates to that story, that guy had a boyfriend, and only said that he was headed to the L.A. Pride parade when the police found him, not anything about causing harm. Why he brought plenty of weapons and explosives with him from Indiana is rather unclear, though, and he does seem to have a worrying habit of pointing guns at people...
posted by effbot at 8:01 PM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


Dr. Mew, I'll say it again you are a national treasure and your wife is too.

SO MUCH LOVE to you and your partner.
posted by Annika Cicada at 8:03 PM on June 12, 2016 [20 favorites]


At some point this intolerable situation will provoke a response of immense violence. Lots of innocent people will die and who knows where it ends.

I think there are many, many, many families living in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and elsewhere who would argue that response has been going on for years now.
posted by ryanshepard at 8:04 PM on June 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


If any queer Toronto Mefites are watching, I'm heading to Woodys with some friends. Come join and be defiant.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:06 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


DrMew- I also send support and love for you and your wife.

Our work for respect and love for everyone is so very far from done. And our trans friends are more vulnerable more often than anyone.

I won't be giving up in my ally work. Hugs. Xx
posted by taff at 8:07 PM on June 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


..................................................
posted by WalkerWestridge at 8:10 PM on June 12, 2016


Love from Brisbane. I'm half the world away but I feel like I've been punched. I can't get the notion of those unanswered ringing phones out of my mind.
posted by Jilder at 8:17 PM on June 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


You've all said so much that I agree with. I can only add that I'm sending hugs to you all and love to those affected by it. The tears keep coming.

.
posted by arcticseal at 8:18 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


.
posted by SNACKeR at 8:18 PM on June 12, 2016


Devastating day, devastating events. My heartfelt condolences and sorrow to all lgbt people who feel this blow so deeply and personally. My love and respect. My commitment to work harder in fighting bigotry and hate.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:22 PM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


DrMew, thank you for your eloquence, heartbreaking as it is. In the coming days we will be learning more about the individual victims of this senseless hate. I hope we can hear and respect their stories as individuals and as members of the LGBTQ community, and grieve and remember them for who they were.
posted by biogeo at 8:22 PM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


.
posted by Quietgal at 8:25 PM on June 12, 2016


.
posted by cotton dress sock at 8:29 PM on June 12, 2016


.
posted by stolyarova at 8:31 PM on June 12, 2016


Love to folks here struggling with this horror. Remember it's OK to *not* follow the frantic minute-by-minute social media udpates and reactions, which can be both addictive and deeply upsetting, often without providing much light on the situation.

Take care of yourselves, everyone.
posted by mediareport at 8:31 PM on June 12, 2016 [26 favorites]


.
posted by RedOrGreen at 8:38 PM on June 12, 2016


Fuck all these hypocritical motherfucker politicians who take a few moments away from trying to pass anti-lgbt legislation just to murmur platitudes about thoughts and prayers and carefully obscuring the fact that it was queer people of color being targeted.
posted by rmd1023 at 8:41 PM on June 12, 2016 [11 favorites]


I disagree that the high number of causalities is an indication of training.

The attack started at 2am, and it seems the police treated it as a hostage situation for three long hours until the SWAT team went in and took him out at 5am. I'm sure they were following an established protocol, but there will be a lot of discussion and analysis of what strategies to use in situations like this, as they learn more about what exactly was happening inside the club.

But that's for another week or year, right now I'm going to forget everything I've picked up about the murderer and timelines and idiots in media and US politics, and replace all that with stories about victims, survivors, and responders.
posted by effbot at 8:41 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


#gaysbreaktheinternet
posted by twist my arm at 8:43 PM on June 12, 2016


Last Friday, my wife decided to take my daughter to a Pride Skate at a local roller rink. I was surprised, because that particular rink is smack in the middle of an intensely religious, heavily armed part of town– in a town that has spent the last several years fighting vociferously to deny queer people civil rights.

So when my wife said, hey, we’re going to this Pride skate, my first thought was not “Have fun.” It was “Maybe you should stay home.”

Because my first thought was– what if someone with a gun and something to prove shows up? I was anxious the entire time they were gone. I talked to my best friend online to distract me, but I couldn’t relax until they got home. Fortunately for my immediate family, my wife and my daughter had a great time at Pride Skate, and came home unscathed.

Last night, more than a hundred people went to a Pride celebration in Orlando. They did not come home unscathed. Half of them will never come home. Half of them linger in hospitals. These members of my queer family did nothing more radical than exist.

And now, because we live in a country where our elected leaders actively encourage people to believe that some lives are worth more than others– that in fact, some lives should be invalidated completely– fifty people were murdered. More than fifty more will spend the rest of their lives recovering emotionally and physically (and no doubt struggling financially because of the care they will require.)

And why? Because one man was encouraged by Donald Trump, and Ted Cruz and Paul Ryan, and every senator and representative, every lobbyist and media outlet who amplified their voices, to hate. Because one man was told over and over that queer people are less than, that they are frightening, that they corrupt children simply by existing. Because this one man believed every word from the pulpit and the pundits claiming that the mere existence of queer people is harmful.

One man saw two men kissing last week, and was so enraged that last night, he murdered fifty. He maimed fifty more.

So if you thought that the battle for marriage equality was the end, this is the reminder that it was only the beginning.

If you thought that everything is good and right and easy in the world for queer people, this is your reminder that it is not. If you thought the closet– constructed around us before we even realize our own true selves– was a thing of the past, this is your reminder that it is not.

If you thought that the closet was a neutral choice, with no meaning to it, this is your reminder that it is not. If you believe that there is no fundamental difference between Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton, this is your wake up call.

Queer people existing is still, in 2016, a radical act. Voting, in 2016, is a radical act. So I’m begging you– be a radical in 2016. Be a radical in November. Be the radical who replies to the people who spread fear and hate by cutting off their platform. The presidential nominee who hates– be a radical, silence him. Silence the representatives and the senators with your votes.

You can be in the room where it happens. You can. I’m talking to you.

Thoughts and prayers are no longer enough. Be a radical in 2016. Vote. Vote. VOTE.
posted by headspace at 8:45 PM on June 12, 2016 [80 favorites]


Active Shooter Training ; not just for the workplace.

.
posted by buzzman at 8:54 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


The queens are serving tonight. And mostly DQoC.

Now specifically a performance for Orlando
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:59 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


.
posted by limeonaire at 8:59 PM on June 12, 2016


(Somewhere Over the Rainbow)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:02 PM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


The company has confirmed that the shooter was an employee of G4S, the world's largest security company which operates in 120 countries with headquarters in London. It is the one of the largest employers in the world with 610,000 employees in the security business. He was a guard at a gated retirement community in South Florida.
posted by JackFlash at 9:06 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


From Frank Langella's Tony speech: "When something bad happens, we have three choices: we let it define us, we let it destroy us, or we let it strengthen us. Today in Orlando, we had a hideous dose of reality. I urge you, Orlando, to be strong, because I'm standing in a room full of the most generous human beings on Earth, and we will be with you every step of the way."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:09 PM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


Unfortunately it seems like the game of shifting the blame has already begun as we knew it would.

Instead of reaching out to the victims and their loved ones we seem to largely be defending well worn positions like "Islam is full of extremism" and "Guns are the problem" that seem to be the default positioning every single time this sort of shit happens.

Instead of talking about how hate of the LGBT community has been encouraged in both implicit and explicit ways for decades to the point where attacking LGBT rights is seen as a powerful wedge issue (it was gay marriage less than a decade ago and it's bathroom bills now). Until we acknowledge that an entire population has been under sustained attacks for ages these sorts of issues will continue to crop up over and over.

Yes this was a massive tragedy to the point where even our numb to violence culture is forced to actually wake up and take notice but other tragedies take place all the time all over this nation. We failed these people in Orlando, just like we fail everyone that gets bullied in school over being LGBT, we fail people who are discriminated against because of what they look like, or who they love or where they just happen to be when some bigot decides that someone needs to get hurt for whatever stupid reason they think justifies their hateful actions.

Yes people are horrified by the actions of this individual but we should also be horrified by the actions that our friends, family and coworkers take in all sorts of mean and shallow and spiteful ways to make people in the LGBT community feel small or less than human. We should endeavor to be better allies the sort that stand up for others even when it's easier to hide behind our privilege and ignore the attacks, the slights, the microaggressions, etc that are directed at this community all the time on a daily basis.

The actions of this individual did not take place in a vacuum. At some point in time he was socialized by homophobia to dehumanize his fellow human beings so that he could inflict violence upon them. I don't know exactly what socialized this homophobia whether it was his religion, or his background, or just the omnipresent homophobia that is constantly present in the underlying culture but he was weaponized into a world view where violence against members of the LGBT community became the logical extreme of his hate, that he was willing to die in order to inflict as much damage as possible upon someone he hated.

That level of hate requires an incredible amount of energy to sustain and it isn't found in a vacuum, unfortunately this individual was surrounded by a culture that seems to constantly condone victimizing the LGBT community. The hatred he felt was the same hate that inspires people to counter-protest pride parades with slogans like "God hates fags". It might've found more fertile soil in this young man but it's also finding fertile soil in lots of other individuals who will act out their hate in other extremely destructive ways.

So as so many talking heads rush to erase the suffering of the LGBT community in their attempt to sharpen their talking points I really urge the members of this community to listen to the heartfelt pleas of the brave members of the LGBT community on Metafilter and the rest of the internet that are saying "no this is our story" and desperately pleading with us to not erase this event in a rush to fuel our own agendas.
posted by vuron at 9:12 PM on June 12, 2016 [17 favorites]


It's been a day. I saw the headlines early and tried to retreat into a cynical, detached, "oh this again" defense. It didn't work.

Somewhere around lunch time I remembered the Sting song "Fragile" and I just lost it.

"If blood will flow
When flesh and steel are one
Drying in the color
Of the evening sun
Tomorrow's rain
Will wash the stains away
But something in our minds will always stay.

Perhaps this final act was meant
To clinch a lifetime's argument
That nothing comes from violence
And nothing ever could
For all us born beneath an angry star
Lest we forget how fragile we are."


I rallied a bit to get through the Tony awards, always a highlight of the year for me, where Lin-Manuel Miranda took the moment of the night in a poetic acceptance speech:

"When senseless acts of tragedy remind us
That nothing here is promised, not one day.
This show is proof that history remembers
We lived through times when hate and fear seemed stronger;
We rise and fall and light from dying embers, remembrances that hope and love last longer
And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside.
I sing Vanessa’s symphony, Eliza tells her story
Now fill the world with music, love and pride."


And now I'm going to bed, and on the way I'm pondering the words of the only teacher I've ever known who consistently spoke of peace -- the Buddha:

"He who seeks happiness
By hurting those who seek happiness
Will never find happiness."

posted by dnash at 9:29 PM on June 12, 2016 [9 favorites]


.

I don't have words. No words except to say hey, I love all of you. All I feel like I can do is try to spread some love. But it's so hard to do. But I'll say it here: I love every single one of you.
posted by sarcasticah at 9:29 PM on June 12, 2016 [14 favorites]


Turn that love into action please
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:32 PM on June 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


This was something I wrote today, in solidarity as a white genderfluid person. I am hesitant to share it but I do in case it would be of any comfort to any of you and yours:

for so many
who have been lost or must go on
and no one else tonight,
I am crying, I am crying
I am pain and I am danger, I am peace
I am alone, I am with you, we are alone
We are together, we are dying
I am poetry, this poem
We are alone, we are together, dying
Danger in and of and are at peace
and are in pain, and we are peace
and I am crying, you are dying—not alone
I am tomorrow, with you, coming
certain, coming, soon, bringing
something, rushing, testing
ice, the old rope bridge,
the waiting room
the bloody street
the old spoke truth
and new heard truth,
the coming, saying, certain
holding, caring, holding,
coming a metaphor
for staying alive
become a semaphore
for being alive
inside a world for you
and I
to be
posted by an animate objects at 9:33 PM on June 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


I just got off the phone with my mother begging her to talk to the pastor of her church to make a statement from the pulpit against this hate and in support of human beings having dignity simply for existing. I don't know that she will, but she seemed to hear me at least as her son saying this is a major deal and it is just a symptom of what I have dealt with for decades.

Fingers crossed. I hope a lot of people are having conversations with their religious parents demanding that they confront their pastors about the basic dignity of human existence. That would do a lot if it happened for a few generations.
posted by hippybear at 9:35 PM on June 12, 2016 [35 favorites]


Hmmm. I'm a butch dyke and while this is obviously homophobic, I'm feeling this as also connected to Sandy Hook, and Columbine, and UCLA and also to Chicago and Oakland where I live, and also to the supposed war on terror.

This feels like it's about a lot of things, and guns is a through line of what a lot of terrible things are about right now, and guns is the first thing I'm thinking right now.

On the other hand I'm not Latina and I'm not a gay man and I'm not a trans woman or a queer feminine person so I can certainly defer to those voices now.
posted by latkes at 9:43 PM on June 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


I have something to say - more than love - about this. I read the whole thread and cried.

This isn't the time - but this is the place. I learned about you here; on this site. Your gender was not important. Your thoughts are, very.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 9:47 PM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


I hope this is okay. I've been out all day today, reeling while I had things to do, with this in my head all the while:
"I know I cannot convince you that this isn't one of their tricks. I don't care. I am me. My name is Valerie. I don't think I'll live much longer and I wanted to tell someone about my life. This is the only autobiography I'll ever write, and God, I'm writing it on toilet paper.

I was born in Nottingham in 1985. I don't remember much of those early years but I do remember the rain. My grandmother owned a farm in Tottlebrook, and she used to tell me that god was in the rain. I passed my eleventh lesson and took last grammar. It was at school that I met my first girlfriend. Her name was Sarah. It was her wrists. They were beautiful.

I thought we would love each other forever. I remember our teacher telling us that it was an adolescent phase, that people outgrew. Sarah did. I didn't.

!n 2002 I fell in love with a girl named Christina. That year I came out to my parents. I couldn't have done it without Chris holding my hand. My father wouldn't look at me. He told me to go, and never come back. My mother said nothing. But I'd only told them the truth. Was that so selfish? Our integrity sells for so little but it is all we really have. It is the very last inch of us, but within that inch, we are free.

I'd always known what I wanted to do with my life, and in 2015 I starred in my first film, 'The Salt Flats.' It was the most important role of my life - not because of my career, but because that is how I met Ruth. The first time we kissed, I knew I never wanted to kiss any other lips but hers again.

We moved to a small flat in London. She grew Scarlet Carsons for me in our window box, and our place always smelled of roses. Those were the best years of my life.

But America's war grew worse, and worse, and eventually came to London. After that there were no roses anymore.

I remember how the meaning of words began to change. How unfamiliar words like 'Collateral' and 'rendition' became frightening, while things like 'Norsefire' and 'The Articles of Allegience' became powerful. I remember how 'different' became 'dangerous.'

I still don't understand it. Why they hate us so much.

They took Ruth while I was out buying food. I've never cried so hard in my life. It wasn't long before they came for me.

It seems weird that my life should end in such a place, but for three years I had roses, and apologized to no one. I shall die here. Every inch of me shall perish. Every inch but one.

An inch. It is small, and it is fragile, and it is the only thing in the world worth having. We must never lose it or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.

I hope that whoever you are, you escape from this place. I hope that the world turns and that things get better. But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that even though I do not know you, and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you, or kiss you, I love you.

With all my heart,

Valerie"
posted by Navelgazer at 9:52 PM on June 12, 2016 [18 favorites]


Encouraging friends and family members to "vote with their feet" and abandon congregations that condone homophobia or even tolerate homophobia is definitely a great way of sending a strong message.

Remind your friends and family members that there are ways of meeting their spiritual needs while also promoting social justice and equality and that a critical way of telling people that they can no longer mask their bigotry with religious trappings is by having their own flock say "no this isn't okay and if you don't change this I am leaving and taking my support to a community that embraces people rather than othering them"

Yeah it will probably fail in many cases but if enough people follow through with the threat maybe we can counteract a lot the bullshit reasons people use to justify their bigotry. At a minimum it becomes less resources people can use to preach intolerance.
posted by vuron at 9:52 PM on June 12, 2016 [10 favorites]


The idea that this killer was encouraged by Donald Trump, of all people, is absurd.
posted by riruro at 9:56 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


We live. We're here. We exist.

That is the message of Pride. That is the truth we embody every day. That is what everyone around me is doing right now.

We're here. We're queer. Get used to it.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:56 PM on June 12, 2016 [21 favorites]


It somehow wasn't until this thread that I realized that practically every person I secretly adore on this site identifies as LGBT. I am so angry and heartbroken that that compassionate spirit I admire in all of you has been forged from such hate and suffering. I don't have any other words but I am here listening.

.
posted by sunset in snow country at 9:58 PM on June 12, 2016 [9 favorites]


The idea that Trump encouraged anyone to action on any level is laughable. Can we refocus this discussion to the fact that queers were singled out for this attack and away from that reality show attention monger? Because the fact that queers were shot to death is the point of this entire thread.
posted by hippybear at 10:00 PM on June 12, 2016 [12 favorites]


.
posted by jacobsee at 10:12 PM on June 12, 2016


[fffm, you need to lay off the dictatorial tone. This isn't your personal thread, and your imperatives aren't coming off the way you presumably want them to. Thanks.]
posted by restless_nomad at 10:15 PM on June 12, 2016 [12 favorites]


.

I wish I had more words to accompany this but find myself unbearably saddened and furious. My love goes out to everyone in Orlando and all of the LGBQT.
posted by theappleonatree at 10:19 PM on June 12, 2016


.
posted by SarahElizaP at 10:23 PM on June 12, 2016


.

There's at least two vigils planned in New Zealand this evening. Two Members of Parliament will be speaking at the Wellington one.
posted by Pink Frost at 10:26 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


.
posted by dagosto at 10:27 PM on June 12, 2016


Orlando just released more names, and Eddie Jamoldroy Justice has died. His mother was the one showing reporters a terrifying txt conversation she had with her son.
posted by sbutler at 10:28 PM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


His poor mother. I can't even begin to imagine.
posted by mochapickle at 10:41 PM on June 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


.
posted by vespertine at 10:57 PM on June 12, 2016


So so so sad sbutler. All the stories to come. So many people affected. Heartbreak beyond imagining.

It is impossible for me to find the words at this time to express how I feel. I'll find a way to lend support but right now the horror is incapacitating.
posted by futz at 11:00 PM on June 12, 2016


.

I just don't even know what to do with how angry this makes me.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:21 PM on June 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


Previews of the Orlando Sentinel and NYT front pages via Twitter.
posted by Gotanda at 11:22 PM on June 12, 2016


Right there with you, Luck Dragon.
posted by Archelaus at 11:24 PM on June 12, 2016


futz: "President Barack Obama receives an update in the Oval Office from FBI Director James Comey and Homeland Security Advisor Lisa Monaco on the mass shooting in Orlando"

That photo is bad enough, but it becomes even more wrenching in light of this statement from Obama at a town hall meeting on guns just last week:
First of all, the notion that I or Hillary or Democrats or whoever you want to choose are hell-bent on taking away folks’ guns is just not true. And I don’t care how many times the NRA says it. I’m about to leave office. There have been more guns sold since I have been president than just about any time in U.S. history. There are enough guns for every man, woman and child in this country. And at no point have I ever, ever proposed confiscating guns from responsible gun owners. So it’s just not true.

What I have said is precisely what you suggested, which is, why don’t we treat this like every other thing that we use? I just came from a meeting today in the Situation Room in which I got people who we know have been on ISIL Web sites, living here in the United States, U.S. citizens, and we’re allowed to put them on the no-fly list when it comes to airlines, but because of the National Rifle Association, I cannot prohibit those people from buying a gun.

This is somebody who is a known ISIL sympathizer. And if he wants to walk in to a gun store or a gun show right now and buy as much — as many weapons and ammo as he can, nothing’s prohibiting him from doing that, even though the FBI knows who that person is.
So, sir, I just have to say, respectfully, that there is a way for us to have commonsense gun laws. There is a way for us to make sure that lawful, responsible gun owners like yourself are able to use them for sporting, hunting, protecting yourself, but the only way we’re going to do that is if we don’t have a situation in which anything that is proposed is viewed as some tyrannical destruction of the Second Amendment. And that’s how the issue too often gets framed.
You can hear the intense bitterness in his voice that broadly acceptable reforms supported by majorities of even Republicans and gun owners keep getting derailed by the NRA's blatant lies, even at the expense of national security. To have that exasperated venting followed less than a week later by the worst mass shooting in American history, committed by the exact type of person he had just publicly warned us about, and still being unable to do anything about it despite broad public support and holding the most powerful office in the world must be utterly soul-destroying.
posted by Rhaomi at 11:40 PM on June 12, 2016 [189 favorites]


Thanks for posting that Rhaomi. Fuck fuck fuck.
posted by futz at 11:46 PM on June 12, 2016


Wow. That is ... goddamn.
posted by naju at 11:47 PM on June 12, 2016


Can someone suggest a youth support organisation locally to donate to? I see a few, but would specifically like to send some cash to the ones that will be doing support work for young people who are a part of the queer/msm latinx community.
posted by Iteki at 12:41 AM on June 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


I don't know what more it will take to dissolve or defeat the NRA. This shit is utterly unconscionable and it can't go on. It's a fucking travesty. I thought that maybe after Sandy Hook...but no. I don't know what else it will take. It just boggles the mind. The fucking sacred "right to bear arms" stops at every other person's/group of people's right not to be murdered by the disordered and unhinged.

I hope the victims' families sue the state and federal government over these fucking gun laws. I hope guns are confiscated and melted into ash. No other first world country on the planet has this level of gun violence or as many guns. Following the NRAs pretzel logic, the US should be the safest spot on Earth. Make it fucking stop.


I am so goddamned sad and angry.
posted by Klaxon Aoooogah at 12:52 AM on June 13, 2016 [13 favorites]


.
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 12:55 AM on June 13, 2016


There are two vigils in Sydney tonight. I'm going to one now.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 1:00 AM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Coaticass at 1:07 AM on June 13, 2016


I'm still reeling from this. At the exact time of the shooting, I was out dancing and enjoying the evening in a different gay nightclub 1,500 miles away, but it feels so close.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
posted by JiBB at 1:28 AM on June 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:32 AM on June 13, 2016


.
posted by MelanieL at 1:50 AM on June 13, 2016


.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 2:23 AM on June 13, 2016


.
posted by pyramid termite at 2:33 AM on June 13, 2016


Vigil in London (UK) this evening: https://www.facebook.com/events/1017280595022769/

We stand together.

.
posted by fight or flight at 3:10 AM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm so, so sorry for the friends and relatives of the victims. I'm also very sorry for the people of the USA in general.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:16 AM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


A good reflection from The Age newspaper (nb- if you are in Australia there is a 30 article/month limit, I think it might be smaller if you are overseas)
"This was a hate crime- and we should say so"

I'm straight. I'm white. I'm not from Florida or the USA. I've held off on commenting because this is not my story, not my place to have a big voice. However, I feel deeply for you. I'm sorry that so many of people like me are either so full of hate, or just- hurtful cluelessness, which is no excuse for hurtful behaviour. I am sorry that sometimes that clueless, hurtful person has been me.
posted by freethefeet at 3:22 AM on June 13, 2016 [12 favorites]


.
posted by carter at 3:42 AM on June 13, 2016


.
posted by floatboth at 3:45 AM on June 13, 2016


urgh I've been heartsick the whole day. The moment I heard I wished "please don't let it be a Muslim" - I know all too well from experience as someone who grew up Muslim and is still technically Muslim by legality and holds Muslim-country passports the sort of bullshit that happens after some kind of terrorist attack that gets blamed on Islam. (At one point US Immigration was planning to detain every single international student that was returning to the US from time overseas for questioning, because a friend of the Boston bombers was an international student that dropped out. They claimed that this was because their security software wasn't updated yet but that's bullshit.)

As a queer brown person, I've already had to deal with LGBTQ spaces being unfriendly to people like me. I get quizzed if I "realized this space is for lesbians only" while straight white women attendees go unquestioned. I get ignored or snubbed. I don't ping as attractive - or if I do, I have to deal with exotifying comments about people's assumptions about my race. At the same fuckin' time, LGBTQ activists are being murdered by radical Islamists in my ancestral country of Bangladesh with the supposedly secular government doing fuck-all, and the Malaysian government keeps going on and on about how gay rights are anti-Islam, they're constantly arresting trans women for existing, and now there are Malaysians who either claim that this is a conspiracy by Zionists to defame Islam or the victims deserved it.

(And yet when I try to talk about being in this uncomfortable intersection, I get pro-LGBT lefty/libertarian/socialist dudebros telling me I'm an ISIS supporter because I won't declare Islam as the true enemy of the queers. Nearly got doxxed for that one time.)

I just moved to Melbourne - just missed the vigil today. I'm antsy about trying to find queer community or queer space here: most of the bullshit I mentioned earlier around being ignored or marginalized in queer spaces has been in Australia, which already has a major Islamophobia problem as well as a huge problem with progressive lefties not recognizing their own racism. The one time I did go to a queer-related Melbourne event, I got pretty much snubbed for a while. So I'm lonely, desperate for company, my best friends are all elsewhere in the world and I don't know what spaces here would be safe for me now or ever.

(if any Melbourne Mefites wanna hang out let me know)
posted by divabat at 4:05 AM on June 13, 2016 [78 favorites]


Oh divabat.... gigantic hugs for you. Being lonely is so hard. I hope some kind of community reveals itself to you in short order.
posted by hippybear at 4:10 AM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


i would like to feel sad about this but honestly i am just so mad i am incoherent. listening to straight people yesterday--sympathizers and phobes alike--was just a reminder that for many people it's all theoretical. they have never needed, or at least never lacked, a place they could go that was just for them, to be surrounded by other people like them, a place that was special and safe and exciting and good. a place you looked forward to all day, all week sometimes. where you didn't have to waste all your time hiding or watching out or acting right, where you could just get down to the serious business of being yourself, whether that self was in need of showing off its magnificent plumage to one and all, or if it was in need of just a safe place in the shadows to dance for a while where nobody bothered you.

the idea of having that space violated, of these kids dying for nothing, i am heartsick and furious in a useless way.

i spent all day yesterday checking in to this thread to hear lgbtq voices to feel less alone. now i will spend all day praying nobody brings it up at work because i just can't talk about it in a polite way.
posted by mittens at 4:51 AM on June 13, 2016 [27 favorites]


divabat: "Favorite" seems like such an inappropriate button to press on your post, so I'll just say I feel for you. I hope Melbourne works out ok for you.
posted by Leon at 4:53 AM on June 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


.
posted by fritillary at 5:01 AM on June 13, 2016


Mittens: regarding the work thing. I feel the same way. There's a libertarian coworker on my team who is likely to pull some "but it's not a hate crime" bullshit. This is the same person who told me last week "I believe everyone should stop getting up in everyone else's business but that said I don't think you can just decide your gender".

This massacre will have a long barbed tail of grief, a wretched gift that in the process of making LGBT people stronger, will take much from us as well.
posted by Annika Cicada at 5:02 AM on June 13, 2016 [14 favorites]


via Ryan Maxwell on Facebook: Sad fact: The people working on the Tony Awards will spend more time this afternoon rewriting tonight's ceremony in response to the Orlando massacre than both houses of Congress have spent rewriting gun laws in response to the last thousand massacres.

It's time for grieving. And love. And thoughts and prayers. And tears.

But most of all, it's time for action.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:06 AM on June 13, 2016 [36 favorites]


Divabat, if hanging out with non-queer people would help you then, sincerely, please hit me up. Melbourne's cool, I don't like to hear it's not treating you right.
posted by deadwax at 5:09 AM on June 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


I have no words
posted by odinsdream at 5:14 AM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Foosnark at 5:23 AM on June 13, 2016


I just had another trans friend run away from home last night, because their parents forbade them from attending one of the Orlando attack vigils. They're staying on my air mattress for the next few days at least.
posted by Conspire at 5:29 AM on June 13, 2016 [26 favorites]


Off to my last day at my very conservative office to try not to engage with anybody about this and just pray for the day to be over quickly. It's funny (by which I mean not at all funny) how something like this makes everyday life become terrifying. I'm a closeted (at least at this job) queer person about to walk into a building with three straight people who I know have a problem with gay people. How're we ever supposed to feel safe? Sometimes it's just rude comments, until it isn't.
posted by Sequence at 5:30 AM on June 13, 2016 [28 favorites]


Gee, was this terrorism? Yes, it's terrorism directed at people who are LGTB+. The fucking 'Christian' Right foments hatred and encourages violence. I am deeply grieved by this tragedy, but not actually shocked. Create an atmosphere of hate and intolerance, add assault weapons, then blame the victims.
posted by theora55 at 5:31 AM on June 13, 2016 [5 favorites]




the world war on gays
posted by robbyrobs at 5:35 AM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


I feel very lucky that I can wear a shirt that says "PRIDE" to work today. Thank you to everyone who is reaching out and centering your queer friends, and hosting them on your couches.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:42 AM on June 13, 2016


The Gay Men's Chorus of D.C performed "We Shall Overcome" at a vigil for victims of the Orlando shooting outside the White House last night. (video link)
posted by gudrun at 5:45 AM on June 13, 2016 [10 favorites]


Hi all,

Ugh.

Queer Latinx in a danceclub: these are literally my people. I am all these things and I research dance music culture. In my writings, I've often described queer dance clubs as places of survival. Maybe that's why this seems like such a desecration.

This morning, I had to put on a suit and go to work and pretend to care about higher-ed administration as if 50 of my brethren weren't just murdered and 50+ more injured yesterday. I don't know if I need a medal or a shower. Chocolate will have to suffice, tho.

Dammit, everything is terrible.

The only faint silver lining, though, is that queer can now make out with each other in the name of political resistance. More tongue, y'all.
posted by LMGM at 5:55 AM on June 13, 2016 [43 favorites]




Klaxon Aoooogah: "It's a fucking travesty. I thought that maybe after Sandy Hook...but no. I don't know what else it will take."

Honestly, it's not going to happen. Sandy Hook is the proof. It it didn't happen then, it's never going to happen.
posted by Bugbread at 6:11 AM on June 13, 2016 [8 favorites]


I mean, I tend, on some basic level, to be an optimist, so I wouldn't put it that way. I would say that after Sandy Hook, we can't pretend that it's just going to happen spontaneously, because of an outpouring of horror and grief. It's going to happen because of organizing and ongoing hard work. I believe that change is possible, but we have to let go of the notion that change is like the weather, that it just happens in response to some external force.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:15 AM on June 13, 2016 [29 favorites]


Having the presenters blithely refuse to acknowledge that this was an attack on LGBT people was very upsetting.
Even more so to see one of the two on twitter being told by hundreds of people that they had been upset by it and responding "they're all wrong" or similar.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 6:19 AM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]




FYI for people in Toronto, the East Side Pride flag raising is today at noon at Scarborough Civic Centre.
posted by beau jackson at 6:24 AM on June 13, 2016


There's a vigil tonight in downtown Kingston at 8. I plan on being there.
posted by Kitteh at 6:27 AM on June 13, 2016


It's interesting to see how the reporting has changed here in Japan. When I first caught the news in the morning (here, which means around 18:00 Florida time) they reported the ISIS connection but said nothing about the club being a gay club, or it being Pride month in the U.S. It wasn't until I came into the thread that I learned that. So I was annoyed at the way it was being reported, but when I caught the evening news (so, like, 6:00 Florida time), all of that stuff was now front and center. I wonder if it's just that they were reflecting the focus of the U.S. news sources, and that focus also shifted over time?
posted by Bugbread at 6:28 AM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


From a friend on Facebook:
Gay people in the South are literally checking their feeds to see if any Facebook friends were murdered while straight America decides whether they have to bake us wedding cakes
I'm not sure I can collect my feelings about this just yet.

When I woke up to this news yesterday, my first thought was "That's a fucked-up thing to make a hoax about."

... and I'm not sure I've even gotten past that point yet. I spent the day yesterday with my boyfriend and some of his friends, and spent much of it kicking myself for not being overtly emotional (and also feeling guilty about not attending Sunday's portions of DC's pride festival).

Phrasing that another way, I spent the day surrounded by a group of other LGBT people who care about each other deeply.

About an hour ago, I watched Lin-Manuel Miranda's sonnet while riding the bus to work, and just fucking lost it.

I'm glad that yesterday is still fresh in my memory, because life would be feeling pretty bleak right now otherwise. Go hug the people you love. Throw a big gay pool party if that helps.
posted by schmod at 6:31 AM on June 13, 2016 [15 favorites]


also, a huge hug to Eyebrows McGee and the mod team. this is almost certainly quite tough for most of you. you're doing a great job, and I really really really appreciate it.
posted by schmod at 6:35 AM on June 13, 2016 [66 favorites]




I'm just so fucking tired. I don't know where else to put that down. My straight cis friends have been perfect. All of them, to a one, have posted about what they are doing and what others can do. My queer friends are traumatized. I lost so many friends in the 90s. I am so tired.
posted by Sophie1 at 6:47 AM on June 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


I'm a cis straight male, and my feeling is if you're straight and you're not shouting down anyone who tries to make this about anything but hating LGBT people, you've got red in your ledger.

Christ I'm ashamed of who I am some days.
posted by Mooski at 6:49 AM on June 13, 2016 [9 favorites]


I honestly don't feel like we are allowed to be shocked that this sort of thing keeps happening. You don't get the the point where these events become commonplace (and they are commonplace now) and get to pretend that you don't expect mass shootings to happen on a weekly basis. Are we shocked by the body count? We shouldn't be because with constant media reporting we've somehow taught these individuals that crowded spaces are the optimal target for their hate. Are we shocked by the victims targeted? We shouldn't be because we tolerate constant bigotry against the LGBT community on a daily basis to the point where elected officials seek to make a name for themselves by promoting bigotry. Are we shocked that someone can hate another group of people so much that they are willing to kill complete strangers for some crazy agenda? We shouldn't be because our culture in effect glorifies this sort of violence transforming frustrated anonymous angry young men into virtual celebrities when they take these actions.

Columbine
Virginia Tech
Sandy Hook
Pulse Nightclub

Among countless others that have faded from our consciousness because the actions of these individuals have become so commonplace, so banal that they only register for a handful of news cycles before they become forgotten once again.

What is the body count required for us to actually stand up and take action? And let's be honest this requires action on a whole host of fronts. Access to guns, confronting a culture of extreme homophobia, challenging a media landscape that glorifies violence, pushing back against bigots who use religion or philosophy as an excuse to hate and kill.

If you want these 50+ individuals lives to mean something pick a cause (or preferably multiple causes) and fight for it even if you feel alone, support other in the fight because sometimes just knowing that someone has your back is enough to keep fighting, listen to words and grief of the victims and their community and truly empathize with them, be good allies, don't police people's tone because it makes you uncomfortable (it's not about you), realize that there are times to lead and times to be led and know the difference, make space for yourself so you can process and deal with your own grief, and shock and hurt and then get back into the fight.

I hope for the sake of all the past and future victims of this sort of hate crime that we can collectively get off of our asses and stop with the condolences and actually do something to make the situation better. I'm not particularly optimistic about it but I have to keep hoping.
posted by vuron at 6:52 AM on June 13, 2016 [8 favorites]


This has made me so sad.

The awful irony is that the pictures that will represent this are twisted versions of recent and not-so-recent battlefields of intolerance - lines of people for blood donation, and men being gunned down in a womens bathroom. It just twists the dagger.
posted by cacofonie at 6:56 AM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


For those who feel so moved:

The Center (Orlando) seems to be coordinating local support. It got a mention at the Savannah vigil last night.

I think Oneblood is the local blood distribution service. When I called on Sunday they were at capacity but asking for mid-week donations. Calling them about their needs might be a good idea. I believe that anyone who has not had MSM contact in the last year can donate.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 6:58 AM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]




This guy will (thankfully in many ways) be a quickly forgotten footnote to all this.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 7:04 AM on June 13, 2016


Neil MacDonald on CBC.ca has a thoughtful piece, reflecting on Orlando and Polytechnique, misogyny, bigotry, religion, and responsibility.

People of faith might ask themselves this: even if they've never so much as lifted a hand to a gay person, have they smiled at a homophobic joke? Or overlooked mistreatment? Or nodded during an anti-gay sermon?

And if so, wouldn't this be a good time to speak up?

posted by cacofonie at 7:10 AM on June 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


.
posted by Lesser Spotted Potoroo at 7:13 AM on June 13, 2016




I am so very sorry and sad.
posted by Gelatin at 7:36 AM on June 13, 2016


anyone who tries to make this about anything but hating LGBT people

The shooter's father clarifies his thoughts, to some extent.

“I am very sad and I’ve announced this to the American people as well. Why did he do this act during this holy month of Ramadan. On the topic of being hamjensbazi, punishment and the things that they do, God will give the punishment. This is not the issue for a follower of God and he [Omar] that did this has greatly saddened me. I wanted you to know this."

The Guardian specifies hamjensbazi as a derogatory term.
posted by progosk at 7:36 AM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm going to start keeping very careful tabs on the people who say that this was "an attack on all of us" - so I can throw those words back in their face if they ever pull any "but a business should be able to refuse service to whoever they want" bullshit.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:39 AM on June 13, 2016 [30 favorites]


I don't really know if anyone actually needs this warning, but I thought I'd add it anyway since I was kind of taken by surprise:

A lot of what our community is doing involves interacting with social media to get news, connect, and grieve. Be very aware and cautious of the extreme hatred currently on display. Yes, everybody knows, don't read the comments. But, shit, when I am looking at images of a mother holding her phone for a reporter, on which are displayed the frantic, terrified text messages from her hunted, murdered son; the last she ever heard from him. And the comments are, to a one, hateful. I just... what the actual fuck. people. what. the. actual. fuck.
posted by odinsdream at 7:42 AM on June 13, 2016 [23 favorites]


...I'm also getting increasingly angry at media referring to Pulse as "a gay bar"... as it erases the vital QTPOC/Latinx component, and is also really kind of gross in that way it means "seedy shit hole bar for perverts" to a lot of America, and I can't help but think that's intentional.
posted by odinsdream at 7:48 AM on June 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


This is a mom and her son. Drew and his boyfriend Juan were both murdered at Pulse.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:48 AM on June 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


UK media is not doing a good job right now.

No shit. I was rendered speechless by the ES headline today: "Orlando: attack on London values".
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 7:49 AM on June 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


...I'm also getting increasingly angry at media referring to Pulse as "a gay bar"... as it erases the vital QTPOC/Latinx component

I think that the bar was having a specific theme night that was QTPOC/Latinx, and might have had a lot of POC clientele but was not specifically for that community.
posted by hippybear at 7:53 AM on June 13, 2016 [3 favorites]




My love and support, my voice and my votes, to all of my LGBTQ family here and elsewhere.

My anger I will reserve for another discussion.

.
posted by blurker at 8:07 AM on June 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


> and is also really kind of gross in that way it means "seedy shit hole bar for perverts" to a lot of America, and I can't help but think that's intentional.

Those who equate gay with "buncha perverts," are still parsing "gay bar" as an inherently seedy venue, but generally speaking, "gay bar" is a pretty neutral term these days. What else would you call it?
posted by desuetude at 8:18 AM on June 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


It sounds like the father is engaging in the Muslim version of "hate the sin love the sinner" that so many conservatives have regarding LGBT people. I think for a lot of us this sort of rationalization was acceptable for a long period of time because "I guess at least they aren't stoning the gay anymore" but I don't think that it's acceptable to let that attitude go unchallenged anymore in our friends and family.

Like I said early in this thread my family was in Orlando this week and we drove like crazy to make it back for a dance recital for our daughter. A dance recital that of course some of our relatives were invited too. My wife's mother has a fiancee who let's just say seems to be a bog standard conservative.

And of course the subject of Orlando came up because we were there and despite the fact that I heard very little of the exchange the gist was that "Well of course you would never be in a place like that" to which my wife replied "No when I was younger I would've totally been in a place like that" because when she was a teenager going to gay clubs was the center of her social life. I don't know that many outside of the the LGBT community know this but Gay Clubs aren't just safe spaces for young gay men and women they are also safe spaces for young straight females, you don't get endlessly hit on, the atmosphere and mode is one of acceptance and understanding, there is a celebration of diversity that is simply not present in so many heterosexual male environments. Plus the music is soooooo much better than it typically is at most straight clubs and while it's probably a bit of a stereotype but let's be honest gay guys tend to be much better dancers and plenty of gay guys are willing to dance with people they aren't necessarily attracted to because dancing is fun and it's awesome and it's a way to share a connection with someone.

So my wife who is straight and can easily use her straight privilege to blend in challenged her mother's fiancee because she and I have LGBT friends, family, coworkers, loved ones and it's simply not acceptable to hear even that sort of casual homophobia. Not ever but certainly not at a dance recital where many of the dancers are members of the LGBT community and they are putting their heart out dancing with incredible passion, certainly not the afternoon after a horrible massacre of LGBT individuals by a person clearly inspired by extreme homophobia, certainly not to people that support LGBT as much as we can, certainly not when a nephew of the woman you are planning on marrying died of AIDS.

I want to say that I'm glad that I only heard my wife's response because I'm not sure what I would've said in that situation but it was something that stuck with me the entire night and into today, it made both of us so very angry.

We are still trying to come up with a long term solution because quite frankly we don't want to be around that sort of thing and we certainly don't want our daughter being exposed to it. My wife told her father who passed away several years from cancer that she would look out for her mom and she wants to do that but it's not being true to our values and the values that we are trying to instill in our daughter to "go along to get along" and accept casual sexism, racism, homophobia and let's be honest we aren't marrying the guy so we don't have to put up with that sort of nonsense or even be around it.

And then I think to myself how this very small incident with a family member is only the smallest fraction of what people in the LGBT community have to deal with all the time and it boggles the mind. I don't know what it means to be a member of the LGBT community but I do know that as an ally I can't continue to hide behind my privilege when people are being targeted by homophobia and transphobia on a daily basis. I also continue to be amazed by so how so many members of the LGBT community continue to be such caring, compassionate, generous souls that rather than being consumed with hatred and cynicism and fear about the society and culture that shames and fears and mocks and hates them get up every day and try to make the world a better place whether it's online in places like Metafilter or in the real world. You have my deepest respect and gratitude for keeping up the fight.
posted by vuron at 8:18 AM on June 13, 2016 [31 favorites]




I'm at work and my Director is telling me over Slack that this makes him more likely to vote for Trump while my libertarian coworker is telling me over Slack that LGBT people have "more to fear from radical islam" than the GOP and my gay manager is talking over Slack about his fucking broken sunroof.

Fuck Slack and I want to quit my job right now.
posted by Annika Cicada at 8:24 AM on June 13, 2016 [67 favorites]


how the fuck am I at work right now
posted by beefetish at 8:30 AM on June 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


If I ever have a kid who murders dozens of people I'm gonna probably hole up for a while and refrain from giving interviews, I think
posted by thelonius at 8:31 AM on June 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


Holy fuck Annika that's awful. I can't even imagine dealing with an environment where people's stream of consciousness awfulness is just directed at you all day. I mean I know not to ever read the comments on 99% of the internet and I stay away from Facebook and Twitter and Reddit because they tend to be absolute fucking trainwrecks during events like this but having to deal with a steady stream of that over slack would be maddening at the best of times and this is not the best of times.
posted by vuron at 8:32 AM on June 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


Ever see someone punch a wall and break their hand in anger. Trump is the anger and he wants to replace his tiny hands with America.
posted by humanfont at 8:34 AM on June 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


Annika, if it helps at all, I'm thinking "Fuck Slack and please give Annika the strength to get through the day without quitting 'cause they don't need that shit on top of everything else."

I'd give you a hug if I could.
posted by Mooski at 8:34 AM on June 13, 2016 [9 favorites]


Here's what I sent to my libertarian coworker on FRIDAY:

"My biggest concern over the next 18 months is all this crap going around about trans people leading to escalated violence against trans people who already experience much greater levels of harassment and violence than the non-trans portion of the population. In the past three months the amount of shit I catch from people has been increasing because the GOP is tacitly saying “these people are perverted rapists”. I would really like that shit to stop."

I AM REALLY TIRED OF BEING ABLE TO PREDICT THIS SHIT.
posted by Annika Cicada at 8:37 AM on June 13, 2016 [34 favorites]


No words for this. Going to put my head down and volunteer to help pride happen for the second time ever in my small town. Had drifted away from feeling like I needed pride as feel out of place amongst the families as a trans single butch. So sad.
posted by kanata at 8:38 AM on June 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


I don't know that many outside of the the LGBT community know this but Gay Clubs aren't just safe spaces for young gay men and women they are also safe spaces for young straight females, you don't get endlessly hit on, the atmosphere and mode is one of acceptance and understanding, there is a celebration of diversity that is simply not present in so many heterosexual male environments. Plus the music is soooooo much better than it typically is at most straight clubs and while it's probably a bit of a stereotype but let's be honest gay guys tend to be much better dancers and plenty of gay guys are willing to dance with people they aren't necessarily attracted to because dancing is fun and it's awesome and it's a way to share a connection with someone.

I don't have the strength to fight on this, and please understand that I don't want this to be a fight, but please as an ally, think hard about using the word "safe space" in the same way here. Yes, it's good to be free of male harassment as a young straight woman. But for many LGBTQ people, going to a gay bar was the very first time they ever felt like there were people like them. That they could live openly. That they might find a partner someday to share this with.

I truly don't mean to be angsty and I'm sorry if I am. I am obviously hurting just like everyone else. "Safe space" means something different for LGBTQ people here. I don't know if I'm making sense. I want everyone to share our pride and our happiness.
posted by nakedmolerats at 8:39 AM on June 13, 2016 [53 favorites]


I don't have the strength to fight on this, and please understand that I don't want this to be a fight, but please as an ally, think hard about using the word "safe space" in the same way here. Yes, it's good to be free of male harassment as a young straight woman. But for many LGBTQ people, going to a gay bar was the very first time they ever felt like there were people like them. That they could live openly. That they might find a partner someday to share this with.

I truly don't mean to be angsty and I'm sorry if I am. I am obviously hurting just like everyone else. "Safe space" means something different for LGBTQ people here. I don't know if I'm making sense. I want everyone to share our pride and our happiness.


Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you.
posted by joycehealy at 8:41 AM on June 13, 2016 [16 favorites]


[Long comment deleted, this isn't about people like me.]

I am so, so sorry about this whole event. Ugh.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:43 AM on June 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


No problem I totally understand where you are coming from and I admit that I was using the broad conception of safe space in the context rather than the LGBT specific definition. Thanks for speaking up and helping educate everyone.
posted by vuron at 8:45 AM on June 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


Those who equate gay with "buncha perverts," are still parsing "gay bar" as an inherently seedy venue, but generally speaking, "gay bar" is a pretty neutral term these days. What else would you call it?

I'm gonna drop it. I don't care to debate it. I was simply pointing out how I felt upon reading the news. It doesn't matter.
posted by odinsdream at 8:49 AM on June 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


There have been 998 shootings since Sandy Hook - 3 1/2 years ago. Two of these involved Muslims. EVERY SINGLE ONE was carried out by men. Only one of these involved a woman shooter. This is a male violence problem, this is not a Muslim problem. This was another man, soaking in toxic masculinity, who found an easy way to justify and carry out his hatred of queers.

Since Sandy Hook, Congress has not passed a single piece of gun control legislation.

I wonder how much longer America will be the NRA's little fun house of horror. (HT: @MildredVon, @youngsinick and Gun Violence Archive).
posted by Sophie1 at 8:52 AM on June 13, 2016 [52 favorites]






[Several deleted responding to and including problematic mental illness comment.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:17 AM on June 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


if anyone is wondering if "male violence problem" is a correct analysis just poke around the online chatter or your own social circles and see how many dudes you can find fantasizing about how they would tackle the shooter, bust out their cc weapon, stop something like this from happening through their own redemptive act of violence

I'll leave it to the smart people to figure out precisely why so many men see self-actualization through transcendent brutality as their path to fulfillment but this is a thing that is baked into so, so many of us from so early on, even the guys who are never actually going to snap and hurt anyone
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:25 AM on June 13, 2016 [51 favorites]


It's just really stark to me, this morning, the radical split in worldviews. America as a place where all was well until Those People started coming in, and ruined paradise, because our leaders were too weak and PC to stop them. Or America as a place of injustice we have long been working to repair, and this massacre as just a dramatic example of the violence done every day by bigotry.

So many people want to portray shooter Mateen as alien, though he was born and raised here, as made evil by some unAmerican religion, rather than, well, sounding really familiar. He certainly sounds sadly familiar to me. Here's a quote from a co-worker published in the NY Times::

According to Mr. Gilroy, who said that he had repeatedly complained to G4S, the security company that employed them, Mr. Mateen was a loud, profane presence who was prone to using racial, ethnic and sexual slurs.

Mr. Gilroy, a former police officer in Fort Pierce, described Mr. Mateen as a man who had “issues and just constant anger.”


Mateen ranted a lot about "gays, blacks, women and Jews." He wanted to be a cop, but never made it, so he worked a security job. He was into guns and working out as ways to assert power.

And I don't know about you, but I have totally met this guy. He's not some alien being, he's all over the internet. I have had students very much like him. Two of the three times I've seriously feared for my physical safety in the course of being a college instructor involved students who were criminal justice majors who wanted to be cops and talked about their guns and authority a lot, and whom I caught engaging in blatant and extensive cheating on multiple assignments. Both of these (cis straight white) guys were indignant and enraged when I confronted them with detailed evidence of their cheating, and explained that these would duly be filed in academic misconduct reports. I couldn't do this to them! This could negatively impact their getting into the police academy! They hadn't cheated, it was just coincidence that passage after passage of their work exactly matched passages in the writing of other students who had posted their work earlier. OK, they had copied and pasted, but they were under a lot of stress and they had to pass this class to graduate. I wouldn't do this to them if they were women, or PoC, or LGBT!

Neither of these two young men expressed any remorse about their plagiarizing their classmates, and neither acknowledged that the reason they had started cheating was that they'd gotten quite poor marks on earlier assignments, because they weren't doing the readings. They preferred to see a conspiracy entrenching upon their entitlement to a position of noble authority.

Both of those students demanded a private meeting with me in person, claiming that they would convince me not to file misconduct reports or fail them, and I did not feel at all safe about that.

These two incidents are minor in the scheme of things--but the incredible similarity between the two students' attitudes and actions seems significant to me. Omar Mateen may have been of Afgan descent, but the selfies he posted of himself wearing NYPD shirts are eerily similar to the photos posted by both of the students I've mentioned to our class website, just less blond. Doesn't he strike you as a familiar sort of person?

The ironic thing that keeps going through my head is that so many people determined to see Mateen as an alien outsider share a good deal of his worldview.
posted by DrMew at 9:25 AM on June 13, 2016 [158 favorites]


Your description made me think of George Zimmerman as well.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:32 AM on June 13, 2016 [26 favorites]


I am SO ANGRY today. I just posted this on FB and Instagram because people just suck.

I have say- I am REALLY disappointed in how many friends I have here and people that I follow on Instagram who had plenty to say in support of the victims of the terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino but have been silent about the victims of the massacre in Orlando. I know you're aware of it, you've been posting vacation pics and selfies on social media since the news broke, but you can't acknowledge these victims? Hmmmm, wonder what the difference is...

People who posted meme after meme and hastags all over the place about those events, but are conspicuously silent after this? Or worse, rushing to post about concealed carry permits and responsible gun owners etc etc etc? I just can not even engage with those people right now. Maybe tomorrow, but not right now.
posted by hollygoheavy at 9:34 AM on June 13, 2016 [11 favorites]




DrMew says much better the thing I've been thinking about all morning:

America is such a melting pot that even immigrants can turn into our particular brand masculine entitled asshole. It's probably the real American dream these days.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:37 AM on June 13, 2016 [22 favorites]


Great comment DrMew,

It's hard not to see this through the lens of toxic masculinity. This was undeniably an act of incredibly homophobic rage but it seems like this individual was angry about so much and seems to have seen this act of killing as a way of seizing power even if only for a short time. Because what power is equal to the power to take someone else's life? Very, very little.

It seems like we are continually generating the supply of incredibly angry and violent young men who's solution to feeling powerless is to seize power in the most destructive way possible. It's hard not to see the overwhelming culture of toxic masculinity as indoctrinating these young men with these thoughts and the thoughts that whatever group they are angry with are somehow subhuman.

Of course not all men are going to break in this way but there seems to be something fundamentally broken about how we are socializing young men in this country because this just keeps happening and the commonality more than any other thing seems to be some sort of warped and toxic masculinity that encompasses and contains all sorts of other forms of hatred.
posted by vuron at 9:40 AM on June 13, 2016 [9 favorites]


Ah, and in response:
"I will not check my straight white privilege at the door"


People like this woman are constitutionally unable to really listen to other points of view and will never admit they're wrong. Well, maybe someday, but don't hold your breath.
posted by Lyme Drop at 9:46 AM on June 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


The City of Orlando has now released 36 names of those murdered. The media as is typical is focusing most of its attention on the murderer and the politics, but as we learn more about those who were killed, those who survived, and those who risked themselves to save others, we have an opportunity to honor them by remembering their stories. As we think about, discuss, and try to understand the fear, hatred, and callousness around the murderer and the elements of our society that made this possible, I find it very easy to begin feeling overwhelmed and hopeless. But I think those human stories of people who loved life, loved each other, and in some cases risked everything for one another can be a source of strength and healing to help keep us going as we process what happened. Thanks to everyone who is bringing those stories here.
posted by biogeo at 9:51 AM on June 13, 2016 [21 favorites]


This morning, my car radio was tuned into conservative talk radio (the channel sends something completely different at night) The horror. I couldn't turn it off, was paralyzed by the evil that came out into my own private space. Since then, I've been thinking of this: Angelus Novus

A Klee painting named Angelus Novus shows an angel looking as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. His eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread. This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. The storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress

Written by a gay Jew in 1940
posted by mumimor at 9:58 AM on June 13, 2016 [17 favorites]


Friendly reminder it may be time to stop looking at the news right now. I know it's time for me.
posted by AlexiaSky at 9:58 AM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


As of this time, six patients have been discharged and 29 patients remain in the hospital. We take care of a number of critically ill patients on a daily basis, but not to this extent. We usually see six gunshot wounds at a time.”

I'm really sick of guns.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:59 AM on June 13, 2016 [12 favorites]


.
posted by chatelaine at 10:00 AM on June 13, 2016


Libby Anne at Love, Joy, Feminism on evangelical Christians and the Orlando murders:
"Any narrative that tries to make this occurrence only about Islamic terrorism, without including the role homophobia (religiously based or not) played in the attack, is missing something important. I watched yesterday as a conservative evangelical friend from Orlando checked in as “safe” on Facebook, and I shook my head. She was not in danger. This was not simply a terrorist attack; it was also a hate crime. I can understand, though, why so many conservative evangelicals seem eager to treat this as a terrorist attack and only a terrorist attack. Focusing on Islamic terrorism rather than on homophobia gets them off the hook. It makes Islam the problem, rather than prejudice against LGBT individuals."
posted by palindromic at 10:06 AM on June 13, 2016 [27 favorites]


Thanks, palindromic. That link is much more coherent than my ranting about the exact same things in this thread.
posted by hippybear at 10:13 AM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


So I spent yesterday moving to a new house, surrounded by friends of mine from my queer community who helped me pack and haul and shove all my earthly possessions and my cats and my dog into a van and then into my new home. We started at eight in the morning and we finished at six in the evening, exhausted. We didn't pause to check social media; after all, what could be happening in particular on a random Sunday in June? I think I noticed that something had happened late last night, but I was far too tired to process it.

This morning, then, is the first time I've had a chance to see what happened. My facebook is full of my Southern queer friends checking in and sharing their hurt and their "that could have been me" realizations and making sure everyone is still okay. I'm at work, but I've spent the day reading and listening and processing. I keep alternating between being deeply, numbly, sad and being angry. I'm sorry I missed the vigil last night; if I'd known it was happening, I would have liked to go, even exhausted and filthy as I was.

I keep seeing Republican politicians who have records of working strongly to erase LGBTQ protections and civil rights--and the gun safety legislation that would have prevented something like this!--saying that their hearts are with me and mine today, and I swing back to being angry. I think about new laws that will forcibly allow open carry of guns in my workplace this fall, and I flip back to being afraid--after all, I'm visibly gender nonconforming, and I've had students at my work react to that; what if I become a target? I marched in Queerbomb a few weeks ago, which deliberately tries to focus on exactly the sections of queer and trans communities that get the least mainstream social protection and which are targeted for mainstream abuse most. All around my city, now I see shops that have to explicitly state that guns are unwelcome on the premises; that's no longer a given where I live.

It feels as if there's a tinder of hatred welling and building towards me and mine, and that easy access to firearms and weapons create a lighter fluid that allows any passing spark to explode into a conflagration that leaves us burning alive. Especially those of us who are least protected by other privileges, like our QPoC bretheren.

And people want to talk about fucking ISIS! Because that will let them sweep the problem under the rug, and not have to confront that transphobia and homophobia are an issue everywhere, and that those social currents are driven by multiple religions and amplified by easy access to weapons that kill quickly and easily. After all, if it's a single event driven by a foreign power, it's easy enough to not bear responsibility. It's easy enough to lay all the blame on a single spark, and not the context that let it burst into flame.

Hell. I don't have words anymore; only sadness. Held up against the optimism of last summer, this is shaping itself into a dark, sad summer indeed.
posted by sciatrix at 10:18 AM on June 13, 2016 [57 favorites]


Favoriting comments feels weird. Take it as a hug if that seems more appropriate.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:20 AM on June 13, 2016 [36 favorites]


Take it as a hug if that seems more appropriate.

nodding. yeah.
posted by Annika Cicada at 10:23 AM on June 13, 2016 [11 favorites]


Yeah. I've been thinking of my favorites throughout the thread as "I hear you, I'm here, I'm glad you said that" not "I like this." Because.... who likes this situation?
posted by sciatrix at 10:28 AM on June 13, 2016 [25 favorites]


for me its also a "YouAreNotAloneInThis"-ite
posted by Annika Cicada at 10:32 AM on June 13, 2016 [25 favorites]


Gay bar USA has always been a place for um; ???the non-participatory 2% gay that most all of us have to some extent???, to be able to go to without fear (fear?) of being hassled (or worse) for not conforming to some sort of "normal", or "traditional" social action or role conformity. As example; to light or mild of a guy; might have some problems in a lot of bars/clubs, as would a gal that was too tough or (ahem, respectfully) butchy.

Not sure what all that means; but gay bar USA is usually a violence (if not !drama!) free place to be and feel safe, maybe get some serious dance on, drink without fear of who knows what, understand what it feels like to be harassed due to sexuality (oh, you're str8? No more service for you! Leave. LEAVE NOW.), groped by a same sex person (ah, so that is what if must feel like to be in a workplace (wherever) and have somebody endlessly touch and try to sex with your body despite being told "no" enough times to end any confusion), meet some new friends, and hopefully go home after a night out and feel good about a great night out; more culturally enriched; chock full of fantastic endorphins. Or, simply have a quiet seat at the bar and pass the evening by.

Gay bar USA is not supposed to be where another slaughterfest occurs, that place and the people there could have been any number of us here. Too headshakingly real.
posted by buzzman at 10:32 AM on June 13, 2016




Sadly, walking out of Gay Bar USA continues even in 2016 to be a fraught experience, wondering if you can get to public transit or your car safely without some asshole deciding you need to be beaten because you just walked out of that one doorway.
posted by hippybear at 10:36 AM on June 13, 2016 [9 favorites]


Apple keynote opens with moment of silence for shooting victims

Tim Cook seemed like he was barely in control of his tears...
posted by RedOrGreen at 10:38 AM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Amanda Marcotte:
"[T]he cover story the right will surely hide behind when arguing that their homophobia is okay while Muslim homophobia is evil is that “Christians” don’t act out violently on their beliefs. (I’ve already had to block people on Twitter for pulling this card, and it’s just a matter of time before someone tries to split that hair on Fox News.) This is, as those FBI crime statistics show, utter bullshit. Those crimes happened in a country where most of the homophobia is justified by citing Christianity, not Islam. But wave the Bible or wave the Koran, but the common theme here is using religion as cover for vile bigotry."
posted by palindromic at 10:40 AM on June 13, 2016 [14 favorites]


God dammit.

I've struggled since this was posted to write a reply. To really say anything meaningful about this. My friend owns a gay bar, and his dad owns a gay club in the same building. They sent a care package to pulse.

Me and one of my closest friends hung out there nearly every day. A ton of our friends did. I djayed there a number of times, and put on shows off and on.

This could have been my friends. This could have been me.

The vigil in Seattle was the most people I've ever seen in that park. My mom showed up in a wheelchair, and so did some of her best friends(many of whom had been hanging out at that same club since way before I was even born). Some of these people I hadn't even seen around since I was a little kid.

Everyone just cried, then cried more, then got drunk. The mayor made a sort of meh statement. There was a great speech by a queer Muslim woman.

I woke up at 5am wondering how many ultimate universes my friends were dead in. How many I was. I got weeping calls from friends. I wondered how many ways this was going to be used as a sledgehammer to back up islamophobia. How shitty and halfassed but also awful the general response would be. I burned out on social media really quickly.

People have tried to burn that club down before. The stairway has been lit on fire, trying to trap people inside.

Slap anyone who acts like this had anything to do with ISIS or Muslims. Slap them even harder if they act like it's not a problem where you are because "lol Florida amirite" or that it was in "the south".

This was a clear statement that nowhere is safe. Don't try and other it to get the high ground or dismiss it.

Mostly though, Jesus fuck, call your friends you haven't seen in a while who could have been affected by an attack like this. Check in, say hi, see how they're doing. Reconnect.

A lot of people need love right now.
posted by emptythought at 10:40 AM on June 13, 2016 [64 favorites]


I'm definitely thinking of all the favorites as comforting hugs, and they've definitely been appreciated, especially now that the names and stories are coming out. I'm trying not to lose it at work, although they have been surprisingly sympathetic. (A little awkward, but not awful, thank goodness.)

It's probably time for me to step away from the internet and take a mental health break, but I'm still trying to keep an eye on friends who are emotionally wrecked themselves, because this happened to our people, and also see if we knew anyone else who passed away, because that is also still a possibility.

(And can I say, I didn't realize that it was Latin Night until I saw the names of all of those that passed away, and then it was a punch to the gut all over again, because those are also my people and well. Those from my state, my race, and my sexuality, all senselessly killed, in a city I know well. And Saturday was my frigging birthday, too.)
posted by PearlRose at 10:42 AM on June 13, 2016 [25 favorites]


Really got into it with a nice liberal white straight dude who just didn't get why I objected to people making this all about gun control - as in 'well we're ALL at risk from gun violence!' - as if anti-gay terror hadn't been going on sans guns for approximately ever. Yeah we need gun control. But it wouldn't have stopped Upstairs Lounge and it wouldn't have stopped Matthew Shepherd and if we melted down every last gun tomorrow it wouldn't stop the next act of anti-gay terror either.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:43 AM on June 13, 2016 [12 favorites]




Homophobic vandalism appearing in DC.

About 2 blocks away from my current location.
is it even safe for me to say things like that now? jesus.
posted by schmod at 10:51 AM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Of course, the loony candidate (he who must not be named), is still soap boxing about it being islamic radicals and saying "If you had guns in that room, if you had — even if you had a number of people having them strapped to their ankle or strapped to their waist, where bullets could have flown in the other direction right at him, you wouldn’t have had the same kind of a tragedy".
posted by Death and Gravity at 10:52 AM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


you wouldn’t have had the same kind of a tragedy

Entirely possible it could have been worse in that case. When you're shooting in a crowd no one knows if you're the good guy.
posted by Green With You at 10:56 AM on June 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


Entirely possible it could have been worse in that case.

Not just possible, but far more likely.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:59 AM on June 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


What It Costs to Be Gay in Public

I remember in 1991 when I was having dinner with my first boyfriend at a restaurant, I reached across the table and touched his hand in a gesture of affection. The staff literally came and stripped the table of food and demanded that we leave immediately.

I will never forget that act of hate.
posted by hippybear at 11:03 AM on June 13, 2016 [94 favorites]


As I said this morning on twitter, and as I will keep saying when assholes like that fly off their mouths:

"I should not have to be endangered in my community, workplace, or home by my neighbor's delusional Rambo fantasy."
posted by sciatrix at 11:04 AM on June 13, 2016 [23 favorites]


Ugh. Hippybear. Hugs.

A weird thing for me is that as I began to "blend as cis" more my partner and I began getting more and more horrified looks from passers-by because she and I give no fucks about all the PDA we give each other. So basically I've traded being visibly trans for being visibily gay.
posted by Annika Cicada at 11:07 AM on June 13, 2016 [14 favorites]


like "oh no, it's two people in love, this is unbearable" is a thing that people are okay with thinking. why.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:11 AM on June 13, 2016 [34 favorites]


A lot of "traditional marriage" has NOTHING to do with love.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:14 AM on June 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


Utterly incomprehensible. How does a mind get so poisoned that seeing love can inspire such hate?

(Rhetorical question, sadly.)
posted by biogeo at 11:16 AM on June 13, 2016


A lot of "traditional marriage" has NOTHING to do with love.

and a LOT to do with "barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen".
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 11:16 AM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]




My son lost a coworker, a friend...
Me, I think I am losing hope.
posted by twidget at 11:21 AM on June 13, 2016 [15 favorites]


like "oh no, it's two people in love, this is unbearable" is a thing that people are okay with thinking. why.

Because they're taught to, at least where I grew up.

As early as elementary school, when the game of "tackle the guy with the football" was called "smear the queer" through junior high where no one wanted to sit on the bus beside the guy everyone had branded (rightly or wrongly) as gay, through high school where you were afraid of losing what social standing you had if you spoke up for the gay couple in the hallway, it's taught, then enforced by hatred from some and fear of being ostracized from the rest.

Twenty-odd years down the road, you realize how incredibly, powerfully WRONG it is, and once you've gotten over wishing death on the people who hate other people for loving each other, you hope that they get the chance to see things correctly before they die, so they can feel what it feels like to have broken something beautiful.

There may be a more mature, nuanced way to feel, but I'm not there yet.
posted by Mooski at 11:22 AM on June 13, 2016 [16 favorites]


I don't have many mature nuanced feelings about this, TBH. I'm not trying to, either.
posted by hippybear at 11:24 AM on June 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


Today, I don't want to figure out why people do these things. I just want to shout at all the ones who do it and rub their noses in their own shameful behavior.

Figuring out the why and empathizing with people I fundamentally disagree with can come later.
posted by sciatrix at 11:29 AM on June 13, 2016 [10 favorites]


You know, something I've been thinking about since Obama's remarks yesterday, is that I too wanted him to somehow magically say something that would make me feel better. Because no matter what problems I have with some of his policies or actions, I trust him to do right by us, and I mean "us" in the broadest possible sense, as US citizens. But what comfort could he offer us? Why should we have expected anything other than the weary, angry resignation he showed us yesterday? That's where we're at. It's the 15th time he's done this, and not even the wholesale slaughter of almost two dozen children moved the needle on gun control issues. He's going to have to go talk to the families of those killed, again. For the 15th time.

So no, I guess I shouldn't have expected any comfort from Obama's comments yesterday. There is no comfort possible. Not any more, if there ever was. I don't even know what's left to us but to scream in rage and sorrow, and use our voices and votes as best we can.
posted by yasaman at 11:39 AM on June 13, 2016 [25 favorites]


Good job of the cityoforlando.net to have the full names of the deceased, it shows the respectful and traditional naming heritage of many of the victims.
posted by buzzman at 11:40 AM on June 13, 2016 [9 favorites]


It happens because so many of us are so unsure of ourselves in our youth that we seem willing to sign onto the most destructive social systems because as long as we aren't the absolute bottom of the pecking order we can always feel better that at least someone has it worse than we do or even worse that they deserve their place in the social order.

We have an undeniable caste system of sorts in the US and to a certain degree members of the LGBT community are the outcastes or untouchables. There are also other groups that are undeniably placed into lower caste positions by reason of their religion or their skin color or their economic status but it seems like for many places in the US the LGBT community is either the lowest of the low or close to it and of that community transgender individuals are singled out to an even greater degree for harm.

I think we all like to imagine that reality will play out like the made for TV movie where the cool kid suddenly gets in front of the abuse aimed at the gay kid and gets the bully to back down and repent his evil ways but honestly how often did we see that happen? I think it was all to common that we sat by and did nothing when the gay kid was bullied and ostracized and were probably thinking to ourselves "thank god that isn't me".

Maybe at some point as we grow up and mature we look back on our past and realize that we could've done better by people in our lives and maybe some of us even decide to take action but unfortunately that seems to be all to rare.

I don't think that people that have been victimized by this sort of hate and have seen "good people" stand around and do nothing need to hold themselves to some higher standard. I think you have every right to be angry and upset and fed up and disgusted because this sort of shit keeps happening and so many "good people" still continue to stand around and do nothing.
posted by vuron at 11:53 AM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


The BBC has an article with photographs and short profiles of some of the deceased.
posted by biogeo at 11:56 AM on June 13, 2016


Good job of the cityoforlando.net to have the full names of the deceased, it shows the respectful and traditional naming heritage of many of the victims.

I do have some concerns about potential for deadnaming trans victims.
posted by odinsdream at 12:04 PM on June 13, 2016 [16 favorites]


.
posted by PippinJack at 12:11 PM on June 13, 2016


I hope that doesn't happen too, odinsdream.
posted by sciatrix at 12:12 PM on June 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


I've been struggling all morning with writing a post to Facebook, mostly because I want to say something to one particular relative of mine and don't have the heart to do so directly. This relative is a wonderful person in so many ways, and I've grown up with her love. She went to my (big gay) wedding, she sends anniversary cards and gifts to my wife and me, she has always been genuinely welcoming and loving towards my wife... and yet she is profoundly enmeshed in Fox News rhetoric. She and her husband own guns they don't keep responsibly, and are firm in their "right" to do so. I've blocked her forwards for years now but I would be shocked if she hadn't sent any in support of Kim Davis, of Chik-Fil-A, of all the countless casual incidents of homophobia that the right wing has co-opted into their sick fantasy of war against "American values." I am certain they are riding the wave of Islamophobic bigotry being spewed forth right now and I know she keeps polite company with "Christian" homophobes. She is part of a culture that made this mass murder happen, and yet I have no hope she will see anything but "Islamic terrorists" in this.

And this just ... kills me. I want to tell her how much it hurts that someone who loves me on a direct and personal level is willing to throw full support behind people who dehumanize me. I want her to understand how actively damaging she is when she votes for these people, when she makes room for homophobia and transphobia in her life. I want to tell her it's not ISIS I'm afraid of as a lesbian in America - it's the people she helps give power to.

She loves me and my wife. She actively supports people who hate us. My little fantasy is that I could find the perfect words to post on Facebook to make her realize all of this ... but I know that won't ever happen.

Fuck all of this.
posted by DingoMutt at 12:18 PM on June 13, 2016 [61 favorites]


.
posted by TrinsicWS at 12:20 PM on June 13, 2016


There's a vigil at LA City Hall tonight at 7 PM, any LA-area Mefites planning on going? With the Expo line open I might actually be able to make it after work.
posted by yasaman at 12:26 PM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


I don't know if anybody else has posted this yet, but the Orlando Sentinel is doing short individual stories on each victim, and though some aren't much more than what they gleaned off social media, some are much more than that, and though they are hard to get through, they are also

The page itself reminds me of like a grief-inducing version of Manhunt. It may not always be popular to say, but I think "gay face" is a thing and even though I don't know any of them, I felt like I've known them all. I've crushed on those faces. I've been happy when those faces paid me attention. I've laughed and drunk with those faces and had a wonderful night and never seen them again. It feels like too much but it also feels like the right thing to do to keep reading them and at least knowing them a little.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:31 PM on June 13, 2016 [20 favorites]


.

heartbroken and can't stop crying. so many faces at the LGBTQ+ friendly show I went to last night were so full of hurt and yet so defiant (fuck yes we are gonna dance through the pain!). my friends who are part of that community are stronger and braver than I think I could ever be.
posted by sallybrown at 12:33 PM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


My partner and I have tickets to Beyonce tomorrow. I suspect we will both be tear-streaked messes before the night is through.
posted by palindromic at 12:38 PM on June 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


Pittsburgh's vigil starts at 8pm tonight, at 414 Grant St. I'll be there in a rainbow-breathing dragon shirt, if anybody wants to say hi.
posted by DingoMutt at 12:56 PM on June 13, 2016




Vigils in DC tonight and >Wednesday.
posted by EvaDestruction at 1:07 PM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]






Ari Shapiro's on-location report at the top of All Things Considered today is one of the best pieces of reporting I have heard about this. NPR in general has been really great for the past couple of days, keeping the anti-gay aspect of this front and center. Right where it should be.
posted by hippybear at 1:20 PM on June 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


I'm flying to PDX to be with my wife this weekend. Being apart right now is too much to bear.
posted by Annika Cicada at 1:22 PM on June 13, 2016 [50 favorites]


There will be a vigil at the corner of Water and Wells (near City Hall) in downtown Milwaukee at 7 PM tonight. Crisis counseling services will be available at the LGBT Community Center from 12-7 PM for the rest of the week.

Every ounce of my love to everyone affected by this unimaginable horror. I love you and I am here for you and I love you I love you I love you. I don't have any other words.
posted by amnesia and magnets at 1:27 PM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


Travel safe, Annika Cicada!
posted by wenestvedt at 1:32 PM on June 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


Back from donating blood at my local blood bank in Seattle. They sent out a call to replenish supplies after shipping blood to Orlando.

The place was packed. Almost no place to sit in the waiting room when I arrived, almost nowhere to sit when I left. And every bed full pretty much the whole time, too. It was really good to see.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 1:34 PM on June 13, 2016 [10 favorites]


Hugs to both of the Sparkles, Annika.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:35 PM on June 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


Safe travels Annika.
posted by beefetish at 1:39 PM on June 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


My wife and I were out dancing at a club on Saturday night, and as we rode the parking garage elevator to our car at the end of our night, a few young African-American men got on with us. Based on their conversations, it was pretty clear that most of them were gay. When my wife asked me if she had lipstick on her teeth, one of them interrupted me and said something to the effect of "it doesn't matter, girl, because you look fabulous." (NB, she did.) My wife laughed in delight and asked how gay guys always know exactly what a woman wants to hear. We all laughed and chatted and we told them to have a great night as we left the elevator (I suspect they were just getting started while us olds were heading home). About an hour later, this happened.

To all my LGBTQ+ friends, acquaintances, colleagues, brothers and sisters: I'm sorry. I'm so so sorry that there are times (like in that elevator at 1:00 am this last Saturday night) when I think we have all put the hatred behind us. I'm sorry that my voice as an ally hasn't always been as strong as it should have been. I'm sorry that people are trying to erase the hate behind this attack and the systematic bigotry and homophobia behind the hate.

Please take care of yourselves and each other in whatever way you can, and if there is any way I can provide concrete support for my Triangle LGBTQ+ MeFites, please let me know.

.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:41 PM on June 13, 2016 [19 favorites]


My video from the London vigil. The London Gay Men's choir sang Bridge Over Troubled Water. So much crying.

https://youtu.be/y8z8LbrRQNI
posted by fight or flight at 1:43 PM on June 13, 2016 [12 favorites]




An update on that homophobic graffiti in DC.

sometimes I love my city.
posted by schmod at 2:09 PM on June 13, 2016 [13 favorites]




>that is so extremly disrespectful, how are they even human?<

Because that is totally how Jesus would have done it...AMIRIGHT?

bastards.

I want no part of that christ.

The Love your neighbor one*...yeah.



*and there were no "unless their gay qualifiers"
posted by twidget at 2:19 PM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]




Assholes on facebook who have never professed an ounce of concern about Native American issues, are now pointing out that Wounded Knee was the real deadliest gun massacre in the US. And that if they'd been armed, they could have fought back. So, fuck everything, I'm off to the Tallahassee vigil, which has moved from the Capitol steps to First Pres. due to the weather. Starts at 6:30. Peace.
posted by Cookiebastard at 2:33 PM on June 13, 2016 [14 favorites]




Well, today was not very productive for me, but I was listening to the CBC on the way home and the reporter they had in Orlando (who is originally Canadian, and met his boyfriend working at Epcot) managed to sum up the feeling that's been floating around in my head: he was talking about going out to dinner with his partner last night, and reaching over the table to touch his hand, then stopping to think "is this the right place and time?" He talks about how long it's been since he had to think that, that he had forgotten how that feels.

I think that is what makes me so angry, I had forgotten how bad it can be while everything was going pretty well. I had forgotten that fear, and this piece of trash brought it back.
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 2:58 PM on June 13, 2016 [15 favorites]


The Orlando Sentinel profiles will just break your heart. Reporters are doing short video profiles, too. I am determined to read and view them all just in respect, but I can only manage a few at a time. So young, such a senseless end to vibrant lives.

So many hugs to Mefites in this thread who've shared thoughts and grief. I am so sad and angry for you, for this. I always have words, so many words, but they fail me in this.
posted by madamjujujive at 3:02 PM on June 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


Wonkette: Look At These Amazing People Standing Up For Orlando, a synopsis of fund-raising, blood-donating, vigil-holding reactions of love.
posted by palindromic at 3:17 PM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think that is what makes me so angry, I had forgotten how bad it can be while everything was going pretty well. I had forgotten that fear, and this piece of trash brought it back.

A lot of the people who died probably thought they'd never have to feel that fear, because it's 2016 and we have same sex marriage and queer celebrities and there are lots of places you can talk around holding hands with your partner and no one will bat an eye. I said this when I talked to my dad today. I know it's naive but I'd thought, well the really bad times are over in America, so I'm safe. At least, as safe as any other woman. But I guess I'm not. Even though I live in one of the most gay-friendly cities on the planet and have a supportive family and friends and workplace, every advantage in the world that a queer person could have, I guess I still can't feel safe and that makes me feel sick and tired, but even more, it makes me angry for the kids who I naively thought wouldn't ever have to live in a world where this stuff still happened.
posted by showbiz_liz at 3:20 PM on June 13, 2016 [32 favorites]


My teenager recently came out to us, but has not come out to his peers. Today, when we came out of jet lag stupor, this was one of the first things we heard. He cried, I cried, he just can't wrap his head around why someone would hate because of who other people choose to love. He asked if he should just stay in the closet and not tell friends and family, and it broke my heart. Like, kids don't have enough problems, now he has to worry if he'll be murdered because he kissed a boy. My heart breaks for him, and all the kids like him who face such animosity and bigotry for no goddamn reason. I'm sick just thinking about the mothers and family of those murdered kids, the friends who lived and feel like they shouldn't have, all the kids who today are afraid to be who they are. I'm so sad that this is the world we have, full of heavily armed lunatics carrying hate in their hearts. I wish I knew what to do to make the world a safe place.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 3:34 PM on June 13, 2016 [65 favorites]


Assholes on facebook who have never professed an ounce of concern about Native American issues, are now pointing out that Wounded Knee was the real deadliest gun massacre in the US. And that if they'd been armed, they could have fought back.

this is wrong on so many levels, but - they WERE armed

such ignorance
posted by pyramid termite at 3:46 PM on June 13, 2016 [17 favorites]


Every mention of blood donation as a response to this tragedy feels like a slap in the face.


I went to the vigil here in Toronto last night. Today, as I sat at my desk at work, I learned that the University of Toronto, which I can see from my window, was on lockdown because of reports of a masked man, possibly armed, on campus. Fortunately , that situation resolved without incident, but I didn't get a lot done today.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 3:54 PM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Every mention of blood donation as a response to this tragedy feels like a slap in the face.

look at all of the juicy O negative blood i have coursing in my veins that could be inside of other people

oh wait

according to the government i definitely have aids because i blow other men so i cant

sadfaec :(
posted by Conspire at 3:58 PM on June 13, 2016 [22 favorites]


Obviously a developing story, and sorry if this is simply an irrelevant distraction, but this is the latest - Orlando Shooter Was Reportedly a Regular at Pulse and Had a Profile on Gay Dating App
posted by naju at 3:58 PM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


Comey said the bureau is also trying to determine whether Mateen had recently scouted Disney World as a potential target, as reported by People.com, which cited an unidentified federal law enforcement source. AP.
posted by rosswald at 4:02 PM on June 13, 2016


One thing I thought when I saw the pictures of the victims at Pulse was how easily the shooter could have blended in, but I didn't dare say it. That declaration for ISIS? Maybe he got the idea from his pro-Trump iman as a way to promote his candidate. Or maybe he flipped a coin - heads it's ISIS, tails it's "Hail Hydra".
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:05 PM on June 13, 2016


He was not very informed, in any case: Omar Mateen may not have understood the difference between ISIS, al-Qaeda and Hezbollah
posted by naju at 4:09 PM on June 13, 2016 [9 favorites]


SecretAgentSockPuppet - I wish I could hug you and your son SO HARD right now.
posted by hollygoheavy at 4:10 PM on June 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


Orlando Shooter Was Reportedly a Regular at Pulse and Had a Profile on Gay Dating App

The claim that he'd been to Pulse before seems pretty solid. The claim that he had a gay dating app profile seems shakier. Right now it's just a tweet promising an interview with some rando.
posted by great_radio at 4:13 PM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


He was not very informed, in any case: Omar Mateen may not have understood the difference between ISIS, al-Qaeda and Hezbollah

So, an average American then.
posted by Artw at 4:18 PM on June 13, 2016 [20 favorites]


So, an average American then.

He may not have been able to differentiate between Sunni and Shi'ite terrorist groups, but he clearly identified with a vague message of Islamic terrorism - his statements to coworkers in 2013 about these sympathies resulted in his first FBI investigation.

You can insinuate most American's are ignorant if you want, but I don't think this guy was "average."
posted by rosswald at 4:24 PM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


NPR: Putting 'Deadliest Mass Shooting In U.S. History' Into Some Historical Context
The Wounded Knee Massacre was devastating — about 250 Native Americans were killed by American troops in the late 1800s. Only one man faced prosecution for the Mountain Meadows Massacre, but it was actually a Mormon militia that killed 120 men, women and children. The Tulsa Massacre ended with about 300 people killed by mobs of white people.

This is something we discussed in the newsroom. It felt like the shootings — in Orlando, in Sandy Hook, at the Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen — were different enough that we could say "deadliest mass shooting in the U.S." and still be respectful of all that previous history.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:25 PM on June 13, 2016 [13 favorites]


Help me understand the blood thing. Surely we've far surpassed the amount of blood the victims actually need, yes? No? Is it actually useful? I seriously just don't understand.
posted by odinsdream at 4:31 PM on June 13, 2016


Some people donate blood. Others, plasma. Plasma is rarer, I believe.
posted by qcubed at 4:32 PM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Red Cells can be stored in refrigerators at 6ºC for up to 42 days
Platelets can be stored at room temperature in agitators for up to five days

cite
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:35 PM on June 13, 2016


Help me understand the blood thing. Surely we've far surpassed the amount of blood the victims actually need, yes? No? Is it actually useful? I seriously just don't understand.

The only useful things the average person can do is donate money or blood, and money is hard to come by.
And the supply of donated blood is always tight.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 4:37 PM on June 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


My guess would be that the blood is going to other people. Pretty much every blood bank pretty much always has a critical shortage, particularly in the summer, when there are more injuries and fewer school/ college blood drives. People feel good about making a tangible statement of support, and they end up helping someone, albeit maybe not the people they were thinking they were helping.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:39 PM on June 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


And yes, it's kind of a shitty thing, given the ongoing ban on donations from men who have sex with men.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:40 PM on June 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


In terms of helping the victims directly, many of the Orlando survivors still in hospital are described as critically injured. It would not surprise me at all if the injured survivors need multiple surgeries and blood transfusions to go with that.
posted by nicebookrack at 4:48 PM on June 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


My mom just called me, utterly stunned and horrified. She was a sort of surrogate mom for a lot of my gay friends in high school, afraid to come out to their parents, but immediately accepted by her. She would listen to them, comfort them, assure them, make them pancakes or burritos after our late nights coming home from the one all-ages club in town. She is heartbroken and sad that anyone could be so filled with hate for the gay community.
posted by Kitteh at 5:02 PM on June 13, 2016 [10 favorites]


Wonkette: Look At These Amazing People Standing Up For Orlando, a synopsis of fund-raising, blood-donating, vigil-holding reactions of love.

Bless you, Mr. Howard. And everyone else who is a life-line of hope for humanity in these dark days.
posted by Gyre,Gimble,Wabe, Esq. at 5:06 PM on June 13, 2016




Someone mentioned Ari Shapiro's reporting on NPR, which is pretty great. This one needs a major trigger warning, though: he talks to people who were at Pulse earlier in the evening and whose friends were killed, and it's pretty wrenching.

It really hammers home to me how much representation matters. I don't know if you'd get similar reporting from someone who wasn't himself a youngish gay man. It makes me realize that we need more out queer people and Latinos and Muslims and.... everything, really, if we're going to get accurate coverage of the news.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:08 PM on June 13, 2016 [10 favorites]


.
posted by greermahoney at 5:15 PM on June 13, 2016




>It would not surprise me at all if the injured survivors need multiple surgeries and blood transfusions to go with that.<

They had a interview with the 6 surgeons at ORMC that worked on the patients and one commented that at least one victim did need 6 surgeries over the course of the days (she had multiple gunshot wounds).

Another commented that these were not anything like the normal Saturday night gunshot wounds ... the assault rifle round does a lot more damage so everyone needed more attention.

The best news is those that got there alive... still are.
posted by twidget at 5:20 PM on June 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I hope so much that the death count doesn't rise from the injured.
posted by nicebookrack at 5:27 PM on June 13, 2016


I didn't think the nightmare could get worse.

For me this is the least surprising information of all this. The self-hating violent homophobe is like, a stereotype.

I bet that news is gonna make ISIS regret claiming ownership of this so quickly. I wonder if they'll try to roll back their endorsement. "Ooh, uh, actually, OK, you know how we said that was us? Totally not us. Jay-kay, plz ignore, thx!"
posted by schroedinger at 5:35 PM on June 13, 2016 [12 favorites]


I hope this now doesn't just get dismissed as "crazy gay kills gays"
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:37 PM on June 13, 2016 [9 favorites]


If it weakens "the ISIS connection" into something Trump and his ilk can't profit from exploiting, it's not all bad.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:39 PM on June 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


The more complicated this gets, the more people will have to look at the reality of the situation, and start to try and untangle the effective and formal causes to what if anything can be learned from the tradgedy, rather than just use this incident to stoke whatever hot take they had ready to go. Thanks for dropping links in here, as well as the incredible personal writing from all participants.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:50 PM on June 13, 2016 [19 favorites]


The more complicated this gets, the more people will have to look at the reality of the situation

Unfortunately, I suspect that the more complicated it gets, the more some very loud people will want to simplify it down to a single sound bite that fits their preconceived expectations.
posted by rmd1023 at 5:58 PM on June 13, 2016 [10 favorites]


Well then tell the complicated stories.

I've lived the repressed life. I live the liberated life.

If he was caught in the hell of his own repression, forced on him by american culture and religious fundamentalism (every kind) while struggling to understand his authentic truth, then well it makes sense, and in a very hard to accept way, my heart would ache for him too. Because I know what the hell of the repressed life feels like.

We have to face ourselves and decide what we want to be as a nation. From where I stand, this is a stark dividing line that marks the future we create.
posted by Annika Cicada at 6:06 PM on June 13, 2016 [35 favorites]


What a tragic story if it turns out the man was feeling homosexual impulses himself and acting out both sides; drinking and gaying it up while also flirting with the worst stereotypes of radical Islam. Certainly wouldn't be the first fucked up person who maybe could have been OK if he had the right love and care at the right time.

But either way the central fact for me is he was able to murder 49 people because he bought an American assault weapon. I refuse to accept that my country will continue to allow this insane gun culture. The gun nut pushback is already happening though, friends-of-friends on Facebook are already saying odious things. Expect the NRA to swing hard in a few days. They waited 7 days after the twenty children and six teachers were murdered at Sandy Hook, then the gun nuts went on attack. And they won.
posted by Nelson at 6:17 PM on June 13, 2016 [11 favorites]


The shooter exemplifies the hell we unleash on men, and the hell we unleash on queer people. There's no big bad foreign bogeyman to account for this. He was American born and raised, and got his ideas and values primarily from American cultural programming. His machismo and misogyny and hatred of black people were 100% learned from the environment around him. So was his extreme homophobia and self-hatred. He was largely secular. He worshipped the NYPD.

We (our country, our leaders, our pastors, etc.) need to stand up and say, this is what we're doing to our young men who are not able to live in their own skin and be comfortable in their non-conforming identity. But in order to do that, we need to stop othering. We need to stop doing the thing that is the exact problem.
posted by naju at 6:17 PM on June 13, 2016 [25 favorites]




Internalized homophobia is also a tragedy, and with the same root. I wonder how things would have turned out if he had been accepted by his family, his society, his culture. If he could have learned to accept himself and others like him.
posted by prefpara at 6:21 PM on June 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


wow, this is gonna fuck the shit out of someone's carefully programmed media narrative.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 6:24 PM on June 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


Expect the NRA to swing hard in a few days. They waited 7 days after the twenty children and six teachers were murdered at Sandy Hook, then the gun nuts went on attack.

They haven't waited at all. They're already swinging.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:26 PM on June 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


They haven't waited at all. They're already swinging.

Of course they are. The deaths of children are something to be mourned. The deaths of a bunch of queers is what most of the US secretly wishes for.
posted by hippybear at 6:29 PM on June 13, 2016 [10 favorites]


To be fair, they didn't give a shit when it was children either.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:33 PM on June 13, 2016 [37 favorites]


Bigotry kills. It kills when it is directed outward at others, and also when directed inward at oneself.

Many people have theorized that violent homophobia is a manifestation of internalized self-hate. It's a classic concept of Freud's. Well, a 2011 study looked at that idea directly. A sample of straight-identifying men were sorted by questionnaires into homophobic and nonhomophobic groups. All of the men were then hooked up with a penile plethysmograph, which measures erections. They were shown three sexual videos: one of a man and a woman, one of a female couple, and one of a male couple. Both groups of men reported being aroused by the straight and lesbian clips only, and not the gay male video. But the monitoring device showed that the homophobic men were actually aroused by the gay male clip, while the nonhomophobic men were not.

I can tell you that this works in a related way regarding transphobia. The vast majority of transphobic assaults are of trans women by cis men. And my trans woman spouse so often feels anger and despair over the fact that men who threaten her, spit at her, yell at her how much she disgusts them and how sick she is, etc., are often sporting visible erections. If only they could erase her, they could erase the desires they refuse to acknowledge.

We all know how much damage has been done to LGBT+ communities by politicians and religious figures who trumpet and legislate hatred, and then are found to be having gay sex. Shooting a bunch of people out of self-hatred is a different flavor of the same thing.

As we've been saying, this is a story about hatred of LGBT+ people. The justification process, be it Christian fundamentalism or ISIS-dedicated terrorism or smarmy political claims of protecting innocent women and children, is epiphenomenal.
posted by DrMew at 6:33 PM on June 13, 2016 [51 favorites]


If he turns out to have been gay, it doesn't bring back all the dead. It doesn't explain the violence. It doesn't make anyone safer, or prevent future terror against our communities. It will just change the topic of the vile rhetoric of hatred slightly.
posted by mittens at 6:36 PM on June 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


hippybear: "The deaths of a bunch of queers is what most of the US secretly wishes for."

Many? Sure. Far too many? Sure. But "most"? As in "if you walk down the street, over half of the people you see secretly want gay folks to be murdered?" No way.
posted by Bugbread at 6:41 PM on June 13, 2016 [16 favorites]


The deaths of a bunch of queers is what most of the US secretly wishes for.

Not always secretly.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:44 PM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


Can we not debate the exact percentage of death-wishing homophobes. You know how many it is? Too many. Ask any queer kid or queer who used to be a kid.
posted by rtha at 6:44 PM on June 13, 2016 [54 favorites]




We just have to look at congress really.
posted by Artw at 6:48 PM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


I am capable of unhealthy amounts of compassion even for those who least deserve it. It's a feature and a bug.
posted by Annika Cicada at 6:50 PM on June 13, 2016 [39 favorites]


Regardless of this killer's own orientation, I think toxic masculinity and homophobia still seem like proximate causes for this massacre, in the same way that toxic masculinity and racism were factors in Elliot Rodger's massacre even though he himself was biracial and described himself as an "incel".
posted by en forme de poire at 6:58 PM on June 13, 2016 [10 favorites]


It seems like so much is being dedicated into coming up with a binary interpretation about this. "It's because radical Islam" "No, it's because guns" "No, it's because homophobia"

This was an attack on a gay club during Pride month by a person whose own father described as homophobic. It's about homophobia. This homophobia is present in radical Islam, and the shooter declared himself part of a radical Islamic terrorist movement. It's about radical Islam as well. The shooter was raised in the U.S. and surrounded by an atmosphere of homophobic radical Christianity. It's about radical Christianity as well. He was able to kill a tremendous number of people because of easy access to killing machines. It's about gun control as well.

"The moon is large" "No, the moon is spherical" "No, the moon is made of rock". It's all of the above, and probably more as well.
posted by Bugbread at 7:06 PM on June 13, 2016 [87 favorites]


Meanwhile, just a little slice of life here: my wife just came back from our city's vigil with her report. First she parked pretty far away from the location, where there was free street parking. But a group of teenagers started following her and laughing, so she headed back to her car, and one of them threw a bottle at her.

So she got back in the car, and paid for parking in a lot near the vigil, emerging to find the mayor was giving some very generic speech. She found a group of people, some of whom she knew, to stand with. They were talking about how the massacre shattered everyone's feeling of safety. So she mentioned just having had a bottle thrown at her and rarely feeling safe. Immediately the "helpful advice" kicked in. One woman told her she shouldn't wear a dress like that as it draws too much attention (she was wearing a plaid dress with a bit of a punkrock feel to it and a black cotton jacket, totally normal streetwear, as if that were relevant). So, victim-blaming. And another trans woman who was in the group started talking about how hard it was early in her transition when she looked more like my spouse and didn't "pass," and how glad she is that things got better for her, which is a weird form of sympathy to give in that it makes a recipient who started estrogen over a decade ago feel she's being told she's not trans-ing hard enough or something.

Anyway, instead of feeling better, she started having a panic attack so she just left the vigil and went back to the car to cry.

Sigh. Like I posted way up in the thread, there are a lot of LGBT+ folks for whom the Orlando massacre seems weirdly continuous with the rest of life.

I'll step back now to avoid posting too much, and I'm sorry if I'm coming across as a downer instead of a source of uplift. But I just wanted to underline the quotidian force of bigotry a lot of folks face every day, and that for many, there is no space where they feel safe. Because I really would like to hope that fighting to improve that situation would be a result of the Orlando massacre.
posted by DrMew at 7:11 PM on June 13, 2016 [89 favorites]


Well, Kingston's vigil went pretty well, one of the local queens and a friend of mine did a nice memorial with votive candles in paper bags, with the name, age, and picture if available. It made me realize how young these people were. Youngest was 18, I nearly lost it there.

One of the speakers (our Member of Provinicial Parliament I think) managed to work in a "lifestyle choices that may be different from the (finger quotes) normal" bit that would have gotten him booed off stage if it wasn't, y'know, a vigil. What an ass.
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 7:14 PM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


In recent years, my personal mantra has become "It's more complicated than that", so I am in full agreement with Bugbread. Nothing is "so simple", "so obvious", "so clear", so when somebody tries to espouse a "unified theory of what's wrong with the world", I take personal joy in seeing them crumble under a flood of inconvenient facts, whether or not I'm providing them.
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:15 PM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]




It's funny you say that, Bugbread, because the chorus I hear loud and clear from the queer people that I know--including this discussion, in fact--says "Yes. Of course it's all of the above. But it was directed at queer people of color, and that needs to be centered, and the people who are trying to center it around the ISIS aspect instead are doing those victims a disservice." It's a complicated event, but we need to not elide the people who were targeted and hurt worst. I have seen a lot of media outlets doing exactly that today as they rush to shout about ISIS and away from saying "homophobia" or "hate attack." I'm angry about that.
posted by sciatrix at 7:17 PM on June 13, 2016 [22 favorites]


> It's about radical Christianity as well.

It's also about baseline ordinary American culture, which has created, incorporated, absorbed and imbibed a deeply pathological level of misogyny and homophobia and which the vast majority of us here - even those of us raised with the barest of nods to organized religion - hardly notice unless it involves 50 people killed all at once. You know how many queer people of color are killed every year, one by one by stupid unnecessary one? More than that. Beaten, harassed, chased out of families of origin? More than that. Fired from jobs, lost custody of kids, denied places to live, adequate medical care and on an on and ceaselessly on? MORE THAN THAT.

This level of hatred is not confined to "radical" anything, is my point. It is background noise to most people, and it's only an incident like this that turns it up to the point where people - people who are not queer, not people of color, not trans - actually notice.
posted by rtha at 7:19 PM on June 13, 2016 [56 favorites]


Personally I think the focus should be on gun culture because that's the thing that most urgently needs changing. Maybe I'm an optimist, but I think homophobia is slowly getting better in the United States. I also don't worry that radical Islam is going to wash over America and destroy us.

But America is being held hostage to military weapon fetishists. And it should be possible to apply political pressure to fix this. Maybe we still have broken people trying to kill others, but at least without access to military weapons they won't be able to kill 50 at a time. Then again the pessimist makes me realize if 20 dead elementary school kids isn't enough to make America change, 50 queer POCs in Florida won't either.

(Yup, still mostly just feeling anger. Maybe a bit of bargaining now. Trying to stay with anger.)
posted by Nelson at 7:22 PM on June 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


I'm sorry if this is a repeat, my device has limited search, but this is a link to Anderson Cooper making the victim's names real for me which I thought was important.
posted by eggkeeper at 7:22 PM on June 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


Reading Dr. Mew's account of his partner attending the vigil is familiar and frustrating.

Shaking my head. Hugs.
posted by Annika Cicada at 7:24 PM on June 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


Maybe I'm an optimist, but I think homophobia is slowly getting better in the United States.

From my link above: " In the 10-year period between 2004 and 2014, the share of hate crimes based on sexual orientation increased."
posted by hippybear at 7:24 PM on June 13, 2016 [12 favorites]


Sciatrix, you may be right. When someone says something I think is right (on a serious topic), I think "right on!" but 20 minutes later I've probably forgotten it unless it was unusually poignant or funny or revelatory. If someone says something that I think is wrong (on a serious topic), I think "Oh, come on!" and two hours later I still remember it. So maybe I'm just remembering the people who trying to force a single issue and forgetting the people who aren't.
posted by Bugbread at 7:27 PM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


I was gonna post this with a rallying cry to my fellow NYC MeFites: One of the victims was from Bed-Stuy, and there is a GoFundMe account to help his mother bring his body home for burial.

Except she exceeded her request within only 21 hours.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:29 PM on June 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


" In the 10-year period between 2004 and 2014, the share of hate crimes based on sexual orientation increased."

Indeed, although one of the links to survey data in there shows that in general, attitudes towards LGBT people have gotten better.

However, I don't think these are unrelated. As more people come to accept LGBT people, those who harbor hatred on the level that produces violence will only get more angry as they feel the country slipping away from them.

There's no inherent contradiction between the ideas that homophobia is declining while violence is increasing.
posted by thefoxgod at 7:34 PM on June 13, 2016 [17 favorites]


Owen Jones, quoted above: If a Jewish guest on television had tried to describe [a similar attack against a synagogue] as [both terrorism and an antisemitic attack], it would be disgraceful if they were not only contradicted, but shouted down as they did so. But this is what happened on Sky News with a gay man talking about the mass murder of LGBT people."

In fact that is what happens with a lot of attacks directed against Jews: either their identity is erased, so they become some random targets who just happen to be in a kosher supermarket, or it's shoehorned into an I/P thing. The idea that people are targeted specifically because they are Jews is ridiculously hard to accept. I wouldn't have expected that the same sort of logic could apply to an attack against a gay nightclub, but apparently I have too little imagination.

My generous interpretation of this is that people think they're being protective by assuring victims that they're not vulnerable, that there aren't wicked people who hate them for what they are, that they don't need to be afraid. The thing is, though, that victims are well aware of their vulnerability. It may be meant well, but it's really just silencing their concerns. Telling GLBT people that we're all in this together is all very well, but (like similar reassurances made to Jews) it's effectively a denial of any particular concerns and a refusal to address any particular vulnerabilities.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:38 PM on June 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


But the monitoring device showed that the homophobic men were actually aroused by the gay male clip, while the nonhomophobic men were not.

Slightly pedantically, though--I'm kind of wary about penile plethysmographs being used as a "realer" proxy for sexual attraction than a person's stated desires, because you can get an erection from a variety of strong emotions... including anger, disgust, or stress. It's possible that those results indicate less "if they didn't strongly hold homophobic beliefs, those dudes would be gay/bi" and more "those dudes are having much stronger emotional reactions to those stimuli than the non-homophobic dudes." Which... would also make sense.

I'm interested in plethysmograph work, but I often think the interpretation doesn't take into account the fact that genitalia blood flow changes happen along with other changes in blood pressure and endocrine levels in response to emotional states and stress levels... or the fact that genital reaction doesn't always correlate to whether a person is actually interested in a sexual encounter in other contexts. (Think sexual assault here.) Bit of a tangent, but I prefer to be careful about assuming that virulently homophobic people are all secretly closeted--I think that homophobia is a much broader and more complex problem than that.
posted by sciatrix at 7:40 PM on June 13, 2016 [27 favorites]


This shooter was an American. This is an American problem. Join or die. Love must be the default, violence must never be the answer, and yes yes yes we must change our culture so gay people, trans people, all people can live free from fear.

When I was younger I was a posturing political conservative. I wasn't anti gay, I just was one of those straight white guys kinda in love with Bill Buckley who talked about how queer people didn't deserve "special rights" and how they didn't have to "flaunt their lifestyle." I had gay friends but never really thought about what their lives might be like.

Then I moved to New York and got a job where I worked with some gay people (and please forgive me if I use the word gay to mean queer trans inclusive) and those ideas melted faster than a Flav-o-Ice on a hot summer city sidewalk. Went to a gay bar with friends. Realizied the Other were just people, and what they did sexually was none of my concern- hell, I had my own issues to deal with after all. But I'd clearly been primed and programmed to minimize and marginalize that other, in this case the gay, by just growing up white and male and straight in the USA. I'm lucky I was exposed to good people and books and ideas early enough to cast, I hope, all or most of the cultural programming away.

So yeah, this guy seems to have had big problems we may never be able to form into a simple explanation, and made his daesh claim, but he was an American and this is an American problem, so we better get better to each other. Now. Now. Now.
posted by vrakatar at 7:42 PM on June 13, 2016 [10 favorites]


Those who had "36 hours" in the pool for how long the NRA would stay quiet before shitting out its usual fuck-you-what-you-gonna-do-about-it official response win the prize of a bucket full of tears. The M.O. is well established. Expect Wayne LaPebble to make his usual speech on Wednesday or Thursday. Maybe Tr*mp will invite him to a rally to do it this time.

In the meantime, the US provides fucked-up twentysomething men with the same capacity and support network to channel aggression into mass murder as the war zones of Syria. It makes me feel old and sad about the internet, that this gift which from its outset made nonconformists aware that they're not alone, that they're loved -- not exclusive to LGBTQ people, but especially valuable to them in isolated physical communities -- also has the capacity to bring together bastards of a feather.

Fuck the haters, the future doesn't belong to them.
posted by holgate at 7:44 PM on June 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


I've been silently seething (when not wanting to sob about the tragedy of it all) about the media's concentration on ISIS and OMG Muslims! I was watching Don Lemon on CNN tonight and they were talking about the gay dating app. The host was really bearing down on the LGBT hating aspect of this. They were talking about the shooter may have been drawn to extremism because of his repressed feelings. Don pointed Catholicism and Conservative Christianity were responsible for a lot of anti-gay rhetoric too. I was like "You go Don!" Then some ex-Sheriff came on talked about locking Muslims up and I got sad again.
posted by marxchivist at 7:44 PM on June 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


The killer was American and I've fully embraced that. This is an Issue that was made in America and by Americans. In light of recent stories coming out about him being possibility closeted I'm willing to consider him one of my own. I would like to see that kind of willingness to embrace "thine enemy" in the more broad and straight America as well.
posted by Annika Cicada at 7:48 PM on June 13, 2016 [13 favorites]


the people who are trying to center it around the ISIS aspect instead are doing those victims a disservice

I am 99% in agreement, but in the interest of complicating all of the narratives further past our comfort zones, this gave me some pause today. Specifically the notion that non-Muslims on the left are in turn doing a disservice to LGBTQ Muslims when they reflexively defend cis straight Islam. (I don't have any answers, just passing my discomfort along.)
posted by naju at 7:50 PM on June 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


Yeah, Bugbread, I brought up that I think homophobia is still a proximate cause because of 1. seeing it elided in the national conversation more than the other issues and 2. having seen how claims about the killer's orientation were covered online. For instance, I've seen conservative outlets argue that the killer's (possibly) being sexually interested in men somehow exonerates straight American culture; I wanted to make it clear that I think this is totally backwards reasoning.
posted by en forme de poire at 7:52 PM on June 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


There's no inherent contradiction between the ideas that homophobia is declining while violence is increasing.

This is certainly true, but I think it's also true that this increasing level of violence is often glossed over in favor of a kind of "post-gay" narrative of gay rights, which I think (much like the "post-racial" narrative) is largely a convenient fiction.
posted by en forme de poire at 7:57 PM on June 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


Slightly pedantically, though--I'm kind of wary about penile plethysmographs being used as a "realer" proxy for sexual attraction than a person's stated desires, because you can get an erection from a variety of strong emotions

Well said, but I don't think it's pedantic at all. Penile plethysmographs have an unfortunately long history of being used to justify homophobic pseudoscience -- including, if I recall correctly, to keep gay men (or suspected gay men) out of the Canadian civil service in the first half of the 20th century. Healthy skepticism towards claims that you can identify homosexual attraction from basic physiological responses is warranted.
posted by biogeo at 7:58 PM on June 13, 2016 [9 favorites]


FWIW, I'm down with that as long as we also show willingness for healthy skepticism towards claims that you can identify homosexual attraction from basic physiological shapes of sex organs as well. .
posted by Annika Cicada at 8:04 PM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think we can all agree that the most reliable scientific method for determining someone's sexual preferences or gender (or lack thereof) is by asking.
posted by biogeo at 8:15 PM on June 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


Went out to dinner for a friend's birthday, came home and realized I'd left my leftovers at the restaurant. That did me in.

I cried, and cried, and cried.

For my friends, and their losses. For my friend, whose memorial service was yesterday.

For being a bisexual woman in a heterosexual relationship and constantly feeling like I'm not part of the community because I fell in love with a man. Like I don't count, because I can blend. I'm not rainbow-y enough.

I still cry. It hurts, and I'm not sure how to grieve. I want love to be enough, but days like these make me unsure. Grief is strange.
posted by PearlRose at 8:15 PM on June 13, 2016 [37 favorites]


a kind of "post-gay" narrative of gay rights, which I think (much like the "post-racial" narrative) is largely a convenient fiction.

Absolutely. And I agree thats dangerous, especially because it does kind of paint a picture of progress as inevitable, which is clearly not the case.

And the sad part is that even when there is progress, it is almost always accompanied by a backlash. We've seen it again and again [too many examples to name, but Obama's election is clearly one].

The best thing is to acknowledge progress and limitations and backlashes and everything, but as with anything, maintaining nuance is hard.
posted by thefoxgod at 8:19 PM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Attraction seems like a complex enough subject that I think any attempt to reduce it to a physiological response has some potential for misuse. There might be some validity to the studies so I'm not necessarily willing to throw it into the refuse pile with phrenology and other abandoned concepts but I think many of the studies concerning the science of human attraction can only capture a small piece of the picture because so much about what we find attractive is wrapped up in our brains and it seems like each little bit of neuroscience we learn simply reveals how much that we have yet to learn.

The attempts to capture the killer with some sort of simple narrative, that he was a violent islamist, that he was a clueless wannabe, that he was a self-loathing homophobe, etc and the continuing difficulty in confining him to that simple narrative highlight how we desperately want simple because simple problems are supposedly easy to fix.

But it seems apparent that this individual's story was complex and that trying to boil it down to a sound bite is going to be doomed to failure. I also feel like the rush to understand the attacker's narrative and to put him in an easily defined box is wrong in many ways because it focuses so much of the attention on the attacker instead of on the lives of the victims. I understand wanting to understand why a person could be so moved by hate that they take these actions but do we really need to know the specific combination? Is there going to be some sort of dark triad that allows us to identify potential mass killers ahead of time? It seems like a more effective use of our time is to diminish the background level of hate so that these groups that are targeted for hate crimes over and over can feel safer because no matter how awful this event was the lone wolf killer is not the most common source of violence that these groups face.
posted by vuron at 8:22 PM on June 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


/me opens the cozy blanket of comfort and support for pearlrose
posted by Annika Cicada at 8:23 PM on June 13, 2016 [8 favorites]


PearlRose we bi folk in het-relationships are still the B in LGBT. We count. The guys throwing beer bottles at my head out of pickup trucks and yelling "f*****" didn't care that I would marry a woman later.
posted by Cookiebastard at 8:35 PM on June 13, 2016 [35 favorites]


And I offer kittens, bourbon, and/or pie to you, pearlrose, and anyone else who needs them.
posted by rtha at 8:35 PM on June 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


You count enough for me, PearlRose. If it helps, here's a cup of virtual tea, or whatever warm drink you like best, to go with that blanket.

My partner came home exhausted tonight from the pawnshop they've been working at. Last week, a man threatened them and their (female, Latina) manager and good friend with death for allegedly stealing from him on his pawns. They haven't stolen anything, and he's admitted he knows as much to their one remaining male coworker, but he hates women. The cops know him by sight now because he's been called out so often on charges of assault or harassment of women. The manager, who is also my friend and helped us move yesterday--she can't sleep, because she's scared. This guy keeps coming in, and he's been the sweetness that heralds a storm all week.

My partner was telling me just now about how they walk a fine, fine line when people ask why they moved to the US, and how they are careful about whether they refer to me by pronoun, and even more careful to not mention my gender when they describe me. And they were telling me that almost daily, someone desperate comes in with a gun to pawn for money. Almost daily, they need to tell that person that their location doesn't take guns, and that they need to go elsewhere to pawn the gun. It's not that my city has any shortage of the desperate. And every time they wonder, "how will this person take being disappointed this time?"

For all that U of Toronto had a gun threat today, Toronto was safer than this. For all that both of us have been harassed there--I remember a man who followed me, screaming homophobic slurs into my face, for minutes while I shouted and swore back for him to get away and held Tay's hand out of spite before he finally peeled off--for all of that, there aren't the guns there, there isn't so much potential to kill so quickly and unsaveably, or to target so many people at once.

I'm so guilty, tonight. Selfishly, I'm glad to have my partner here with me... but their old job was safer, and I'm acutely conscious of putting them in danger by bringing them here.
posted by sciatrix at 8:38 PM on June 13, 2016 [13 favorites]


rtha - Funny, I was just wishing I could send cookies to practically everyone in this thread.
posted by jferg at 8:40 PM on June 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm running out of tissues, you all. Thanks for some happy tears to go along with the sad ones. Still, I hate that this is the reason we are all seeking comfort and unity, banding together.

I'd been doing so well, but things keep throwing me for a loop and these hurt. I feel like this is the safest place to grieve right now.

Cookies and tea and blanket forts sound amazing. I have enough fresh blueberries for a pie.
posted by PearlRose at 8:47 PM on June 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


The video posted upthread of Anderson Cooper readings the names and ages of (and some details about) the victims is very moving (and obviously heart-wrenching).
posted by sallybrown at 8:47 PM on June 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


vuron, I agree it's important not to oversimplify, but conversely I think there's also a risk of making the attacker seem so unknowably unique that we then fail to adequately analyze and address the various larger social factors that influenced his actions. So I think some amount of focusing our attention on the attacker and his motives is socially necessary, if distasteful.
posted by en forme de poire at 8:48 PM on June 13, 2016 [8 favorites]


I'm totally going to oversimplify. This is the result of the endemic homophobia in US culture.
posted by hippybear at 8:52 PM on June 13, 2016 [25 favorites]


I mean, even Game Of Thrones had a bullshit moment this past week that was totally a part of this endemic homophobia.
posted by hippybear at 8:53 PM on June 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


This was an attack on a gay club during Pride month by a person whose own father described as homophobic. It's about homophobia. This homophobia is present in radical Islam, and the shooter declared himself part of a radical Islamic terrorist movement. It's about radical Islam as well. The shooter was raised in the U.S. and surrounded by an atmosphere of homophobic radical Christianity. It's about radical Christianity as well. He was able to kill a tremendous number of people because of easy access to killing machines. It's about gun control as well.
Can I just add to the list that it's about domestic violence as well? Why was this man, with a history of violence against his spouse, still allowed easy legal access to weapons? Because so many reasons, but at least in large part because we don't take domestic violence seriously in this country.
posted by Nerd of the North at 8:55 PM on June 13, 2016 [52 favorites]


The arc of the moral universe bends toward justice because generations of people have fought their entire lives to bend that universe into a better one. I don't want to devalue their fight by pretending that the fighting hasn't helped, or that the world twirling toward freedom was inevitable, or that there aren't still generations of fighting left ahead. The universe gets better from people making it better.
posted by nicebookrack at 8:56 PM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


I really wish the media would lay off of the "MOST DEADLY MASS SHOOTING IN US HISTORY" angle. That shit just further encourages these deranged men to see the whole thing as a High Scores list.
posted by threeants at 9:03 PM on June 13, 2016 [16 favorites]


As another bi woman in a 15 year long monogamous het relationship, totally know what you guys are talking about. I've never come out publicly, because it never became an issue. It's something I've considered a couple of times, at times like these, but it feels so much like trying to make this about me and not "real gays." So yeah I mostly do my cheerleading for my friends who aren't invisible and don't have the luxury of blending in. So it is a weird place to be when this kind of thing happens. Probably why I've been fighting on FB about gun control all day. Urgh.
posted by threeturtles at 9:26 PM on June 13, 2016 [19 favorites]


Our resentful homophobia, toxic masculinity, socio-religious imperialism, trigger-happy violence-first posturing took the form of a broken person and did exactly what all those things wanted done.

We as a country are a petri dish for mass murderers, standing agape at the revelatory consistency of the biological imperative of things to exist as if nothing has ever happened before.

That collectively we are still struggling to connect the dots between seeds sown and consequences reaped says as much about our grasp of agriculture as it might about our contemporary mores. This chaos is centuries in the making; the social conditions can only worsen with inaction.

By this same measure I'm so heartened to see effort in the media and on the congressional floor and among my friends and here to learn, never to stop learning because we are learning what can and must be done and we are surely, some of us at least, making an attempt to see it done.

Love, love, love, and showing the fuck up — we will get by together. You are beautiful, we are beautiful, and our love is the largest thing in the world.

<3
posted by an animate objects at 9:34 PM on June 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


Can't find a link right now, but Samantha Bee's unmitigated rage on her show tonight is actually helping me a lot. "Do I have to tell jokes, or can I just stand here and scream for 7 minutes?"
posted by hippybear at 9:36 PM on June 13, 2016 [23 favorites]


I'm glad that more and more public figures are coming out and basically shouting that the endless false sympathy of prayers and moments of silence are inadequate. People should be angry because this is becoming commonplace and each additional death should be seen as a condemnation of those too cowardly to act.
posted by vuron at 9:55 PM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Maastrictian at 10:04 PM on June 13, 2016


hippybear: here's your link.
posted by holgate at 10:05 PM on June 13, 2016 [11 favorites]


I'm going to start keeping very careful tabs on the people who say that this was "an attack on all of us" - so I can throw those words back in their face if they ever pull any "but a business should be able to refuse service to whoever they want" bullshit.

Well that's my new Facebook project for the day, thanks.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:14 PM on June 13, 2016 [9 favorites]


I haven't seen Samantha Bee's show yet but I'm looking forward to it. John Oliver's intro Sunday night also addressed the shootings. I think he was fighting back tears the whole time. I've been struggling to express some of my feelings around this without injecting "here's what a cis-het white guy thinks" into a discussion which has rightly been centered on the LGBTQ experience of an attack on their community. But John Oliver has captured my own feelings eloquently and sensitively, and I hope posting it here isn't too intrusive.
posted by biogeo at 10:16 PM on June 13, 2016 [11 favorites]


"In the 10-year period between 2004 and 2014, the share of hate crimes based on sexual orientation increased."

There is a bit of sort-of good news, though, if you look at the raw FBI data from 2004 and 2014. The share of hate crimes based on sexual orientation (which for the FBI's purposes includes anti-transgender hate crimes) increased, but the absolute number of hate crimes based on sexual orientation fell from 1406 to 1178. So homophobic hate crimes are declining, but more slowly than other hate crimes. This, of course, assumes that these data really are representative of the numbers of hate crimes committed against LGBTQ individuals; there are probably systematic biases that cause such hate crimes to go underreported, but I have no sense of how large an effect this is.

1000+ hate crimes annually doesn't give us any reason to celebrate, but at least things aren't as grim as the proportions would seem to suggest.
posted by biogeo at 10:39 PM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


[One comment deleted. Sorry, but bringing in "the absolute worst you can imagine" links really isn't a good idea here.]
posted by taz at 10:59 PM on June 13, 2016


I hope this now doesn't just get dismissed as "crazy gay kills gays"

Eh, unless someone credible comes forward to confirm that they had gay sex with him, I think it's more reasonable to assume that he was researching and planning his attack. This wasn't the third worst terrorist attack on US soil and worst mass shooting because he just got lucky.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:21 PM on June 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


there are probably systematic biases that cause such hate crimes to go underreported, but I have no sense of how large an effect this is.

Very large indeed, but that doesn't mean that the year-to-year trend is wrong.

I looked into this once when I wanted to cite FBI figures on hate crimes. It turns out that the absolute figures are garbage (not all jurisdictions report) and you probably shouldn't even rely on relative figures between categories (because the different jurisdictions don't use consistent methodologies), but relative year-to-year figures within any particular category are probably informative enough to be used. So the report of 1178 hate crimes is almost certainly a severe underestimate, but if the reports indicate that hate crimes are going down, it's very likely the case.
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:27 PM on June 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


...just checked my favorite reality TV forum to find a pretty devastating post linked from trans performer and RPDR alum Kenya Michaels, who was inside Pulse at the time of the shooting but survived.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:28 PM on June 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


(Sad note of international context: Italian morning news has this as generic domestic terrorism first, then adds U.S. gun regulation and the electoral positioning into the mix, and lastly, as a half-disjunct P.S., calls in an erudite opinion on homosexuality as viewed/lived in Islam. And this is from a quality news outlet, the cultural channel of public radio. Not a word on the LGBT core issue. There is so much that remains to be achieved in all the world...)
posted by progosk at 12:02 AM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


I found these two links on the history of violence centered around gay bars edifying.

In the wake of every senseless gun death, I think back to Bill Bonds, the larger-than-life and occasionally troubled longtime Detroit news anchor, and his editorial following the death of John Lennon (skip to 01:56 if the video doesn't cue up properly). (Transcript) Sad that it resonates so strongly over 35 years later.
posted by dhens at 12:18 AM on June 14, 2016 [10 favorites]


The share of hate crimes based on sexual orientation (which for the FBI's purposes includes anti-transgender hate crimes) increased, but the absolute number of hate crimes based on sexual orientation fell from 1406 to 1178. So homophobic hate crimes are declining, but more slowly than other hate crimes.

Trans women generally and trans women of colour particularly are statistically the LGBT demographic most likely to be victims of anti-LGBT hate crimes (which is a thing I think is worth pointing out, since an awful lot of the recent ugliness, hysteria and general cultural toxicity that gets spun as "anti-LGBT" by the news media is very specifically anti-trans; see "bathroom bills").
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 1:05 AM on June 14, 2016 [9 favorites]


I came out to my parents this weekend.

I came out to HR about two weeks back.

My friends two months before that.

My psychiatrist almost a year ago.

At each and every one of these steps, I have assumed the worst from the people I'm opening up to, and I've been consistently surprised at the openness and gratitude I've received.

My heart is sickened by the evidence that I may have been right all along.
posted by mikurski at 1:09 AM on June 14, 2016 [53 favorites]


Eh, unless someone credible comes forward to confirm that they had gay sex with him

That hasn't happened, as far as I know, but someone who attended police academy with him (and who is gay but wasn't out at the time) has said that Mateen "asked me out" (as to his credibility, it's hard to say). Internalised homophobia, intense self-loathing, and a desire to "reclaim his masculinity"/"prove he was a man" through a violent rejection of what his urges represented is sadly kind of plausible (and if he'd embraced radical jihadism then he may have seen it as an ultimate act of self-redemption and martyrdom). Of course that's all highly speculative, but the confluence of toxic masculinity, internalised homophobia and fucked-up religious ideology is something that makes a grim kind of sense in explaining his actions.
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 1:20 AM on June 14, 2016 [16 favorites]


[One deleted. Look I don't want to have a continuous tug-of-war about this with people demanding that we promote links to show the very worst, most vile stuff available to view in order to understand that homophobic hate is real. We do know that. The two deleted links go to a Sacramento Baptist preacher's vomitous spew about this tragedy. For folks who want more of that sort of thing, you can look it up, but unless we get some sort of overwhelming member mandate that says we should change the moderation of the site to welcome links to the worst hate speech, etc., I'll ask again that we not do this.]
posted by taz at 2:44 AM on June 14, 2016 [51 favorites]


To add to what taz said: If you think people need to have their eyes opened up to the kind of homophobia there is out there, consider the fact that we're in a thread about 50 people getting shot to death in a gay club. We're already starting at 100 on the homophobic incident meter. People reading this thread are aware as hell. If they weren't aware before the incident, they became aware because of the incident. Even if they somehow made it through that without becoming aware, then they became aware by reading pretty much any comment in this thread. Further linking to shitty homophobes being shitty, while perhaps well-intentioned, isn't actually "increasing awareness," it's just rubbing salt in a wound.
posted by Bugbread at 2:53 AM on June 14, 2016 [41 favorites]


Silver lining: The video itself has been removed from YouTube for violating YouTube's policy on hate speech.
posted by mochapickle at 3:53 AM on June 14, 2016 [9 favorites]


For once I don't know if I want to complain about bi invisibility in the media's coverage of his sexuality, or applaud it because then bi people escape painful scrutiny and speculation.
posted by mittens at 4:04 AM on June 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg -
Second, sadly it is religion, including our own, that targets, mostly verbally, and often breeds contempt for gays, lesbians and transgender people. Attacks today on LGBT men and women often plant the seed of contempt, then hatred, which can ultimately lead to violence.

Those women and men who were mowed down Sunday were all made in the image and likeness of God. We teach that. We should believe that. We must stand for that.

Even before I knew who perpetrated the mass murders at Pulse, I knew that somewhere in the story there would be a search for religion as motivation. While deranged people do senseless things, all of us observe and judge and act from some kind of religious background. Singling out people for victimization because of their religion, their sexual orientation, their nationality must be offensive to God’s ears. It has to stop, too.
posted by sallybrown at 4:44 AM on June 14, 2016 [19 favorites]


Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old
Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old
Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 years old
Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old
Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old
Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 years old
Luis S. Vielma, 22 years old
Kimberly Morris, 37 years old
Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old
Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old
Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old
Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old
Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25 years old
Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old
Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 years old
Amanda Alvear, 25 years old
Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old
Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old
Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old
Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 years old
Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 years old
Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 years old
Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26 years old
Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old
Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old
Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 years old
Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old
Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old
Cory James Connell, 21 years old
Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 years old
Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old
Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old
Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25 years old
Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old
Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old
Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old
Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24 years old
Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27 years old
Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 years old
Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49 years old
Yilmary Rodriguez Sulivan, 24 years old
Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old
Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28 years old
Frank Hernandez, 27 years old
Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old
Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old
Christopher Joseph Sanfelciz, 24 years old



vaya con dios
posted by schmod at 4:55 AM on June 14, 2016 [41 favorites]


My friend is visiting me next week. We've been planning this for years. She just wrote this morning that while she is still traveling, she's lost one of the kids she coaches and is heartbroken. This just got far too close to home right now.
posted by infini at 4:57 AM on June 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


schmod, I think that list is missing Akyra Murray, 18
posted by sallybrown at 5:17 AM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Note that there are some upsetting details in that link that sallybrown linked to. Here's a profile of her that doesn't include any details about how she died. She was in Orlando with her family to celebrate her high-school graduation, which is heartbreaking enough.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:23 AM on June 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


[One deleted. Quick reminder: the nittygritty gun control / NRA / politicians etc. discussion is happening over here, so that it doesn't completely overwhelm and dominate this thread. Thanks.]
posted by taz at 5:37 AM on June 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


I wish I could quote this to people: I doubt the men who chased me through a parking lot with baseball bats back in the early 90s were associated with ISIS. But they certainly were part of America. It really puts the nail in it. But I don't know how to say it, since that never happened to me. I'm just kind of praying that no one at school tries to talk about this. There's definitely one student who served in Afghanistan who will have some fucking opinions, I am sure of it, and I just cannot.

(For what it's worth, I've always read John Oliver as bisexual? But my hunches really don't matter unless he talks about it himself. He's married to a woman, if anyone didn't know.)
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 5:43 AM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm another bi person in an opposite sex relationship. I'm also genderqueer/non-conforming and active in the LGBTQ community, so I'm pretty out. But I was thinking specifically about the issue of people coming out as bi and how it relates to fighting homophobia (because I'm also involved in bi visibility efforts at Pride).

I think that bi people coming out - to their friends, family, co-workers - is the best thing that we can do to fight homophobia. We can teach the people we know that same-sex attraction is natural and nothing to be ashamed of. My partner may be male, but I have personal experience of being attracted to (even in love with) women. I also have gone to gay clubs for a safe space - not just for who I dance with, but how I dress and present.

The experience of being bisexual is different from being homosexual. We have different challenges and sometimes different privileges (like that stealth thing). But we're also queer - no matter how we live our lives, we don't have to imagine being attracted to someone of the same gender (it's part of our inherent being) - and by coming out as bi (or pan or fluid) we further normalize sexual diversity. By some counts, bi people are 50% of the LGB community - if we come out, we really will have a positive effect.
posted by jb at 5:45 AM on June 14, 2016 [25 favorites]


An article about club bouncer KJ Morris, with video of her performing as drag king Daddy K. She seemed like a damn cool person.
posted by nicebookrack at 6:17 AM on June 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


> if we come out, we really will have a positive effect.

I agree. But I was also disheartened to get the Same Old Casual Erasure when I was out at the bars after Pride. I was chatting with a couple of guys and after learning that I'm bi, they cheerfully exclaimed "ohh, that's okay, you're like an honorary gay!" I shook my head and said "no, I am fully queer. Not 'honorary.'" They backpedaled, and yeah, everyone was pretty tipsy, but still. Still?
posted by desuetude at 7:20 AM on June 14, 2016 [15 favorites]




Here's Samantha Bee's segment on YouTube.
posted by Nelson at 7:53 AM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


.
posted by DynamiteToast at 7:54 AM on June 14, 2016


Last Night I Danced For You: Performing in the Wake of Tragedy, by Eric Ulloa, Broadway cast member, On Your Feet
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:56 AM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Before Orlando, an Anti-Gay Massacre in New Orleans Largely Forgotten (the UpStairs Lounge)
Mike Moreau, 72, who lost several friends in the fire, said he was struck by all the differences between then and now, but also by the familiarity of tragedy’s dull ache.

“What happened to us had to be kept so private,” said Mr. Moreau. “The public didn’t want to know about it, and if they heard about it they didn’t care — ‘Thank God, they’re gone, they deserved it.’ ”

“To see the outpouring of love and support that these poor families have gotten is fantastic,” he added about the Orlando massacre. “They are hurting the same way we hurt, but at least they know that the world supports them and understands their grief.”

[...] For Mr. Moreau, the outpouring of support for the victims in Orlando has been an “uplifting” sign of progress, he said.

"In Orlando, those poor people know at least that the whole world is behind them,” he said. “Nobody cared about us.”
posted by nicebookrack at 8:05 AM on June 14, 2016 [27 favorites]


"I offer my thoughts and prayers" by Mefi's own jscalzi
posted by donnagirl at 8:21 AM on June 14, 2016 [21 favorites]




desuetude: totally feel you. At the vigil on Sunday, there were moments when I wished I was wearing a button saying "I am not gay, but I also not an ally".

But the biggest effect our coming out can have - in this moment of time - is among our hetero family and friends. So many people don't know that people they know are queer, and sometimes we let them continue to believe so, because it feels weird to be talking about sexuality when it's not 'necessary' (eg when you aren't introducing a same-gender partner).

I've done this - particularly with conservative relatives I don't see often. I feel so 'out' - I came out to my mom as a teenager, my partner has known since we were dating, but I didn't realize until last year that I had never told my (liberal, affirming) parents-in-law, because it just hadn't come up.

And maybe I need to make it come up more often.
posted by jb at 8:45 AM on June 14, 2016 [6 favorites]


“To see the outpouring of love and support that these poor families have gotten is fantastic,” he added about the Orlando massacre. “They are hurting the same way we hurt, but at least they know that the world supports them and understands their grief.”

I hadn't managed to cry yet but somehow this did it.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:49 AM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


beautiful people senselessly gone
posted by numaner at 9:11 AM on June 14, 2016


House GOP to decide whether to allow LGBT votes in wake of Orlando shooting

Presumably they want a little pause for thought and prayers before firing up their campaign of hateful discrimination again.
posted by Artw at 9:15 AM on June 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


At the vigil on Sunday, there were moments when I wished I was wearing a button saying "I am not gay, but I also not an ally".

I want like a million of those buttons, one for every outfit. I can just leave it pinned to everything at all times.

I want to shout, to anyone that will listen, "Yes! I'm in a heterosexual relationship, but appearances are not everything and those are my people that died in Orlando," but also realizing that right now, I don't have the strength to try and argue, defend my position, or attempt to educate anyone else. (I don't really have the strength to do that most days, but especially not these past few days; anxiety's the worst.)

Right now, my efforts have been focused on trying to check in on my people--the lovely trans-woman I just had the privilege of reconnecting with, and their bi fiance, my sweet lesbian friend in Vegas, the friends I have in Orlando that know people on the list of victims--and there's just enough strength for me to check on them, not check in on them and teach tolerance to everyone else, and also maybe explain that yes, they are my people, even though no, it doesn't look like it.

We're having a local vigil tonight, but I'm not sure I can handle dealing with people, so I think I'll be lighting a candle at home instead for all of them. And maybe making a casserole or three for my more visible sisters and brothers.
posted by PearlRose at 9:41 AM on June 14, 2016 [6 favorites]


I want like a million of those buttons, one for every outfit. I can just leave it pinned to everything at all times.

Yes, this. I identify as queer and am in a heteronormative relationship as well, with a 30 year age gap, which really confuses people.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:07 AM on June 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


House GOP to decide whether to allow LGBT votes in wake of Orlando shooting

I mean, I can see why people might not want to seem homophobic at the moment, but it feels like a better way not to seem homophobic would involve not promoting discrimination against LGBT people, even when you think people aren't looking.
posted by running order squabble fest at 10:28 AM on June 14, 2016 [12 favorites]


I can still barely process
posted by Theta States at 10:35 AM on June 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


House GOP to decide whether to allow LGBT votes in wake of Orlando shooting

WHAT the ACTUAL FUCK.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:35 AM on June 14, 2016 [7 favorites]


At least they aren't bothering to take a vote on whether or not to offer their thoughts and prayers.
posted by hippybear at 10:38 AM on June 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


At least they aren't bothering to take a vote on whether or not to offer their thoughts and prayers.

Ahem:
After Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) led the House in the moment of silence in honor of the 49 people who died in the massacre on Sunday, the chamber erupted into shouting as Democrats expressed frustration over the lack of votes to restrict guns after repeated mass shootings.

"Where's the bill?" Democrats chanted.

"Show some respect!" other Democrats shouted.

Some lawmakers walked out of the House chamber before the moment of silence began in protest, including Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.). Earlier in the day, Himes declared he would not participate in any more moments of silence as a form of protest over the lack of legislative responses to mass shootings.

"The fact is that a moment of silence is an act of respect, and we supported that. But it is a not a license to do nothing," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters off the House floor afterward.

"Members have just had enough of having one minute, a moment of silence on the floor, and then take no action," she said.

After the moment of silence ended, Assistant Minority Leader James Clyburn (D-S.C.) tried to seek recognition, a request Ryan denied.

Clyburn told reporters that he wanted to speak about the upcoming anniversary — this Friday — of the shooting at a historically black church in his district a year ago in Charleston, S.C.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:41 AM on June 14, 2016 [30 favorites]


WHAT the ACTUAL FUCK.

I am preparing myself for life to remain difficult and lonely for myself and my close LGBT family in the coming months. This memory will fade from the public spectacle, the Orlando LGBT community will try to heal from this devastating massacre as LGBT communities the world over grieve for the depth of their pain and look to each other for that "it is known" comfort and support.

When this begins to fade, the usual political discourse will resume and Dan Patrick and Ken Paxton will pick up their anti-trans crusade and the FRC and PJI will once again work the back rooms of the political process to get similar bills to HB2 introduced the country over, then before we know it, it will be next spring in the 2017 legislation sessions and I will be once again casing the offices of my legislators begging for support with my fellow trans activists down here in Texas.

Who will president? Well, I think we can all agree that Trump will lead the GOP to an absolute reign of terror over LGBT people in this country.
posted by Annika Cicada at 10:48 AM on June 14, 2016 [12 favorites]


I am preparing myself for life to remain difficult and lonely for myself and my close LGBT family in the coming months.

If I had any hope that things would actually change, like really actually change, the tenor of my involvement in this thread would be entirely different.

I'm so tired and despondent. Have been weary for a long time, but right now... just tired.
posted by hippybear at 10:53 AM on June 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


I'm not sure how much of that was grandstanding, but I'm happy to see congressional Democrats actually making moves against the culture of having solemn moments of silence followed by the same old shit that let things get that way in the first place.
posted by codacorolla at 10:53 AM on June 14, 2016 [9 favorites]


codacorolla: one of the Congresspersons who spoke up about the "moment of silence" was the representative from the district that Newtown, Connecticut is in, so I think he's got a dog in this fight.

Further comment is on the open gun thread.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:55 AM on June 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


I was at the vigil in NYC last night. I'd spent all day wandering around Manhattan in silence and didn't get there until shortly before it started, situated behind the marching band. Cis het white politicians called for gun control and everyone clapped. I did too, but it felt hollow. BLM booed the police commissioner so loudly he couldn't be heard until someone shut them down. Some of the speakers were good, but I didn't catch their names. Over and over the crowd chanted, "Say their names." Eventually they did, and I cried, alone in the crowd. And then nearly everyone departed.

I walked to the front where the only people left where the angriest and the saddest. Some of them were weeping and strangers were comforting them. Others held signs and rallied people around them. Most, like me, looked around, knowing the way home but still feeling lost. I got drawn into a crowd reading names together and giving speeches, and suddenly I found myself in the middle of my first march. We made our way down Christopher street toward the peer while the police watched us cautiously and everyone we passed on the sidewalk cheered us on. We ended up at the spot where Marsha P. Johnson's body was pulled up from the Hudson and more people spoke. And eventually, again, the crowd dispersed, and I made my way home, energized for a time, perhaps, but ultimately no less lost.
posted by WCWedin at 10:57 AM on June 14, 2016 [29 favorites]


Internalised homophobia, intense self-loathing, and a desire to "reclaim his masculinity"/"prove he was a man" through a violent rejection of what his urges represented is sadly kind of plausible (and if he'd embraced radical jihadism then he may have seen it as an ultimate act of self-redemption and martyrdom).
#selfhatecrime?
posted by milnews.ca at 11:10 AM on June 14, 2016


I'm not sure how much of that was grandstanding, but I'm happy to see congressional Democrats actually making moves against the culture of having solemn moments of silence followed by the same old shit that let things get that way in the first place.

It's ceremonial piety without devotion or compassion.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 11:20 AM on June 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


I went to a rally on campus yesterday. It was good to see the turnout of so many at short notice. A lot of people seemed to want to make it all about gun control rather than anti-LGBTQ and racial hate. One administrator asked that we not politicize things, but he was answered by and impassioned speech about being angry and using that anger as a springboard for action rather than feelings of defeat. Hearing the names of the dead (and acknowledgement of the as-yet unnamed dead and the living wounded) was powerful.
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:32 AM on June 14, 2016 [6 favorites]




Man, what happened to our so-called liberal media? The NYT is just alllll over the "Islamic terrorist" angle.
posted by desuetude at 12:06 PM on June 14, 2016 [6 favorites]


The NYT is just alllll over the "Islamic terrorist" angle.
Afraid Trump'll deny them access, like he's doing to Wapo.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:11 PM on June 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


Afraid Trump'll deny them access, like he's doing to Wapo.

It's the same bullshit collective action problems that the Republicans had during their primary, and that the establishment conservatives had in the 20s and 30s. "Should we do what we can to stop the fascists, or should we try to play the situation in hopes of profit or political gain?"

Cowards all. Except the Washington Post, apparently.
posted by tivalasvegas at 12:18 PM on June 14, 2016 [3 favorites]




Chick-Fil-A Opens On Sunday To Give Free Food To Orlando Shooting Blood Donors

I'd be more impressed if they renounced and repudiated their funding of anti-gay political actions across the country. This is just free advertising.
posted by hippybear at 12:20 PM on June 14, 2016 [48 favorites]


It was individual stores that decided to help, not corporate. But, yeah.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:27 PM on June 14, 2016 [6 favorites]


Chick-Fil-A Opens On Sunday To Give Free Food To Orlando Shooting Blood Donors

If I'm understanding the rules about who can donate blood correctly, my takeaway here is "in wake of Orlando shooting, Chick-Fil-A to give free food to straight people"
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:29 PM on June 14, 2016 [59 favorites]


NBC: The Orlando gunman's wife has told federal agents she tried to talk her husband out of carrying out the attack, NBC News has learned.

Omar Mateen's current wife, Noor, told the FBI she was with him when he bought ammunition and a holster, several officials familiar with the case said. She told the FBI that she once drove him to the gay nightclub, Pulse, because he wanted to scope it out.
-
Authorities are considering filing criminal charges against Noor for failing to tell them what she knew before the brutal attack, law enforcement officials say, but no decision has been made.

-
Comfort Dogs Provide Hope and Encouragement After Tragedy in Orlando

Orlando shooter threatened to shoot up his school in fifth grade
posted by Drinky Die at 12:32 PM on June 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


And the NYT and Boston Globe currently have none of this new information yet about the current wife. That's kind of like big, you know?! But Slate has it. Very disappointed in the mainstream media.
posted by Melismata at 12:36 PM on June 14, 2016


Meant to add: And Slate had the new wife info a few hours ago, so it's not as if the NYT is just waiting to verify something.
posted by Melismata at 12:39 PM on June 14, 2016


If I'm understanding the rules about who can donate blood correctly, my takeaway here is "in wake of Orlando shooting, Chick-Fil-A to give free food to straight people

Because of the previous actions of Chick-Fil-A, you're probably right. However, lesbians, bi people who haven't slept with men who have slept with men in the past year, and trans and intersex people who haven't slept with men who have slept with men in the past year are eligible to give blood.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 12:40 PM on June 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


[One deleted; election stuff in the election thread please.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:41 PM on June 14, 2016


Well, more specifically you're banned from donating if you're a man who has had sex with a man in the past year. I'm not entirely clear how they define "man" for this purpose.

(In other words, a gay man who for whatever reason hasn't had sex in the past year would be eligible, so gay men aren't _specifically_ excluded, although probably the majority are)

It's still pretty bullshit to me, as they should be testing everything. And I can understand excluding people who have had recent risky behavior (gay or straight or whatever) since testing won't show recent infections/problems. But I am not convinced the blanket ban on behavior is at all necessary.
posted by thefoxgod at 12:54 PM on June 14, 2016


I'd be more impressed if they renounced and repudiated their funding of anti-gay political actions across the country. This is just free advertising.

IIRC, the did that a few years back
posted by mikelieman at 12:59 PM on June 14, 2016


The Democrats should take up the chant "silence equals death" during those so-called moments of respect.
posted by madamjujujive at 1:01 PM on June 14, 2016 [24 favorites]


Omar Mateen's current wife, Noor, told the FBI she was with him when he bought ammunition and a holster, several officials familiar with the case said. She told the FBI that she once drove him to the gay nightclub, Pulse, because he wanted to scope it out.

Sounds like an accessory charge to me. That's active participation, not just silence. Which is bad enough.
posted by Justinian at 1:16 PM on June 14, 2016 [8 favorites]


.
posted by MoTLD at 1:22 PM on June 14, 2016




If Mateen continued the pattern with his new wife that he apparently established with his ex-wife, she may well have been a victim of abuse who was participating out of fear for her own safety. That doesn't necessarily excuse her or mean she shouldn't be charged, but I'm not going to rush to judgment about her.
posted by biogeo at 1:32 PM on June 14, 2016 [21 favorites]


Bondi responded by noting that she recently put an image of rainbow hands clasped on her website.

Is there any more perfect distillation of modern day Republican attitudes toward marginalized groups than working to deny them rights while offering symbolic support on a website that nobody reads?
posted by tonycpsu at 1:35 PM on June 14, 2016 [24 favorites]


Well said, but I don't think it's pedantic at all. Penile plethysmographs have an unfortunately long history of being used to justify homophobic pseudoscience -- including, if I recall correctly, to keep gay men (or suspected gay men) out of the Canadian civil service in the first half of the 20th century. Healthy skepticism towards claims that you can identify homosexual attraction from basic physiological responses is warranted.

I also, -and with the preface that i struggled with this post for a while-, am really uncomfortable with that entire concept.

Does it appear that the attacker here may have been gay or bi? Yea. But where i take issue with it is that i very often see this brought up as an easy out from really engaging with the problem.

Like, people go "Oh, HAH, see he was a hypocrite!". Other homophobes use it to other the shitty, violent people(or sexual predators, or...). Whereas progressives and LGBT people seem to go "All/many homophobes are just closeted!".

Both responses seem to just go "case closed" on the issue of how complex homophobia is and can be. He's one of us but just wouldn't admit it, or he's one of them and therefor not our problem always seem to be the subtext.

The media fucking took off like a rocket on this one almost as hard as they rode the islamophobia express lane. And i don't know... It makes me feel weird and uncomfortable?

I'm not saying anyone on here is dismissive, or not wanting to engage, or anything like that. I'm just saying i've seen this thread pop up in the general conversation since the youngest i was able to even understand it. I've also seen it be used, over and over, to dismiss the other issues involved and redirect the conversation in to basically "lol closet case".

I'm seeing it happen right now on social media, with people who don't want to discuss the roles toxic masculinity and access to weapons and islamophobia and all the other intersectional fuckeduppedness of this have to do with it.

And it's because directing the problem inward at the person you don't like or who is the focus is easier than looking at everything around him.

It's a very very short leap to, yea, the belief that most homophobes are themselves gay or bi which even if it's true kind of makes me want to go "ok, yea, so?". Sneering at that, or using it as a gotcha, is not engaging with the environment that fosters and promotes homophobia. It's a symptom, not the disease.

Also yea holy shit penile plethysmographs are a really gross sad standard. And they are STILL employed in super homophobic ways, for example on people seeking political asylum in certain countries, etc.
posted by emptythought at 1:35 PM on June 14, 2016 [28 favorites]


I need to post a heartfelt thank you to all the minority rights activist MeFites who have, over the past few years, spent so much of their time and energy beating it into the rest of our heads how to be a good ally.

I'm an ally member of the Pink Pistols, and our Facebook group has been inundated with a couple thousand new members over the past few days. Many (most?) of these new members seem to be well-meaning but blundering cishets who are coming to us from gun culture, not gay culture. While Pink Pistols has always welcomed allies, it's also one of the only safe spaces that LGBTQ people have to talk about gun rights and armed self defense and thus I could practically hear our LGBTQ members tearing their hair out over this invasion of clueless cishets making their first attempts at allyship.

Just about every single thing that y'all have complained about wannabe allies doing has been on display: expecting/demanding that the LGBTQ members drop everything and educate them on 101-level LGBTQ issues (which isn't even on-topic for our group!), using hurtful and bigoted terminology from anti-LGBTQ hate groups and then digging in their heels when called out because they think what they meant should matter more than what they said, expecting thanks and adoration just for showing up, lecturing our LGBTQ members that they're not being welcoming enough, flooding the group with posts and making it all about them, assuming that they are the one special snowflake in the history of the world to ever all of the aforementioned things and thus not understanding why everyone is so exhausted and irritated with them, etc.

Without MetaFilter, I probably wouldn't even have seen or understood what was going on, much less had the knowledge, confidence, and initiative to do anything about it. But thanks to y'all, I was able to jump in and deal with a lot of the new wannabe allies' derails and missteps myself instead of waiting for our LGBTQ members to do it all, and today I started an "ask an ally" thread that will hopefully help contain most of the off-topic 101-level cishet n00b stuff in a thread that our LGBTQ members don't feel obligated to look at or respond to.

A few of the LGBTQ members have reached out to me to thank me for being such a good ally (cookies may be unnecessary but they are still delicious) and I've been talking up MetaFilter to them as where I learned it all. Maybe we'll get a few cool new members?

So thank you all so very much for teaching me how to help make a small part of the internet less shitty for the minority group it's intended to serve.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:47 PM on June 14, 2016 [31 favorites]


That’s where the guilt enters in. The deep, deep isolating guilt that comes from internalized bi-phobia.
Am I allowed to feel this devastated, this full of rage?
Am I gay enough to be this upset?
Am I appropriating the grief of real gay people?


Biphobia and the Pulse Massacre.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 1:51 PM on June 14, 2016 [21 favorites]


The media fucking took off like a rocket on this one almost as hard as they rode the islamophobia express lane. And i don't know... It makes me feel weird and uncomfortable?

I believe the two lanes are intertwined, it's a form of reducing the killer to a type, helping to absolve people of any guilt or responsibility for his actions. "He's not an American, he's a Muslim. He's not a homophobe, he's a repressed homosexual". With these twin types driving the narrative, everyday homophobic Americans have no identification with the terrorist, and can sit back and hate him without thinking about the complex mix of factors which created him and that he engaged with.
posted by cell divide at 1:55 PM on June 14, 2016 [8 favorites]


Anti-gay Islamic preacher Farrokh Sekaleshfar leaves Australia amid visa review
A British Islamic scholar who toured Orlando this year and had preached in 2013 that "death is the sentence" for homosexual acts left Australia on Tuesday after the government launched an "urgent" review of his visa because of his comments.

posted by Joe in Australia at 2:00 PM on June 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


It's a very very short leap to, yea, the belief that most homophobes are themselves gay or bi which even if it's true kind of makes me want to go "ok, yea, so?".

I don't really agree with that. I think it's enormously important if he was gay or bi. This society doesn't just damage queer people by shooting them with guns. It damages them by telling them they shouldn't exist and making them loathe themselves, and one of the ways this is manifested is in violence against other queer people. (Another way is suicide attempts, which mass shootings often are.) Pointing that out isn't ignoring the other things that intersect with what he did.
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:02 PM on June 14, 2016 [20 favorites]


they should be testing everything

They do, quite rigorously, but no screening test is 100% accurate. There is always a possibility of false negatives when blood is tested. It's an extremely small possibility, but it's there.

That said: it's a big steaming pile of unadulterated horseshit that MSM are prohibited from donating. It's a terrible, unjust, homophobic perpetuation of the 100% false idea that a particular sexual orientation is in and of itself a risk factor for sexually transmitted infections.

It's long past time for the FDA to get its head out of its ass and institute a risk-based screening process that focuses on the behavior of every potential donor rather than their preferences.
posted by jesourie at 2:06 PM on June 14, 2016 [10 favorites]


Look, all the above is too true and unutterably tragic, but ... it sure seems to me like this shooter and his entire family are reminiscent of the Boston Marathon's bombers and their family: narcissistic, confused and confusing, self-absorbed and self-aggrandizing, self-important lunatics, at war with each other and the world at large.
posted by Chitownfats at 2:12 PM on June 14, 2016 [6 favorites]


I just had a big old flameout last month regarding attempts to reduce the complexities of my sexuality to "same-gender attraction" a term that makes its most prominent appearance in anti-gay Christian ministry.

Sexuality isn't just something that lives in the arteries of my crotch. It's kinship, and labour, and hermeneutics, and law, and religion. It's a fundamental axis around which most of culture turns. There is in our culture, and in multiple cultures around the world, huge gaps in cultural power between "straight" MSM/WSW and those that culture identifies as "deviant." Often that uses constructed gender norms as the lens to distinguish between "regular guys" who can get their dick sucked when properly lubricated and "queers."

None of the violence I've experienced has had much of anything to do with blood flow between my legs. Little of my identity has much to do with blood flow between my legs. I'll admit, anxieties regarding that violence means that if you hooked me up to a machine, you probably wouldn't get equal reactions to whatever the researcher thinks should arouse me.

For straight-identified MSM to terrorize participants in LGBTQ culture (or outsiders to straight culture) is a part of how heterosexism works. A problem with biological determinism as the only model for discussing sexuality is that it can't address that form of power-over.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 2:17 PM on June 14, 2016 [24 favorites]


"same gender attraction" is a phrase i hear most often from mormons who seem determined to increase their gay teen suicide problem. i hate that phrase.
posted by nadawi at 3:00 PM on June 14, 2016 [15 favorites]


Can someone please point me in a direction so I can educate myself on the phrase "same gender attraction"
posted by Annika Cicada at 3:17 PM on June 14, 2016


(I'm googling but it's all LDS crap)
posted by Annika Cicada at 3:20 PM on June 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


"same gender attraction"

It's evangelical doublespeak that allows people to avoid the language of "orientation" and an honest discussion of how the gay happens in favor of assumptions that homosexuality is a conscious adult choice and thus a behavior that can be disapproved rather than an innate (and legally protectable) class.

On this view we just need to stop having sex with the wrong people and everything will be okay.
posted by tivalasvegas at 3:26 PM on June 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


and by okay they mean there will be no more LGBTQ people
posted by tivalasvegas at 3:27 PM on June 14, 2016


Sufficient thoughts and prayers makes the gay go away.
posted by Artw at 3:31 PM on June 14, 2016


It's been picked up by some social networks over on tumblr to argue that LGBT (they tend to be anti-queer) communities are not open to asexual people because those communities are for "sga and/or trans" persons. It's a discussion I noped out of pretty quick.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 3:34 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


MOSCOW (AFP) - A Russian gay couple were arrested Monday while trying to leave a tribute outside the US embassy in Moscow to victims of the Orlando shooting rampage, the RBK newspaper reported.

Islam Abdullabeckov, a social media editor for the newspaper, and his boyfriend Felix Glyukman were trying to leave flowers and a sign reading "Love wins - Stay with Orlando" outside the embassy when they were detained, they told RBK.

"The police arrested us straight away and put us in their car for so-called 'unauthorised action'," Abdullabeckov said.

posted by Drinky Die at 3:36 PM on June 14, 2016


same sex attraction/ssa/same gender attraction is a way to say 'there's no such thing as being gay'. i can round up some quotes from senior lds men about it if anyone is interested, but it's all bullshit.
posted by nadawi at 3:36 PM on June 14, 2016 [7 favorites]


I don't really agree with that. I think it's enormously important if he was gay or bi. This society doesn't just damage queer people by shooting them with guns. It damages them by telling them they shouldn't exist and making them loathe themselves, and one of the ways this is manifested is in violence against other queer people. (Another way is suicide attempts, which mass shootings often are.) Pointing that out isn't ignoring the other things that intersect with what he did.

It may not be for people on here, or otherwise have an honest discussion about those effects... But that isn't the way i usually see homophobe-is-actually-gay being used. It's used as a club and dismissal, not the doorway to a larger discussion.

What you're bringing up is absolutely legitimate, and there's plenty of good discussion of that stuff right here right now even. But the larger narrative of that i've seen since my early teens does not bear that out.

That's what i was trying to say with that post, and i'm sorry if it came off as dismissing those points.

I'm also sorry if this isn't the place or the time for this... But between the Penile plethysmographs and everything the homophobes-are-closeted thing just really got my hackles up. I'm already seeing it used in the shitty way in the media, in comments sections, and on social media. And just... no. Very few people are trying to have an honest conversation at large when they bring up that canard. And i'm not assuming bad faith on this site at all. More of bad faith in society.
posted by emptythought at 4:00 PM on June 14, 2016 [9 favorites]


I get sad when I think about how queer people are expected to prove, cure, deny, explain and defend what is self evident about our bodies and existence.

Hugs. I don't really try to understand why or who I am anymore, I just am and trying to understand the how or why gets in the way of me just being. More hugs.

And even more hugs.
posted by Annika Cicada at 4:02 PM on June 14, 2016 [17 favorites]


> Can I just add to the list that it's about domestic violence as well? Why was this man, with a history of violence against his spouse, still allowed easy legal access to weapons? Because so many reasons, but at least in large part because we don't take domestic violence seriously in this country.

In Orlando, as Usual, Domestic Violence Was Ignored Red Flag: Omar Mateen had "no record of previous hate crimes" — though that depends how you categorize domestic violence

When It Comes to Orlando Massacre, Domestic Violence is the Red Flag We Aren't Talking About
posted by homunculus at 4:15 PM on June 14, 2016 [35 favorites]


Wow, that story about the Upstairs Lounge is really moving. When you read it you can see so clearly how much things have changed for the better. But at the same time things are still so fucked up. I think I have this problem a lot. How do you balance the progress you see has been made against the problems that still aren't resolved? How do you acknowledge the work that needs to be done and still honor and respect all the work that people have already already done? Can someone please tell me the right ratio of optimism to pessimism?
posted by great_radio at 6:07 PM on June 14, 2016


Orlando Shooting Survivor Volunteers As Translator For Victims' Families - "Many of the families of the victims in the Orlando massacre don't speak English. Eddie Meltzer was at Pulse and left a few minutes before the shooting started. The next day he decided to volunteer as a liaison and translator for families and law enforcement. NPR's Ari Shapiro spoke to Meltzer in Orlando."
posted by kliuless at 6:19 PM on June 14, 2016 [16 favorites]


[Gun policy thread if you want to debate that.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:41 PM on June 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


Listen to that interview with Meltzer, it's just amazing.
MELTZER: I don't think there's anything will prepare you for this. You know, people keep arguing if this is a terror attack or a hate crime. I'm like, it's both. It doesn't matter what it is. It's horrible. That's what it is. And I think nothing can prepare you for this.

But today I decided to have a new ideology. And I decided that I needed to not give in to the hate of what these people want. They want chaos. They want us to suffer. So one of the reasons I did some of the interviews was because I wanted to show them that they did not get through us and that we're going to go party as soon as we get better, party really hard, be very gay, have a lot of fun.


...and also in that broadcast was this segment about the hours leading up to the death of 18 year old Akyra Murray. It utterly broke the dams of my emotional reservoir and had me openly weeping for the first time in this blighted new age of routine mass shootings, with the exquisite detail of suffering of victims and survivors.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 7:44 PM on June 14, 2016 [13 favorites]




assumptions that homosexuality is a conscious adult choice and thus a behavior that can be disapproved rather than an innate (and legally protectable) class.

I just want to note that there are a number of things, like speech acts and one's religious identification, that are "conscious adult choices" yet are also legally protected. I think rooting rights in some concept of innateness is very risky business. There are lots of queer people who have a different relationship to their sexuality/orientation than feeling it to be "innate" but they have no lesser a claim to the right to live freely.
posted by threeants at 9:41 PM on June 14, 2016 [31 favorites]


The father of Orlando mass killer Omar Mateen has insisted his son was not gay.

In an exclusive interview with the Mirror his dad Sediqque Mir Mateen categorically denied his son was gay describing him as “a normal family man”.

“There is no way he was homosexual, he was not brought up that way,” said the father. "I will not have it. He was not gay."

posted by Drinky Die at 10:01 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


There are a lot of cool bisexual pride buttons out there!

You can also wear a rainbow button and if someone gets confused, it is ok!
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 10:08 PM on June 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


I have really bad feelings about digging around in the killer's sex life looking for motive to do this. I mean, here in thread having a few comments about is one thing but the FBI investigating it feels really really awful to me.
posted by Annika Cicada at 10:30 PM on June 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


Ugh, the dad. I mean, he keeps insisting it's a terror attack. What kind of person would rather his son be a terrorist than be gay?

A terrible person, that's who.
posted by mochapickle at 10:37 PM on June 14, 2016 [35 favorites]


A fundamentalist, that's who.
posted by rhizome at 10:44 PM on June 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


Ugh, the dad. I mean, he keeps insisting it's a terror attack. What kind of person would rather his son be a terrorist than be gay?

He can be (and is) likely both. Anti-queer terrorism committed by a closeted queer man
posted by Dysk at 12:04 AM on June 15, 2016 [9 favorites]


A fundamentalist, that's who.

The father is a loony, but by the accounts of people more knowledgeable than me, he appears to be a crackpot nationalist, not a fundamentalist or radical Islamist. The difference may be subtle or undetectable to us westerners but it matters. It's like the difference between the (bigoted, deluded) old guy who goes on about the glories and virtuous wars of America, vs. the Christian fundamentalist who's into attacking abortion clinics. (You might recognize the former asshat at your Thanksgiving table; we all seem to know one of them.)
posted by naju at 12:09 AM on June 15, 2016 [8 favorites]


The way I think of it, there's a fundamentalism to nationalism. I was probably too abstract for no setup, tho. I do that.
posted by rhizome at 12:28 AM on June 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Anti-gay Islamic preacher Farrokh Sekaleshfar leaves Australia amid visa review

Buzzfeed is reporting that the Islamic center near Orlando which hosted anti-gay religious bigot Sekaleshfar earlier this year for a talk on homosexuality was vandalized with spraypaint last night. The message was this: "#STOPTHEHATE".

Here's a local TV news report about Sekaleshfar's talk at that center near Orlando earlier this year, which notes both a 2013 speech he gave on the subject of homosexuality at the University of Michigan and the reaction of the local Islamic Center to concerns about his position:

A leader at the Islamic Center told Channel 9 that he believes they have the right to have anyone speak and that Tuesday’s talk was a private event.

He did not believe there was any reason to be concerned that Sekaleshfar’s talk could incite violence.


We don't know at this point if the shooter attended that talk or saw the 2013 video, but Fusion has a relatively balanced article about the homophobia he might have seen on display if he had done either of those things. From the 2013 video:

“Death is the sentence. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about this. Death is the sentence.”

He continued: “We have to have that compassion for people. With homosexuals, it’s the same. Out of compassion, let’s get rid of them now.”


Now, of course, both the Islamic Center and Sekaleshfar are distancing themselves from that hateful, bigoted garbage. From the Buzzfeed link:

Sekaleshfar did not immediately respond to requests for comment from BuzzFeed News. A representative from the center also told Fusion the management there was “unaware of these remarks when he was invited.”

“Please understand that the singular views of guest speakers do not represent those of the Husseini Islamic Center,” the representative said to Fusion. "We want to reiterate that nothing, absolutely nothing, can justify yesterday’s atrocious actions."

When asked about the attack on the Pulse nightclub, Sekaleshfar said, “I am totally against the barbaric act of violence that has happened. In no way at all can such a killing be justified Islamically.”

He also called Mateen, the shooter, “an ill and perverted, animalistic entity who has abused an ideology to satiate his sad, twisted desires.”


I'd say the same about a fuckhead of a religious leader who preaches that "there's nothing to be embarrassed about" the sentence for homosexuality being death, but maybe that's just me.
posted by mediareport at 4:39 AM on June 15, 2016 [7 favorites]


. I think rooting rights in some concept of innateness is very risky business.

I agree. I should have phrased that comment with more nuance.
posted by tivalasvegas at 5:10 AM on June 15, 2016


Aaaaand I guess it was just too exhausting for some politicians to spend more than a couple of days pretending to care that some gays were killed, so now some of them[1] are apparently trying to push the narrative that Pulse wasn't a gay club and/or that it wasn't gays who were targeted by this attack. REALLY?

[1] noted truck owner and former male model (oh, and former Senator) Scott Brown, Rep Sessions, and Rick Scott, to name a few.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:31 AM on June 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Aaaaand I guess it was just too exhausting for some politicians to spend more than a couple of days pretending to care that some gays were killed, so now some of them[1] are apparently trying to push the narrative that Pulse wasn't a gay club and/or that it wasn't gays who were targeted by this attack. REALLY?

They gotta erase the physical violence against them before they can inflict political violence against them. I really hope the Congressional Dems hold their feet to the fire on anti-LGBT votes. I want to hear "SHAME" and "SILENCE EQUALS DEATH" every time Ryan et al tries it.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:37 AM on June 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


I have really bad feelings about digging around in the killer's sex life looking for motive to do this. I mean, here in thread having a few comments about is one thing but the FBI investigating it feels really really awful to me.

and

MELTZER: I don't think there's anything will prepare you for this. You know, people keep arguing if this is a terror attack or a hate crime. I'm like, it's both. It doesn't matter what it is. It's horrible. That's what it is. And I think nothing can prepare you for this.

After trying to ignore the constant news coverage in search of motive, I've realized one reason to discern which motive(s) drove this killer would be to ensure that he's not part of some bigger organization that might do something like this again in the future. Can experts find out something that will prevent more deaths?

EXCEPT this doesn't need to be part of the constant news coverage, because until experts agree on the motivation(s), if they can ever agree, it's all speculation, and much of that feeds fear and anger. I know, that's what we get with 24/7 news channels and always-on newsfeeds, but I wish it weren't. Spend more time on the stories of healing and people coming together in the wake of this, and spend time covering the politicians who say "all we can do is pray," because there's so much more we can do.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:03 AM on June 15, 2016


[One comment removed; not a whole lot of use in bringing over bad comment sections just on the basis that they are, indeed, depressingly bad comments.]
posted by cortex at 7:34 AM on June 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


Monday's vigil was held in a very nice downtown church. Local LGBT political leaders spoke. Our mayor spoke, very well, naming the hate-crime as being targeted at Latinx LGBT folks. It was a really good speech. The Vice-Chair of the local Islamic Center spoke. He told a story of his young kid hearing the news and saying "Daddy, he (the murderer) had an Islamic name. How can that be so?" That about had me crying for the twentieth time Monday. A School Board candidate was there wearing her campaign t-shirt. I want to believe her when she said she was fresh off canvassing and had no time to change. I guess I do. I work in politics, and I'm used to this kind of behavior.

Last night's vigil was on the Florida Capitol steps. It was more young activists. It was angrier. Rally-flavored. Chants and signs. a Trans* student leader spoke about how can our Governor support a gay marriage ban and claim that this attach was an attack on "all of us.". A woman with a student Muslim organization spoke. She said "Not a single member of Daesh is Muslim." The music director for my church, a Latino gay man, read the names.

Most everyone at both events were there to grieve, and/or to help, and be good to one another. I feel a little better today. My people in this town came together. Local business that have a "gay night" are donating to help the victims. People were signing sign-in sheets to Take Action with various organizations. The grief and pain may subside some, but This Isn't Going Away, and there are good people making sure.
posted by Cookiebastard at 7:57 AM on June 15, 2016 [6 favorites]


NYTimes, by the Editorial Board. The Corrosive Politics That Threaten L.G.B.T. Americans
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:57 AM on June 15, 2016


The father is a loony, but by the accounts of people more knowledgeable than me, he appears to be a crackpot nationalist, not a fundamentalist or radical Islamist.

From his comments lately, he also appears to be a total bigot, whatever the motivation. I wonder to what degree his views may have incubated in his son a toxic mix of self-hatred, wounded masculinity and propensity for violence. Also, from what I have read, he appears to be a Dari-speaking Pashtun nationalist, which perhaps someone more familiar with the politics of Afghanistan can explain to me, but seems somewhat...strange to me.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 8:14 AM on June 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


After trying to ignore the constant news coverage in search of motive, I've realized one reason to discern which motive(s) drove this killer would be to ensure that he's not part of some bigger organization that might do something like this again in the future. Can experts find out something that will prevent more deaths?

The news media will of course ravenously consume - and excrete - these details, for the obvious reason that many people are fascinated by that kind of thing, for better and for worse.

But, yeah, from the law enforcement perspective, it is beyond invaluable to pore over the shooter's life and influences, especially in light of the FBI's apparent failure to intervene earlier, as the shooter himself had been interviewed twice. It's not just about identifying whether he himself had been part of a literally-organized larger organization: it's also about being better able to identify in advance these kinds of cases, in which the violent actor is in some ways psychologically and ideologically disorganized.

A friend of mine is a federal LEO and this general kind of thing is his professional bread and butter. I guarantee you that trying to learn from this tragedy is going to be the main agenda for a goodly number of people.

I'm not trying to communicate any kind of false optimism here. I'm saying that the shooter's personal background is well worth studying for professionals.

...

"Fundamentalist" as a term doesn't always map so well across different religions and cultures. Suffice it to say, that I feel confident in stating that dear old dad no doubt vigorously shared the belief that homosexuality was immoral. One of many negative influences on the shooter.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:26 AM on June 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


...I'm getting reaaaaaaaal tired of hearing all about what non-queer* people think on Facebook and traditional media about this.

*whatever fucking letters you want to use
posted by odinsdream at 8:27 AM on June 15, 2016 [16 favorites]


Also, from what I have read, he appears to be a Dari-speaking Pashtun nationalist, which perhaps someone more familiar with the politics of Afghanistan can explain to me, but seems somewhat...strange to me.

Doesn't seem that weird to me - I haven't read too much on him specifically, but it's possible he was just raised in an area where Dari was spoken/taught more than Pashto and is more comfortable speaking it.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:38 AM on June 15, 2016


he appears to be a Dari-speaking Pashtun nationalist, which perhaps someone more familiar with the politics of Afghanistan can explain to me,

Wiki: "As defined in the Constitution of Afghanistan, [Dari] is one of the two official languages of Afghanistan; the other is Pashto.[11] Dari is the most widely spoken language in Afghanistan and the native language of approximately 25–50%[2][3][4] of the population, serving as the country's lingua franca.[4] The Iranian and Afghan types of Persian are mutually intelligible, with differences found primarily in the vocabulary and phonology."

Possibly he's also a Sunni Islam who is a member of the conservative Deobandi.
posted by Mister Bijou at 8:53 AM on June 15, 2016


I worry about the FBI deciding that "because was possibly queer" is somehow a useful metric for determining bad intent.

I deal with that bullshit attitude enough just trying to get on a plane.
posted by Annika Cicada at 9:05 AM on June 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


It seems to me that the only metric we can use to determine that someone might decide go kill a bunch of people is "male gun owner".

Everything is else is just pretending to solve the problem while avoiding the elephant in the room that is being discussed in another thread not here.
posted by Annika Cicada at 9:08 AM on June 15, 2016 [19 favorites]




Why is the X in the word "bisexual" capitalized throughout the Village Voice article?
posted by pxe2000 at 9:45 AM on June 15, 2016


it shows as lower case over here
posted by nadawi at 9:48 AM on June 15, 2016


I was thinking that this morning Annika Cicada. The only truly universal variable in American mass shootings is masculinity. The victims of these shootings of course are anyone and everyone because that's who masculinity has decided is a threat to its Ego.

I think gun laws *must* happen, along with specific protections to vulnerable populations of LGBT folk, PoC, muslims, women, children. But we literally can't solve this problem without dramatic reform of our gender culture. We won't be safe from men until "Men" no longer means what it means now.

How terrifying it is that there's nothing more quintessentially masculine than violence. And how deeply broken the world that led us here.
posted by an animate objects at 9:49 AM on June 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


Probably a browser issue, then.
posted by pxe2000 at 9:49 AM on June 15, 2016


If Only America Could Embrace Queer and Trans People Before They’re Dead

It's a cute title, but honestly with how the narratives are being spun by mass media and cishets overall, it doesn't really seem like queer/trans are embraced even after death, either.

The belonging does seem to be happening over their skin tone, though...
posted by qcubed at 10:03 AM on June 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


...I'm getting reaaaaaaaal tired of hearing all about what non-queer* people think on Facebook and traditional media about this.

This is actually part of what has stopped me from speaking on my own blog about this.

I was going to - I even started a couple paragraphs of a draft post - but then I realized that it wouldn't be doing anything to add to the testimony in a meaningful way, and would only be placating a cis woman's flaily hand-wringing impulse to Do Something To Respond.

And that ain't my place.

Guns, and how much they freak me out, and why I think it's INSANE Omar got one so easily, is something I can indeed write about, and will do so instead.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:21 AM on June 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


The only things I've been able to post on Twitter have been either the names of the victims, posts about how people can donate, or "looking for the heroes"-type content (therapy dogs, the thing from Wonkette about how people are commemorating the dead, etc). It's not my place as a cishet person to offer anything other than my condolences and to let people know how they can help. This tragedy is not the place for my thoughts and beliefs.
posted by pxe2000 at 10:27 AM on June 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Opinions may differ, but this queer man here thinks it's fine for non-queer people to say what they want out of their grief for the Orlando mass murder. And please speak up in support of LGBTs, work against gun culture, fly a rainbow flag if you want. Allies are welcome. Probably the best things you can do this week are to be kind to your LGBTQ friends and to stand up to anti-gay bigotry.
posted by Nelson at 11:04 AM on June 15, 2016 [16 favorites]


But, yeah, from the law enforcement perspective, it is beyond invaluable to pore over the shooter's life and influences, especially in light of the FBI's apparent failure to intervene earlier, as the shooter himself had been interviewed twice.

I really think domestic violence is not treated as the red flag it should be. I hope that changes. Soon.
posted by Deoridhe at 11:09 AM on June 15, 2016 [13 favorites]


Opinions may differ, but this queer man here thinks it's fine for non-queer people to say what they want out of their grief for the Orlando mass murder.

I dunno if a blanket statement like that is something I'm comfortable with, given how a lot of non-queer people are using their 'grief' to engender bigotry against brown people, erasing brown queer people, and pretending they didn't contribute to the environment.
posted by qcubed at 11:25 AM on June 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


A FB friend of mine who is very Christian (and I had no idea where she stood on these things) posted a wonderful thing today about how much she cares about her friends who are queer, trans, Muslim, atheist, black, brown, etc and wanted to make sure nobody was uncertain about her position, and it meant a lot to me to see it in part because I understand there are people in her world who might be shocked to see it.

Because it's hard to know for sure who's on your side sometimes, and shitty people are very prone to assuming other people share their shitty opinions unless they are told differently. I think making your allyship more public is an important part of shifting the tides of public perception, and while nobody needs cishet hot takes right now, just making it known what side you're on is good and important right now.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:27 AM on June 15, 2016 [17 favorites]


Wow, not even 72 hours until the Congressional GOP officially jumped back on the anti-LGBT train:
Less than three days after a popular gay club in Orlando became the site of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, Republican leaders in the House of Representatives blocked a vote on a proposal that would ensure federal contractors can’t discriminate against employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identification. Hours earlier, a number of notable conservative figures had put on a good show of standing in solidarity with the L.G.B.T. community, making the rounds on cable news to stand up for the dozens of gay men and women who died in Sunday’s attack. On Tuesday night, however, it was back to business as usual as the House Rules Committee prevented the amendment from reaching the floor for a vote.

Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney, an openly gay congressman from New York, proposed the amendment, which is currently attached to a Defense Department spending bill that was slated for a vote this week. Should it pass, the proposal would enforce an executive order from 2014 prohibiting discrimination against L.G.B.T. employees, The Hill reports. “It’s hard to imagine any act that is so horrific could lead to anything positive. But if we were going to do anything, it would be a very positive step to say that discrimination has no place in our law and to reaffirm the president’s actions in this area,” Maloney said.
Shameless seems like an extreme understatement for this bullshit.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:37 AM on June 15, 2016 [12 favorites]


Wow, not even 72 hours

I knew it was gonna happen but jesus the GOP shittiness has started back up way faster than I anticipated.
posted by Annika Cicada at 12:14 PM on June 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think making your allyship more public is an important part of shifting the tides of public perception, and while nobody needs cishet hot takes right now, just making it known what side you're on is good and important right now.

Yeah, I was planning to signalboost LGBT PoC instead of saying anything myself, but then I saw someone on Twitter post "straight white friends: your silence is deafening" and I just couldn't let anyone think my silence meant anything other than sorrow and solidarity. I didn't want to say something for my own sake, but for that of my friends, so that they would know they do not stand alone.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 12:16 PM on June 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


I don't care if it's a defense bill, Obama should threaten a veto if they don't include it. Make them own this and make them fight for it publicly.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:17 PM on June 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Went to check the Beeb, wasn't expecting this headline - Orlando shootings: Trump to push for tighter gun laws.

He was fairly pro gun control historically, but with his massive turn rightwards I am surprised he would say anything even close to this.
posted by rosswald at 12:21 PM on June 15, 2016


Senate Democrats filibustering now on gun control - you can watch live online.
posted by donnagirl at 12:24 PM on June 15, 2016 [8 favorites]


fwiw, i've been dealing with the cishet silence thing on facebook, so I just want to let people know what that's actually about, for me.

It's not necessarily that I'm performing a litmus test to see if everybody has properly expressed grief. It's not a "gotcha" game.

It's when you have those friends who, completely understandably, posted lots about the Boston Marathon, Paris, and any other of the huge things that brought people together in sadness... it's when these particular people are somehow not saying anything at all about Orlando. Instead, posting regular shit. Happy kid photos, memes, whatever. It's that dissonance which I personally find disturbing. Not the silence per se.

(Related: those people who are glad to point out how Wounded Knee was technically worse, as their literal first thing ever said about Native Americans, in response to LGBT people saying this is the worst shooting.)
posted by odinsdream at 12:28 PM on June 15, 2016 [19 favorites]


It's not necessarily that I'm performing a litmus test to see if everybody has properly expressed grief. It's not a "gotcha" game.

I've written & deleted reams & reams. Everything I have to say comes up short. I've been mostly silent because I am too dismayed to hardly speak, and as a cis-het-white-male, I don't feel like it's particularly my place to speak, except to say that I am speaking with my vote, speaking on my phone to congress staffers, speaking with my feet -- I will join you in the streets. As soon as I get over being too dismayed to even think. My love to everyone in the LGBT community, their friends & families who have been affected by this sickening act of violence, and let it be known that I will do what I can to keep it from happening again. I have a family member in the Orlando area & I encouraged them to give blood -- they did so this morning.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:39 PM on June 15, 2016 [8 favorites]


odinsdream, I'm wondering about the exact same thing. Almost no one on my FB has had anything to say about the Orlando murders after it came out that it wasn't clearly IS-terror. While they all went on for ages about Boston and Paris.
To be honest, I don't think they are homophobic. I think they are racist — and when they figured they couldn't use the shootings for their racist purposes, it became just another American massacre.
posted by mumimor at 12:41 PM on June 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh, I'm sassing people in comments on Facebook and Twitter like crazy. I tore into one of my FB buddies who was getting into a whole Sanders/Clinton back-and-forth over it to say "can you shut up with the politics because this was a HATE CRIME and has nothing to do with that shit", and I'm doing other stuff like that.

But a Big Horkin' Blog Post just sounded like I"d be....uh, whatever the equivalent of "mansplaining" would be for this (Hetsplaining? straightsplaining?)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:58 PM on June 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


I've got one LGBT activist friend who has posted several things about how cishet people need to not write about this event. Every time she does, it feels like a slap in the face. I wonder if she's talking to me. (I pretty much know she's not, I hope, since she knows about my complicated feelings about my own sexuality and my bi past.) But seriously, there are people specifically telling straight people they have no room to speak, and others claiming they aren't speaking enough.
posted by threeturtles at 1:52 PM on June 15, 2016 [9 favorites]


Oh, and also the same friend posted something criticizing a straight friend for NOT having posted anything about the event yet on Sunday. So yeah, I think we all need to be a bit less judgey.
posted by threeturtles at 1:54 PM on June 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


Related: those people who are glad to point out how Wounded Knee was technically worse, as their literal first thing ever said about Native Americans, in response to LGBT people saying this is the worst shooting.

I must have created an alternate online reality for myself 'cause I can't even imagine seeing something so insanely tone-deaf in my feed.
posted by psoas at 1:55 PM on June 15, 2016


Ah, yes the Wounded Knee thing. Seen it about 3 times. I was called an apologist for state-sponsored genocide for saying that mass murder committed by an army was a different category of awful than mass murder committed by one person.
posted by threeturtles at 1:57 PM on June 15, 2016


So, This stupid news story made me cry again. Apparently some of the people wounded or dead might have been shot by... the cops?

Related: those people who are glad to point out how Wounded Knee was technically worse, as their literal first thing ever said about Native Americans, in response to LGBT people saying this is the worst shooting.

The saddest and most bullshit/insidious thing about this is that the very first time i saw this one was on a native facebook group im part of and i was like "yea, hey! that's a good point!"

And then it started getting mega-re-shitposted by white people trying to make some tiresome ass point and it's literally been somewhere in my newsfeed within a couple screen scrolls EVER SINCE and just will not die.

So i think that this one might have actually started from a place of not entirely horribleness(the original post was essentially "and our damn history gets erased again nice", and directly commenting on the news articles saying deadliest in history) and been co-opted. Not that it was a flawless and shiny or not more than a little tone deaf from the beginning, but... ugh. There's a definite strain, at least in the order i saw the posts, of "white people take shit and make it about themselves" as a double stack.
posted by emptythought at 2:03 PM on June 15, 2016 [11 favorites]


The saddest and most bullshit/insidious thing about this is that the very first time i saw this one was on a native facebook group im part of and i was like "yea, hey! that's a good point!"

Me too - posted by a native friend of mine, and not at all in a "let's compare" kind of way, but just as a way of pointing out that massacres have been inflicted by all kinds of people with all kinds of belief systems (a counter to the "only ISIS could have done this" crap).

The points about how this distracts from / shouts down LGBTQ+ voices is really well taken, and is a good example of how being straight can mean I have blinders on in a lot of ways. This is why I tend to share comments by other voices rather than try and say something publicly in my own words, because I want to support my friends in the community without unintentionally saying the wrong thing.
posted by sallybrown at 2:10 PM on June 15, 2016 [5 favorites]


...friend who has posted several things about how cishet people need to not write about this event. Every time she does, it feels like a slap in the face.

If you're actually cis and straight, which it sounds like you may not be, like the least important thing right now is how to be sure queer people don't accidentally make you upset.

Like, do I even need to point out how that's the entire problem queer people deal with literally their whole often foreshortened lives?

I'm literally doing EL today to reassure a straight friend whose feelings are hurt because I shared that "your silence is so loud" meme. On top of me BARELY being able to get through a day at work without having a panic attack, on top of being assaulted on public transit just hours ago, because yea she's fucking sensitive about fucking Facebook. And I'm too goddamn empathetic to just not try. Of course I'm going to do that work. I fucking wish people wouldn't make this a goddamn requirement for me to voice anger.
posted by odinsdream at 2:19 PM on June 15, 2016 [21 favorites]


I think cis het white people have a good opportunity here to practice their empathy and understanding when communicating and expressing thoughts and feelings about notable traumatic events targeted towards minority segments of the population.

Things like:
1. Amplify the voices of the people most directly affected by this attack. (As a white trans woman I have to practice this as well) this can be done via sharing FB posts, retweeting people and reblogging on tumblr by people who are most centered in the minority group that has been targeted.

2. Don't pontificate. You don't need to imagine or explain or otherwise make this into some kind of abstract thought exercise. Let the minority group targeted by the event tell you what's up. Let them pontificate They know whereas majority groups can only speculate. And speculation will lead you to saying hurtful and offensive stuff in an extremely sensitive time.

3. Actively listen. Hold space. Let people vent. Do your best to not take it personally.

4. Offer love and support. Offer hugs. Cry. Hold them in your thoughts. Read their voices. Share their voices.

There's no reason for awkward silence when there's so much else that can be done.
posted by Annika Cicada at 2:21 PM on June 15, 2016 [18 favorites]


So, This stupid news story made me cry again. Apparently some of the people wounded or dead might have been shot by... the cops?

No matter how well trained, prepared, and well intentioned you are this can happen with guns and a crowd. Something for people with hero fantasies to think about.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:23 PM on June 15, 2016 [14 favorites]


Queer, Muslim, & Unwelcome at the “New Stonewall” is a very good article on some of the problems with NYC's vigil on Monday night.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:25 PM on June 15, 2016 [5 favorites]


rosswald: "Went to check the Beeb, wasn't expecting this headline - Orlando shootings: Trump to push for tighter gun laws.

He was fairly pro gun control historically, but with his massive turn rightwards I am surprised he would say anything even close to this.
"

Trump probably figures that only Muslims and other scary, not really Americans are on the list. Or at least he is betting his followers believe that.

The NRA is on board with this too with the caveat that
"At the same time, due process protections should be put in place that allow law-abiding Americans who are wrongly put on a watchlist to be removed,
Considering the list is secret, classified and compiled with input from agencies like the CIA and NSA due process review seems unlikely. The current review process amounts to secret arbitration by the agency controlling the list. A person seeking review submits a huge stack of documentation and at some indeterminate time in the future they let you know whether you have been removed from the list.
posted by Mitheral at 2:29 PM on June 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


NPR: Utah Lt. Governor Apologizes For Past Attitude Toward Gay People Direct YT link of speech, transcript

Between this and the NYT editorial piece posted above and the Village Voice article, I'm finally starting to feel some sense that maybe the giant elephant of homophobic US culture might actually start to be addressed in a public way in the aftermath of this massacre.

I also want to give Ari Shapiro the longest, biggest, most shoulder-soaking-with-tears hug for all this work reporting on this. His sensitivity and focus on the things that have felt to me are the true matters at the center of this have reduced me to tears so many times over the past few days, but they are the right kind of tears. Tears of outrage over the tragedy, not tears of rage over the lack of sensitivity of our national leaders. Tears of recognition, not of alienation. Tears from feeling supported and understood, not from feeling marginalized and ignored.

I will need to work on a long letter to NPR and maybe to Ari himself if I can find the right email for him. His work has meant a lot to me in the middle of all of my anger and outrage and renewed sense of all-pervading hatred. I'm really tired of crying over all this, but some of my tears feel okay now.
posted by hippybear at 2:53 PM on June 15, 2016 [18 favorites]




Hippybear I just played that for my son and he said "it's nice to hear that from someone other than my family"
posted by Annika Cicada at 3:11 PM on June 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Hippybear I just played that for my son and he said "it's nice to hear that from someone other than my family"

I'm still waiting for Obama or Clinton to stand up before a bank of microphones and start off a speech saying "I'm here right now to talk about a subject which is causing deep harm to our country and our culture -- the historical legacy of homophobic hate and the effect it has had on us all since Stonewall in 1969."
posted by hippybear at 3:15 PM on June 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


hippybear: Ari Shapiro is a gift, and he's on Twitter if you can't find email.
posted by nicebookrack at 4:08 PM on June 15, 2016


Why is the X in the word "bisexual" capitalized throughout the Village Voice article?
posted by pxe2000 at 9:45 AM on June 15 [+] [!]


pre: it's not a browser issue, rather a writer/editor one. I haven't seen/scanned a V/V article years, but (maybe) this was their way of attracting clicks. *Someone* at V/V chose to display their rendering of the word bisexual in that way. It's kind of creepy, sort of like a subliminal blink tag. ;-)

PS, Firefox/Nightly Reader View gets rid of stuff like this.

posted by pjmoy at 4:42 PM on June 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Why is the X in the word "bisexual" capitalized throughout the Village Voice article?

It's entirely not happening in my Safari. Not sure what is going on with you, there. The word "bisexual" only appears twice times according to a text search, and the X is not capitalized either of the 2 times it appears in my browser window. MacOS 10.11.5, Safari 9.1.1
posted by hippybear at 4:52 PM on June 15, 2016


i want to feel hopeful about the utah lt. governor's remarks, but some of them sound cribbed from a similar things the lds church has said in the last 10 years - and they still turned around and said babies of gay partners can't receive any of the rites of the religion until they turn 18 and disown their parents, so i'm going to have to wait and see if there's any positive action behind those words.
posted by nadawi at 5:48 PM on June 15, 2016 [6 favorites]


i'm going to have to wait and see if there's any positive action behind those words.

It's closer to something than nothing than any single other elected official in the entire country has offered. I'll take it.
posted by hippybear at 7:52 PM on June 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


Here's an unblurred video from The Salt Lake Tribune. Utah Lt. Governor Spencer Cox opens up and sounds like he's emotional, first saying he's sorry for his own actions when he was mean to the different kids in high school. I really like that he poses the questions to the straight community -- "how did you feel when you heard that 49 people were gunned down by a self-proclaimed terrorist," and "did that feeling change when you found out that shooting was at a gay bar at two AM. If that feeling changed, then we're doing something wrong."

I also liked his comment in his interview this afternoon on NPR:
MCEVERS: ... Mormon leaders recently clarified that same-sex marriage is a "grievous sin" and that Mormons and same-sex marriages are considered apostates. As a prominent Mormon, how do you feel about that?

COX: Well, look; whether you see that as a sin or not I think is unimportant for this reason, and that is, I don't like to rank sins. And I clearly have many, many, many faults and many sins myself. And so I've just determined that none of that matters to me personally. I just have to do the best I can with what I have. And part of that is the commandment - and my church teaches this as well - that we are to love everyone as Jesus taught us.
Maybe he's rephrasing lines from the Mormon church and not mentioning details of his beliefs, I can't say.

For broader state context, here's the Wikipedia page on LGBT rights in Utah.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:45 PM on June 15, 2016 [6 favorites]


I've tweeted repeatedly at @POTUS @HilliaryClinton @realDonaldTrump and even more recently because of a tweet sent out about gun control at @SenWarren to address the toxic homophobia in US culture. I know it's not much, but so far, no response.

Spencer Cox is the best we are going to get.
posted by hippybear at 10:21 PM on June 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


Every time (this context and others) I see people rubbing their hands together over "homophobe likely closeted queer" I find it indistinguishable from "ha-ha, faggot!".
posted by Iteki at 10:55 PM on June 15, 2016 [15 favorites]


That his name is Spencer Cox is really killing me right now because I was friends with a lovely, brilliant, sometimes aggravating gay man named Spencer Cox who died a few years ago. Too many reminders of death.
posted by gingerbeer at 11:11 PM on June 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


Too many reminders of death.

Oh, you have no idea.
posted by hippybear at 11:20 PM on June 15, 2016


Yes, actually many of us do have an idea.

:(
posted by futz at 11:44 PM on June 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


Just listened to a podcast on my way home from work that I hope is worth sharing with people here. Jimmie Williams has hosted the DecodeDC podcast for a while. They had Jim Obergefell in about his book and story of marriage equality legal fight. And, then after they had it in the can, this happened. Jimmie's intro and outro to the just pre-Orlando interview are sweet and sad and real and strong.
posted by Gotanda at 3:37 AM on June 16, 2016


In the hours after he blasted his way into an Orlando gay nightclub, and with his victims lying dead or wounded around him, Omar Mateen took to Facebook to pledge his loyalty to ISIS and threaten more attacks on the civilized world, a key lawmaker privy to the gunman’s posts told FoxNews.com Wednesday.
-
“I pledge my alliance to (ISIS leader) abu bakr al Baghdadi..may Allah accept me,” Mateen wrote in one post early Sunday morning. “The real muslims will never accept the filthy ways of the west” …“You kill innocent women and children by doing us airstrikes..now taste the Islamic state vengeance.”
-
“America and Russia stop bombing the Islamic state,” Mateen wrote.

In his final post, Mateen made an ominous prediction.

“In the next few days you will see attacks from the Islamic state in the usa.”

posted by Drinky Die at 5:24 AM on June 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


From Michael Twitty: I’m Gay and This Is Why You Should Care.
Intersectionality is not just some buzz word that came from the trickle down from a liberal college’s syllabus…it is my life. I live this word everyday. ... Don’t just be angry at homophobia that kills–be mad at white supremacy that kills–about homophobia in the Black community that isolates and destroys families and corrupts houses of worship into houses of hate–honor Black ministers and civil rights leaders and promote their profile of those who work towards bridging the gap and bringing us all together. Be angry at racism in the gay community and stop telling me to get over it. Be angry at gay misogyny and universal transphobia and work against anti-Jewish attitudes and beliefs and the silencing of Jewish diversity–because Jewish people of color exist and we don’t have to get your validation–be furious at homophobia in the Jewish community and racism in the Jewish community, cut that nonsense out that says Black people belong in a box and can’t be anything we want–cut that nonsense out that says gay is or can only be one thing and everything else is useless–cut that nonsense out that posits over privileges only one kind of gay person of a certain class and color and look and appearance. ... If we are truly all Orlando then our shoulders must be willing to bear the serious burdens of complexity and the willingness to give up our emotional attachment to ignorance.
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:59 AM on June 16, 2016 [11 favorites]


Every time (this context and others) I see people rubbing their hands together over "homophobe likely closeted queer" I find it indistinguishable from "ha-ha, faggot!".

When I heard that the shooter might be gay or bi, my first thought was that he was also a victim of homophobia. It certainly doesn't excuse or justify his actions in the least, but just adds to my sadness. Yet another queer life destroyed - and he took so many others with him.
posted by jb at 6:30 AM on June 16, 2016 [8 favorites]


I went to the vigil service in Dupont Circle last night.

An astonishing number of faiths were represented, and quite a few clergy spoke. Not a single one minced words, or attempted to downplay the role that religion has had in fostering hatred of LGBT Americans. Many called it out directly. Even among a gathering of LGBT-friendly congregations, I wasn't expecting that.

The representatives from DC's LGBT Catholic group seemed like they were particularly angry on this front. They are evidently not alone -- Bishop Robert Lynch (of St. Petersburg, FL) had some rather strong words to say:
If one is truly pro-life, then embrace this issue also and work for the elimination of sales to those who would turn the weapons on innocents.

Second, sadly it is religion, including our own, that targets, mostly verbally, and often breeds contempt for gays, lesbians and transgender people. Attacks today on LGBT men and women often plant the seed of contempt, then hatred, which can ultimately lead to violence.

Those women and men who were mowed down Sunday were all made in the image and likeness of God. We teach that. We should believe that. We must stand for that.
posted by schmod at 7:26 AM on June 16, 2016 [17 favorites]






Most of my straight friends have now digressed into rehashing whether Islam is inherently more violent than Christianity and rehashing their positions on gun control laws. There's a lot of pontificating going on.

They have gay friends and are supportive of LGBT rights in a general sense, so they feel like that's a non-issue for them for the purpose of these arguments. But they don't recognize when they are contributing to the same old toxic masculinity in all the typical microaggresion ways (fighting is brave, aversion to using violence is weak, etc.)
posted by desuetude at 7:43 AM on June 16, 2016 [9 favorites]


To everyone here who is close to the heart of this:

The rando public will go back to their typical behaviors.

Expect it.

There will be some improvement in the public discourse, but our society will revert to the mean on this.

For all of us who "knows how it is" and are left carrying our grief in isolated communities around the world as the larger society moves on to the next news cycle, please know that you are not alone. My memail is open to you 24/7, that is not an empty promise, I mean it. You can reach out to me anytime.
posted by Annika Cicada at 8:50 AM on June 16, 2016 [11 favorites]


> Too many reminders of death.

Oh, you have no idea.


I'm pretty sure I actually do, thanks, and that's a sort of lousy thing to say in this thread in particular. How many are enough?
posted by gingerbeer at 8:52 AM on June 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


Annika Cicada: revert to the mean

This phrase has taken on a whole new meaning, reading it in the context of your comment.
posted by mittens at 9:00 AM on June 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


I don't think hippybear meant to be flippant or dismissive, he's on our side. I struggle to imagine what it's like to watch your friends die and have people outwardly gleeful about it, but I can imagine the damage it does. I don't want to speak for him, but I imagine this latest shooting is a grim reminder of an ugly past and he fired that off without thinking.
posted by zug at 9:08 AM on June 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


There's also now a coordinated effort to mass-report queer FB posts (the heart-felt essays we've all been reading and sharing) as being child pornography, so that FB deletes them and bans the user. I've seen this happen to at least 3 different contacts so far, and it's come up twice when I've attempted to share something that's been targeted.

It's despicable.
posted by odinsdream at 9:13 AM on June 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


...and I don't even know many people. So my sample size is small but a huge percentage of my contacts.
posted by odinsdream at 9:14 AM on June 16, 2016


Can you get screen shots or anything? I can't find anything online about this and I'm not on facebook presently (my wife has an account for me but I don't have the password and she's maintaining strict control of that because FB fucks me up so hard)
posted by Annika Cicada at 9:28 AM on June 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


You can follow me on twitter, same handle, and find a particular screen shot fairly recently (intentionally not linking here to avoid further targeting).
posted by odinsdream at 9:50 AM on June 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


There's this story on gizmodo:
Facebook is getting slammed for twice removing transfeminine rapper Michete’s post expressing solidarity with the Orlando massacre victims. The post was shared thousands of times on the network until Facebook abruptly deleted it. The company also banned the rapper from the network and sent him a notification that bafflingly included a warning about transmitting underage porn.
...
“We removed the post below because it doesn’t follow the Facebook Community Standards,” Facebook said in a notification sent to Michete’s account. The message appeared to be a boilerplate, given that Facebook didn’t cite which Community Standard was violated.
...
Facebook also allegedly blocked him from using the Facebook Messenger app for 72 hours. Michete sent us a notification he received by Facebook that included the lines: “In many countries, it’s illegal to make, share or knowingly have images of anyone under the age of 18 involved in sexually explicit acts or behavior. This includes nudity.”
...
Eventually, after his frustrations were shared thousands of times on Twitter and Tumblr, Michete’s original Facebook post was restored. The company did not respond to a request for comment from Gizmodo, but in a statement to Complex, Facebook said that: “The post was removed in error and restored as soon as we were able to investigate. Our team processes millions of reports each week, and we sometimes get things wrong. We’re very sorry about this mistake.”
posted by rtha at 10:01 AM on June 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


Ah, and I see that is what odinsdream references on twitter!
posted by rtha at 10:03 AM on June 16, 2016


FB is on hyper alert doing real time assessing of anything remotely suspicious right now.
posted by infini at 10:05 AM on June 16, 2016


I can confirm this is happening to people on my feed too. One had a comment on how the word "queer" had local contexts deleted and was temporarily banned, and another had a picture that they shared of the rainbow candles that were given to them when they came out deleted.

This is disgusting.
posted by Conspire at 10:10 AM on June 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


If only Facebook would be so strict when it came to hate speech.
posted by qcubed at 10:17 AM on June 16, 2016 [18 favorites]


FB is on hyper alert doing real time assessing of anything remotely suspicious right now.

Do you have a citation for this? And what exactly does this mean? Hyper alert in what way? Because what they should be doing is ASAP internal training on the way that MRA types deliberately target minorities as part of online harassment strategies. What they shouldn't be doing is telling their moderation staff to just "be on the lookout".

But, this gets quickly into a discussion of how tech companies routinely underestimate and misunderstand online harassment and don't have appropriate tools (both technical and human) to properly handle it.
posted by odinsdream at 10:18 AM on June 16, 2016 [13 favorites]


just to clarify what i was saying about the utah politician and how i need to wait to see actions, not words, because the words are too similar to the wishy-washy stuff leaders in the church already say (while acting despicably to gay people both in and out of their congregations), some quotes from the same sex attraction page on lds.org :
Church apostle Elder Quentin L. Cook stated, “As a church, nobody should be more loving and compassionate. Let us be at the forefront in terms of expressing love, compassion and outreach. Let’s not have families exclude or be disrespectful of those who choose a different lifestyle as a result of their feelings about their own gender.”

Former Church president Gordon B. Hinckley (1910-2008) told members who are attracted to the same sex: “Our hearts reach out to [you]. We remember you before the Lord, we sympathize with you, we regard you as our brothers and sisters.”

President Boyd K. Packer affirmed, “We do not reject you. … We cannot reject you. … We will not reject you, because we love you.”

“God’s universal fatherhood and love charges each of us with an innate and reverent acknowledgment of our shared human dignity. We are to love one another. We are to treat each other with respect as brothers and sisters and fellow children of God, no matter how much we may differ from one another.”
so yeah, they're very good at that sort of pontificating, but their actions betray their bigotry. i hope utah lt. gov. spencer cox is different and he's had a real change of heart, but i am reluctant to trust just his words.
posted by nadawi at 10:20 AM on June 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


re facebook, is FB itself nosing around and erasing stuff on its own initiative, or are phobes flagging queer speech as harassment? i couldn't tell from the descriptions above.
posted by mittens at 10:22 AM on June 16, 2016


mittens: shitheads on the typical forums go looking, then do a call-to-arms for a bunch of their shithead followers to go report the FB posts as porn.

Left as an exercise to the FB reader: use some goddamn network analysis to pick out who these shitheads are that are somehow so frequently finding and reporting the same targets as porn. Block them instead.
posted by odinsdream at 10:29 AM on June 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


FB is on hyper alert doing real time assessing of anything remotely suspicious right now.

Do you have a citation for this? And what exactly does this mean? Hyper alert in what way?


So, ICYMI, within 24 hours of Orlando, this happened on FB, even as they announced this. My experience with the real time hyper alert of incidences occurred because of this (very close family) news being discussed in our native tongue today, and this newslink post going in and out of visibility on the time stream i.e. being deleted then being put back in after someone figured out that the translation simply grieved and wept with other far flung members of the family.

They're probably running around like Chicken Little.
posted by infini at 10:49 AM on June 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


I can confirm this is happening to people on my feed too. One had a comment on how the word "queer" had local contexts deleted and was temporarily banned

There is nothing anywhere like a consensus on this, I'm finding. For example, this earnest NPR blog post has a bunch of comments complaining about the use of the word "queer" in the title from people who still find it offensive... but of course, they're sprinkled in among the regular bizarre array of combative NPR-blog-commenters, so be forewarned.
posted by psoas at 11:21 AM on June 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


I would really not like to have a debate over the word queer here, it feels like an inappropriate and exhausting derail.
posted by Conspire at 11:38 AM on June 16, 2016 [22 favorites]


Keep in mind that much of the content moderation/response to flagging at sites like Facebook is done by an army of low-paid workers in places like the Philippines, with more complex and sensitive moderation supposedly being handled domestically by more culturally familiar staffers. Not sure how that shakes out in reality, though.
posted by mediareport at 12:02 PM on June 16, 2016




I can confirm this is happening to people on my feed too. One had a comment on how the word "queer" had local contexts deleted and was temporarily banned, and another had a picture that they shared of the rainbow candles that were given to them when they came out deleted.

A friend of mine who is trans has repeatedly had posts about transphobia, and just general stuff like that deleted. It's gotten her to give way way less of a shit about posting on facebook.

Bang up job guys, kickass policies. And this is NOT some algorithmic thing because i've literally never had a post like that deleted in ten years. Her account seems to constantly have "controversial" posts nuked though, as do a few other queer friends??????
posted by emptythought at 12:24 PM on June 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


My experience with flagging things on Facebook has been that all my reports are rejected the first time around, but if I reply to the rejection and spell out the problem, my report is accepted.
posted by epj at 12:56 PM on June 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


psoas: Whether you find the word queer to be objectionable or not is missing the point. These posts aren't being flagged for "bad words" or running into an automatic filter.

These are long text posts and entire accounts that are being reported as containing child pornography, when they quite clearly and obviously do not, as an intentional harassment tactic. As conspire said, we really don't benefit from going into whether or not queer is objectionable in this thread.

I'd suspect that FB works by automatically disabling posts and accounts if a sufficient number of people report them in a certain amount of time, and then that can be reviewed and reversed by an underpaid, understaffed, overseas team of people whose entire job is combing through actual stuff of nightmares.
posted by odinsdream at 1:34 PM on June 16, 2016 [9 favorites]


And please, if you're thinking "well surely that can't be true, who would be that petty" remember what thread we're in, here. And consider listening to people who've seen this happen routinely for their entire social media experience. If you're not in a target group, you'll probably never see it (c.f.: men disbelieving women about street harassment).
posted by odinsdream at 1:36 PM on June 16, 2016 [20 favorites]


WaPo: How this Orlando-bound flight crew went above and beyond for the grieving grandmother on-board

JetBlue, by the way, provided free airfare for family members and partners of the victims.
posted by mochapickle at 1:52 PM on June 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


I've my own family members report my posts about trans life and get them taken down so yeah believe it.
posted by Annika Cicada at 2:38 PM on June 16, 2016 [9 favorites]


And please, if you're thinking "well surely that can't be true, who would be that petty" remember what thread we're in, here.

I'd appreciate it if you didn't ascribe thoughts I didn't have to me, thanks. I'm also a queer person who is grieving along with my friends and this whole situation is headache-inducing enough already. I'm out.
posted by psoas at 4:05 PM on June 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


Orlando shooter Omar Mateen and Moner Mohammad Abu Salha, who two years ago became the first American suicide bomber in Syria, were seen having a private conversation at a party several years ago, according to someone who attended the gathering.

It is the closest connection reported recently between the Abu Salha and Mateen, who the FBI investigated in 2014 after officials say Abu Salha drove a truck full of explosives into a Syrian restaurant full of government soldiers.

-
Orlando Gunman Omar Mateen and Wife Exchanged Texts During Rampage

The source close to Salman said Mateen's mother called Salman at around 2 a.m. Sunday, waking her up and asking if she knew where Mateen was.

Salman said she did not know, and texted her husband: "Where are you?" the source said.

Mateen responded: "Do you see what's happening?"

Noor replied "No?" according to the source.

Mateen then responded "I love you, babe."

-
A gun store owner reported Orlando shooter Omar Mateen to authorities weeks before he committed the worst mass shooting in US history. Robbie Abell, co-owner of Lotus Gunworks, told the Wall Street Journal Mateen came into the store in South Florida in May and asked for heavy-duty body armor like the kind used by law enforcement. Staff at the store, which does not sell body armor, felt it was a strange demand. After his request was denied, Mateen asked to buy bulk ammunition. Though Lotus does sell ammunition, staff shut down his request and refused to sell him anything else. They subsequently reported the incident to the FBI, Abell said.
-
New reports are emerging that Disney warned the FBI about Omar Mateen several months ago. Mateen visited the parks with his wife, who told the media that he was considering attacking Disney Springs.
-
Gay dating apps, which several people have said Orlando shooter Omar Mateen used, issued a call Wednesday for info about possible accounts he had on the app.

"Any of our members who think they have been in contact with Omar Mateen on Adam4Adam, please get in touch with us," the Facebook page for the service said.

"Rumours (sic) are that he had an account on many gay apps including Adam4Adam and we would like to find that information to be able to give it to the Police."

posted by Drinky Die at 4:09 PM on June 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


They subsequently reported the incident to the FBI, Abell said.

This is why we're seeing widespread topic dilution into age-old arguments like left-right gun control, the election, the bullshit no-fly and terror watch lists. It's all in service of preventing empathy toward LGBT culture and people. If it can be recast as a collection of established political details, everybody will be mired in squabbling largely indistinguishable from last week's comment thread on WaPo's story about whatever Trump did that day.

This guy was on the FBI radar but wasn't dumb enough to implicate himself further than he already had. G4S hired this guy and kept him on even after the coworker complaints and the FBI came sniffing around. Comey and Monaco should be shitcanned all the way to Quiznos cashier, or at least humiliated in front of Congress and TV audiences. If they can't catch someone with so many red flags, why am I asked to say something when I see something? Why do I have to wait an hour and a half to be frisked by a cancer laser at the airport?

This is what the details obscure: how we got here, and the way I see it there's only a few factors that effected a turn of events where a guy was able to massacre a dance floor in a gay bar. The government's knowledge of this guy is most of those factors. As far as terrorism goes, maybe they're only good at fomenting plans with and arresting developmentally disabled stoners.
posted by rhizome at 5:35 PM on June 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


And the President of G4S? Ex-FBI. He's the only one without a headshot on their management page.
posted by rhizome at 5:51 PM on June 16, 2016


And the President of G4S? Ex-FBI. He's the only one without a headshot on their management page.

That's the head of the US business unit for "commercial nuclear and petro-chemical facilities", which I'm sure is a nice job but pretty far from being the president of G4S which is a British company with 620,000 employees (originally the Copenhagen and Frederiksberg Night Watch, but they've expanded a bit since then).

The missing photo seems to be a site glitch; there are pictures of him elsewhere on the site.
posted by effbot at 6:47 PM on June 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


This is why we're seeing widespread topic dilution into age-old arguments like left-right gun control, the election, the bullshit no-fly and terror watch lists. It's all in service of preventing empathy toward LGBT culture and people.

I think this can be true, certainly there are commentators and politicians (and ordinary people) who prefer to ignore, whenever possible, that this was a queer space and that our community was specifically targeted.

But -- it's shitty that we have to act at the same time as we are mourning but unfortunately we do not have the privilege to cry now and fight later because under normal circumstances we will not be listened to.

So yes. We do need to have those conversations about gun control and the wider political culture and the culture of violent and toxic masculinities and... all that stuff if we (as LGBTQ people) are going to continue the struggle against homophobia and hate; and if we as Americans are going to stop having laws that allow a huge number of people to kill other people with guns.
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:07 PM on June 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


USMNT's Michael Bradley wearing rainbow "One Nation" captain's armband in tonight's Copa America quarterfinal vs. Ecuador
posted by zakur at 7:18 PM on June 16, 2016 [9 favorites]




> A gun store owner reported Orlando shooter Omar Mateen to authorities weeks before he committed the worst mass shooting in US history. Robbie Abell, co-owner of Lotus Gunworks, told the Wall Street Journal Mateen came into the store in South Florida in May and asked for heavy-duty body armor like the kind used by law enforcement. Staff at the store, which does not sell body armor, felt it was a strange demand. After his request was denied, Mateen asked to buy bulk ammunition. Though Lotus does sell ammunition, staff shut down his request and refused to sell him anything else. They subsequently reported the incident to the FBI, Abell said.

This kinda breaks my heart. Subsequent details in that linked article make me think that they were profiling him a little based on his ethnicity, but that doesn't negate that fact that their instincts about odd questions and odd purchasing requests were legit red flags, they did the right self-regulating thing and called the FBI and...apparently that went no-where.
posted by desuetude at 11:37 PM on June 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


Special Report with Bret Baier on Fox News yesterday (at 7:40, near the end):
I think it's fair to say that Mateen, while he clearly had radical Islamic tendencies, he wasn't, like, a devout follower of ISIS or Al Qaeda. In fact he seems to have used them all interchangeably.
No acknowledgement of any further complexity there but it's surprising to see even a glimmer of reality break through on Fox.
posted by XMLicious at 2:31 AM on June 17, 2016


Salman said she did not know, and texted her husband: "Where are you?" the source said.

Mateen responded: "Do you see what's happening?"

Noor replied


Do they know what her name is?
posted by infini at 6:07 AM on June 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Jeff Schogol: West Coast Marines under investigation for alleged threat to gay bars
The California-based I Marine Expeditionary Force launched a command investigation after a photo surfaced on social media showing a corporal in uniform holding a rifle with his finger near the trigger. The words “Coming to a gay bar near you!” appear at the bottom of the photo.

The picture was posted recently to Camp MENdleton resale, a closed Facebook group for male Marines with more than 25,000 members. The person who purportedly posted it also wrote “Too soon?”
[...]
The incident coincides with a separate investigation by the FBI and San Diego police into an anonymous threat posted Tuesday on the men-seeking-men section of the Craigslist San Diego personal ads, according to local television station KGTV.

"Orlando was long overdue," the post stated, according to ABC affiliate. "...San Diego you are next."
posted by zombieflanders at 6:16 AM on June 17, 2016


Uhh. Why aren't those marines being handed directly over to the FBI?
posted by schmod at 8:11 AM on June 17, 2016 [8 favorites]




Why aren't those marines being handed directly over to the FBI?

Because they're under the jurisdiction of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and their command structure.
posted by Etrigan at 8:20 AM on June 17, 2016 [8 favorites]


There's a brig with their name on it, then.
posted by mikelieman at 8:34 AM on June 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


The reporting I'm hearing about law officials investigating the shooting is they are starting to drop the "he's a terrorist" label and are saying "he mentioned ISIS in a 911 call during his shooting rampage".

I'm not finding any good links right now, but on a show I heard on BBC World Service either Wednesday or Thursday they did a longish profile about how the shooter fits nearly exactly the pattern of domestic terror lone gunman mass shootings in the US over the past several years, and doesn't at all fit the pattern of any even vaguely Daesh-inspired (let along -directed) terrorist action anywhere in the world.
posted by hippybear at 2:49 PM on June 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


There hasn't really been any reporting of direct ties from the start. It's a situation similar to San Bernardino I think, the ISIS propaganda viewed is part of pushing them to act but picking soft targets that appear to have personal significance suggests there is also something more at work as well. I'm not really any less scared of a lone wolf terrorist than an organized one though. Organized means more casualties usually but the lone wolf terrorism is easier to pull off and can strike anywhere. I'm mostly being terrorized by the easy access to guns at this point.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:55 PM on June 17, 2016


I think my point is that I've feel intuitively from the start that this was a guy who was lashing out at the LGBTQ community for whatever personal reasons he had, and he made that call and threw in the ISIS thing at the last minute, for whatever reason.

The guns thing is pretty terrible and yes quite scary. But gays have been attacked with boards with nails driven through them, so even removing the guns isn't going to solve the base problem of homophobia. That's something our culture does need to address.
posted by hippybear at 3:01 PM on June 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


He's been talking up (phony) connections to terrorist groups for a long time. That wasn't out of the blue. Otherwise, no disagreement with you.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:03 PM on June 17, 2016


He's been talking up (phony) connections to terrorist groups for a long time. That wasn't out of the blue.

NPR: Investigators Provide More Background On Orlando Nightclub Shooter June 16, 2016
SHAPIRO: And what about actual links to ISIS? What do investigators make of his 911 call during the attack when he said he was doing this for the terrorist group?

TEMPLE-RASTON: Yes, and he posted some posts to Facebook actually during the attack saying the same thing. But the sources we talk to who are close to the investigation say they've been struck by the fact that there's almost nothing besides that - the phone call, maybe some extensive video watching of extremist videos in the run-up to the attack and these Facebook post that they think he did.

Aside from that, there's nothing that indicates he had any terrorist ties much before the attack. And this gets to what we've been saying from the beginning - that the FBI hasn't determined yet whether he mentioned ISIS opportunistically, hoping it would get him more media coverage or if he was really ideologically tied to the group.
posted by hippybear at 3:17 PM on June 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


This is the sort of thing I'm talking about: We first became aware of him in May of 2013. He was working as a contract security guard at a local court house. He made some statements that were inflammatory and contradictory that concerned his coworkers about terrorism. First, he claimed family connections to al Qaeda. He also said that he was a member of Hezbollah, which is a Shia terrorist organization that is bitter enemy of the so called Islamic State, ISIL. He said he hoped that law enforcement would raid his apartment and assault his wife and child so that he could martyr himself.

His sympathy for terrorist organizations has been around for a while. That's what I mean when I say it wasn't out of the blue. We don't disagree there is no evidence of any actual connection to a terrorist group.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:23 PM on June 17, 2016


Fair enough. I had not read that particular article.
posted by hippybear at 3:28 PM on June 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Although that last sentence sounds more like someone looking for an opportunity to commit suicide by cop, and who has been looking for it for a long time, even hoping to trigger it by saying things at a courthouse, than anything else.
posted by hippybear at 3:30 PM on June 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


this is not in response to the above conversation

NPR: Bearing Witness To The Shootings In Orlando: How The Events Unfolded June 17, 2016

I highly recommend listening and not just reading. 11m, very powerful.
posted by hippybear at 3:39 PM on June 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


I've gotta say I feel super conflicted about the possible indictment of Noor Salman. I understand the fair thing to do is to investigate whether she was legally culpable but I also have kind of a hard time blaming a victim of violent abuse for not calling the police on her abuser. It just seems so likely that she was afraid for her own life in that situation and not really a free actor. But maybe that's naive, and I guess that's part of what her trial would be about if the grand jury indicts. I don't know. It just makes me uneasy.
posted by en forme de poire at 4:06 PM on June 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


Noor Salman is his second wife. I don't believe it has been reported that she accused him of abuse. Those allegations were from his first wife. Obviously, it wouldn't be shocking news if that is what happened so I hope law enforcement takes it into account if they discover that is the case.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:18 PM on June 17, 2016


Hmm, good point -- I could have sworn that Noor Salman also mentioned his violent rages but now I can't find it anywhere so it's totally possible I was conflating the two stories.
posted by en forme de poire at 4:20 PM on June 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


That said, I find it.... difficult to believe that a man who abused his first wife as severely as Sitora Yusifiy describes would be anything other than abusive to his second wife, especially without any kind of apparent reason to improve his behavior. He might be less violent, sure, if he believed he could control her via other means--but abuser mindsets come straight out of a place of forcibly extracting whatever the abuser believes they're entitled to from their partner. I don't see any compelling reason for him to change his entitlement beliefs after divorcing Yusifiy, and so I'd be really skeptical that he's magically not abusing Salman at all.
posted by sciatrix at 4:36 PM on June 17, 2016 [8 favorites]


After all the media disses this week (with a few exceptions..see my previous post about msnbc. Also Anderson Cooper has been awesome) I have just reached the anger breaking point. I am furious which is probably not a good time to make a comment here but I really don't care. Here is why.

On Friday and Saturday nights I usually watch Dateline or 20/20 or 48 hours and EVERY OTHER TIME that there has been a tragedy/death of a famous person ALL PREVIOUS PROGRAMMING has been preempted by the current tragedy EVEN if the tragedy or news happened one or two days prior to the broadcast...meaning that even if an event just happened their excuse can't be that they needed time to build the story... (Prince, Bernadino, and dozens of other stories).

This time? This weekend? Business as usual. A mass murder of LGBTQ less than a week ago and plenty of time to gather the stories of strength and grief and survival AND NOTHING?

I am not asking for a breathless sensational hour or two of coverage. Literally every other "news of the moment" story (most recently Ali) has preempted previously scheduled programming. What happened here? To me this is like ignoring 9/11.

Did I miss something? Am I overreacting? WTF?!
posted by futz at 7:55 PM on June 17, 2016 [12 favorites]


I was internally trying to explain my mental state to myself this afternoon, and I distilled it down to, "More than a hundred vulnerable people were hurt or killed, and everyone seems to be treating it as 'Yeah, that happens,' and shrugging it off."
posted by lazuli at 7:58 PM on June 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


I don't feel you are overreacting, futz. But then, my participation in this thread has been far from what anyone would call "centered" over the past week. I haven't gone 24 hours without crying or wanting to break my hand against a wall punching it in anger.

The destruction of the sense of safety I was starting to feel about being queer in the US, which wasn't much to begin with, has left me feeling helpless and futile. The way that ABSOLUTELY NO NATIONAL LEADER in the US has stood up and said "we have a problem with homophobia that is a poison that leads to events like this" has only made me more angry with every mention of gun control or Islamic extremism.

I wish I could say I'm surprised or shocked or even angry that the network news programs that you usually watch on Fridays weren't addressing this in any meaningful way. But in my mind, it's exactly the same as how neither Obama nor Clinton or even Trump have stood up and said "We have a problem with homophobia in our culture". The culture doesn't see the homophobia. Doesn't see us as having real lives. It's shocking when we die in a public way (Matthew Shepard, anyone?), but pretty soon it's all business as usual.

Easier to keep us marginalized in our personal worlds of fear and hate than address where that fear and hate is originating from.
posted by hippybear at 8:17 PM on June 17, 2016 [15 favorites]


destruction of the sense of safety I was starting to feel about being queer in the US

Yeah, that.
posted by tivalasvegas at 8:54 PM on June 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


Did I miss something? Am I overreacting?

No.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:02 PM on June 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


Interesting story making the rounds: a few weeks before the shooting, the shooter quitclaimed his house to his sister and brother-in-law.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:27 PM on June 17, 2016


Did I miss something? Am I overreacting?

I don't know if this helps but Dateline did air a special Orlando episode on Sunday evening which you can watch here.
posted by lalex at 9:42 PM on June 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


I've always been a gun-nut. I love weapons as technology, as devices with a history and evolution and a cleverness to their design, also it makes me seem hyper-masculine to know so much about guns and how they operate.

Then Sandy Hook happened.

My daughter was in pre-K at the time, and they had a very nice and modern playground inside a fence. Right where some sick sonofa could just drive up, and take one of those rifles I have been nerding about my whole adult life, and...

The sounds. The recordings from inside Pulse. Popopopop-pop-pop... this is a weapon doing as it was designed to do, by a homophobic bigot supported and encouraged by other homophobic bigots. The machine was doing as it was tasked.

Even if you hate LGBTQ, and you shouldn't. Even if you hate Muslims, and you shouldn't. Imagine an Eric Rudolph sort of Some Asshole with an AR-15 and a belt full of magazines, rolling up to a fenced-in daycare where Coastguard, Navy and Marine families leave their kids so they can do their duty to us, and Some Asshole has a mission to make us all pay for having the kind of government they don't want...

I am out of my head with rage and worry we have done nothing on regulating who gets to buy infantry long-arms. 50 of my countrymen were killed by an active enemy combatant - a soldier in the service of gun culture. Hate culture.

I want to punch something. But not someone. It has to get fixed.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:52 PM on June 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


Avenge Orlando!
posted by Neilopolis at 10:04 PM on June 17, 2016


I'm really not sure that messages of violence being spray painted as graffiti on behalf of the entire queer community by a couple of people in a midwestern city are something I can support, really.

There have been plenty of "meet violence with violence" movements proposed, started, and disbanded across the history of queer activism since Stonewall. It's generally been decided that the best way to combat the violence is NOT with more violence.
posted by hippybear at 10:10 PM on June 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


Thank you lalex. I did not know that.
posted by futz at 11:13 PM on June 17, 2016


Thank you lalex. I did not know that.

You're welcome! I still find it frankly bizarre that they didn't dedicate some time tonight to follow up on the story.
posted by lalex at 11:51 PM on June 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


also it makes me seem hyper-masculine to know so much about guns and how they operate.

Slap*Happy, this is ABSOLUTELY not meant to be an attack on you or anything about you personally. Please don't interpret this as anything other than commenting on the culture in which we live.

There was a link up-thread to toxic masculinity that sort of address the problem with the linking guns to the concept of being masculine.
posted by hippybear at 6:05 AM on June 18, 2016


[One deleted. Sorry, but there are two active threads on guns / gun control; let's continue to avoid turning this discussion into another gun thread. Thank you.]
posted by taz at 6:29 AM on June 18, 2016


You know, I woke up this morning ready to take the transcript of Hillary's speech about Orlando and do some kind of mocking summary write-up here in-thread about it, full of references to progressive dog whistles moments and GUNS and MUSLIMS and FIRST RESPONDERS all to point out that she hints around the homophobia in our culture but never once actually mentions it by name...

But I simply don't have the energy. Read the speech yourself. She NEARLY says it, but then never does. She spends so many words talking about so much else, but never once... never even once.
posted by hippybear at 6:39 AM on June 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


The normalcy in a tragedy:

So when Omar Mateen started being aggressively anti-gay in his language and behaviour after entering community college, he offended some classmates and officials, but was also expressing a set of views that would have seemed utterly commonsensical and uncontroversial to half the people around him. For almost a decade, his angry words about gays and women failed to attract any undue attention – it was not until he began combining them with a new language of Islamic extremism, around 2012, that anyone raised serious complaint.

In other words, his expressions of intolerance, like his penchant for violence, did not make him stand out; rather, they made him a well-integrated part of one part of this town’s community – not its majority, but a big and influential bloc.

[...]

Whatever Omar Mateen’s psychological or ideological motives, whatever mix of homophobia, self-hating homosexuality, Islamic extremism and ego-driving braggadocio he had adopted, he was becoming a more normal member of his community – or at least of a certain very masculine, very conservative corner of it.

Only in the wake of the horror he unleashed is it becoming apparent to people here, and their leaders, that Mr. Mateen got away with it because his views and his utterances were so completely, frighteningly normal.

posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:48 AM on June 18, 2016 [12 favorites]



Only in the wake of the horror he unleashed is it becoming apparent to people here, and their leaders, that Mr. Mateen got away with it because his views and his utterances were so completely, frighteningly normal.


Yeah. One thing I've realized about myself is that I take it as completely normal that a lot of people are going to hate, despise or be disgusted by me just because I am visibly queer, and for a long time I didn't even feel mad about that because it was just the way of the world. (I mean, this was also the consequence of being aggressively and sometimes violently bulled from when I was about seven until I left for college, which accustomed me to the idea that normal people would hate me and no one would care, but still.)

It just makes me tired that I live in a world where it is realistic for me to assume that people despise me over something that is none of their business and does not impact them in any way, and that it is a legit political position that people like me deserve to be excluded and condemned.
posted by Frowner at 10:00 AM on June 18, 2016 [13 favorites]


But I simply don't have the energy. Read the speech yourself. She NEARLY says it, but then never does. She spends so many words talking about so much else, but never once... never even once.

I just read it. Oy. There are so many elephants in that room it's a wonder the crowd wasn't trampled.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:11 AM on June 18, 2016 [2 favorites]




The wife and father of Orlando gay club shooter Omar Mateen have been added to federal no-fly lists as investigators determine what role they played, if any, in Sunday's massacre, according to a report.

Federal officials added Noor Salman, as well as her father-in-law Seddique Mateen, to the lists, ABC reports.

posted by Drinky Die at 12:26 PM on June 18, 2016




the arkansas pride parade i was at today had at least 2 different tributes to the victims. luckily it was raining so my tears just mixed in.
posted by nadawi at 12:52 PM on June 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


also police presence was noticeably increased and i remain conflicted about that - but it seemed like everyone was in good spirits and getting along. we also had about 5 people (and a couple kids) yelling about sodom but they were drowned out by all the gaiety.
posted by nadawi at 12:53 PM on June 18, 2016


OMG. Hillary had someone in her campaign actually use the word "homophobia" on social media!

It's a start. I'll take it!
posted by hippybear at 12:54 PM on June 18, 2016 [5 favorites]


Brooke Gladstone spends 13m talking to Village Voice associate editor Raillan Brooks about his views on the Orlando massacre, from his standpoint as a gay Muslim. (no transcript available that I can find, sorry)

Brooks came out publicly on social media in the wake of Orlando, and wrote more about this in the article Double Jeopardy: Queer and Muslim in America.

Both worth checking out, IMO.
posted by hippybear at 1:17 PM on June 18, 2016


The attack in Orlando makes it even more clear, we cannot contain this threat. We must defeat it. And the good news is that the coalition effort in Syria and Iraq has made recent gains in the last months.
So we should keep the pressure on ramping up the air campaign, accelerating support for our friends fighting to take and hold ground and pushing our partners in the region to do even more.


What the ever-living fuck, Hillary?? How fucking dare you use the murder of queer Latinx people to call for more war. My god.
posted by odinsdream at 2:02 PM on June 18, 2016 [18 favorites]


When I read the headline, I thought it was going to be homophobic comments that got the guy suspended. But no, it's actually just straight-up racism. Assistant state attorney suspended over Facebook comments on Pulse shooting
posted by hippybear at 2:25 PM on June 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


NPR Music: I Was Born On The Dance Floor: A Playlist For Pulse Nicely annotated with rich memory. Sadly not actually a playlist, per se.
posted by hippybear at 2:35 PM on June 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Wait, I lied. Someone made an actually playlist of that playlist. Yay!
posted by hippybear at 2:36 PM on June 18, 2016 [6 favorites]


Apologies if anyone hits the paywall, but this LA Times article is too good not to share: He found a loving community at Pulse — then as a reporter came back to cover the carnage

Private Browsing browser windows are your friend. :)
posted by hippybear at 4:50 PM on June 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


Orlando shooter was fired for making a gun joke days after Virginia Tech killings

The records released on Friday show Mateen was dismissed after approaching a fellow recruit and asking: “If I bring a gun to school would [you] tell anybody?”

“I looked at him and turned away,” the recruit wrote in a memo dated 23 April 2007.

posted by Drinky Die at 5:37 PM on June 18, 2016




Following up Drinky Die's link, McClatchy has a sharp piece asking why the shooter's long, deep, troubled mental health history is not the main story here instead of his very tenuous connection to Islamic terror groups. It starts with a comparison to another Muslim shooter that's worth quoting at length:

Hours after Mohammad Abdulazeez fired 100 rounds into Chattanooga military offices, gunning down four Marines and a sailor before being killed by police, the emerging story was one of a “lone wolf” jihadist with possible ties to extremist groups abroad.

But Abdulazeez’s family made a decision that would quickly redirect the story of their son’s rampage last July in ways that didn’t happen after attacks in San Bernardino or, now, Orlando: They hired an attorney who turned the Chattanooga aftermath into a case study of what it takes to add nuance to a national tragedy involving a Muslim perpetrator.

The attorney, who asked that his name not be published because of the sensitivity of the case, first urged the parents to go public with a statement about their son’s history of depression, explaining that “the first thing you say is critical.” Convinced that Abdulazeez was no diehard jihadist, they also leaked the attacker’s suspected bipolar behavior, abuse of alcohol and painkillers, his struggle to stay employed, and how he faced bankruptcy and a drunken-driving charge.

The effect was immediate, with all major TV networks and newspapers pivoting from the terrorism angle to the shooter’s “troubled past.” The lesson, the attorney said, is that it’s hard – but not impossible – to make Americans see beyond Islamist extremism in cases of Muslim attackers.

"It would’ve been ‘ISIS lone wolf plans deliberate, premeditated attack on a military installation,’" the attorney said, imagining the headlines had the family not been up front about Abdulazeez’s struggles. "It would’ve been about the propaganda rather than the factors that converted that to action."

posted by mediareport at 4:01 AM on June 19, 2016 [13 favorites]


From my deleted FPP:
A combination of Angels (blocking with their wings), Bikers (linking arms with allies) and Uber drivers (providing information on the movements of the WBC) has led to the Orlando police tweeting "Westboro protesters have left the state & no plans to return. Thank you to those who met protest with grace & love."
posted by 445supermag at 12:44 PM on June 19, 2016 [16 favorites]


Seriously waiting for WBC to just die out and be gone. They are like the suppurating boil of the endemic homophobia in this country. I'm glad Orlando met them with love and confidence and gave these poor grieving families a bit of peace.

It must be so hard for some of these families. Many of them have had to travel from out of country, and many of them didn't even know their child was gay or (at the very least) was going dancing in gay bars. It's a lot to deal with so suddenly. My heart breaks for them. I wish them nothing but peace during this horrible time in their lives.
posted by hippybear at 1:11 PM on June 19, 2016 [3 favorites]


sadly the wbc had an injection of a youngish outsider new leader-type, so it might be some time before we're free of them.
posted by nadawi at 1:24 PM on June 19, 2016


‘Always Agitated. Always Mad’: Omar Mateen, According to Those Who Knew Him

But his professed embrace of the Islamic State and its call for disaffected Muslims to attack the West seem to have come suddenly, as if something snapped. And while some reports have suggested that he was gay, federal officials say they have found no evidence in his effects or online presence to back them up.

Psychologist: I Never Evaluated Orlando Shooter Mateen

Dr. Carol Nudelman said in a statement to NBC News that she had nothing to do with the psychological evaluation of Mateen that the security firm submitted to the state of Florida on Sept. 6, 2007. The firm stated in its submission that Nudelman had conducted the test.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch Says Investigation Moving Forward

Lynch said in interviews Sunday on several news shows that the FBI would release a partial, printed transcript of the conversations between gunman Omar Mateen from within the Pulse nightclub and Orlando police negotiators.
-
Lynch told ABC's "This Week" that the top goal while intensifying pressure on ISIL - the extremist group thought to have inspired Mateen - is to build a complete profile of him in order to help prevent another massacre like Orlando.

"As you can see from this investigation, we are going back and learning everything we can about this killer, about his contacts, people who may have known him or seen him. And we're trying to build that profile so that we can move forward," Lynch said.
-
Speaking to CBS' "Face The Nation," Lynch said that a key goal of the investigation was to determine why Mateen targeted the gay community.

-
AG Lynch defends FBI inaction on Orlando shooter: We had ‘no identifying information’ from gun shop owner
-
Orlando shooting: Woman says Omar Mateen stalked her
posted by Drinky Die at 2:17 PM on June 19, 2016


"‘I would get up at one or two a.m. and I would call every gay bar I had the number to from the 1940s. I wouldn’t say anything. I would just stay on the phone and listen to the sounds in the background. I would stay on until they hung up, and then I would call another one of my numbers, until I had called all the numbers I had … That phone. Those numbers. That was my lifeline … It meant there was a place somewhere — even if I couldn’t go there — that place was out there. I could hear it. Freedom.’ She called the bars two to three times a week like this — for fourteen years."
posted by twist my arm at 5:21 PM on June 19, 2016 [10 favorites]


Speaking to CBS' "Face The Nation," Lynch said that a key goal of the investigation was to determine why Mateen targeted the gay community.

Has the possibility truly not occurred to them that the reason why was simply that he was a homophobic shitweasel?
--
I've had an uneasy thought about the claims he used gay dating apps running into people in his life swearing he wasn't gay. And it isn't the Occams' Razor explanation, but - maybe he was meeting other gay men, but not to have sex; maybe he was a serial killer on top of everything else, and that's how he found his victims.

I have zero evidence for this, and am most likely wrong, but it is an idea I find it hard to shake. Especially when we're talking about someone with that much hate.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:50 PM on June 19, 2016 [5 favorites]




twist my arm, help my heart has utterly liquefied
posted by en forme de poire at 10:22 PM on June 19, 2016


Decades-long running LGBT weekly news show Gay USA devotes an hour to the Orlando massacre, with a panel including Michelangelo Signorile, Jennifer Louise Lopez and Xorje Olivares. [recorded June 15, 2016]
posted by hippybear at 10:40 PM on June 19, 2016 [2 favorites]






Watched, cried, purchased. Thanks roomthreeseventeen.
posted by hippybear at 7:56 AM on June 20, 2016 [1 favorite]








There's a lot going on in this short interview, but I was a bit gobsmacked by it: Megachurch Pastor Joel Hunter on nightclub shooting: ‘I’ve got to go back and examine my own heart’
posted by hippybear at 10:52 AM on June 21, 2016 [3 favorites]




What I want you to talk about when you talk about the Orlando shooting.

So directly on point. I need a kleenex.
posted by hippybear at 12:56 PM on June 21, 2016 [2 favorites]


I wore my gay pride shoes today and it felt good. Also just been way less patient with homophobic bullshit since the murders. That feels right.
posted by Nelson at 8:57 PM on June 21, 2016 [5 favorites]


I've had an uneasy thought about the claims he used gay dating apps running into people in his life swearing he wasn't gay. And it isn't the Occams' Razor explanation, but - maybe he was meeting other gay men, but not to have sex; maybe he was a serial killer on top of everything else, and that's how he found his victims.
We now apparently know that he repeatedly met hispanic gay men for sex, and at one point learned that he had been potentially exposed to HIV by one of them.
posted by kickingtheground at 12:55 PM on June 22, 2016


The HIV aspect of the interview is getting more play in the media right now, but I think this part also shouldn't be ignored, if true:
Miguel speculated that Mateen may have pledged loyalty to ISIS because he wanted to "die a hero," and because of arguments he had had with his father, Seddique Mateen, over Islam and homosexuality. Miguel said Mateen’s father thought gay people were "the devil" and "have to die" — sentiments that were included in a Facebook video statement by Seddique Mateen the day after the shooting. Miguel also said Mateen believed that if his father found out he was gay, he would want Mateen to kill Miguel to "honor" his father and win his forgiveness.
(via)
posted by en forme de poire at 1:19 PM on June 22, 2016 [2 favorites]




Miguel also said Mateen believed that if his father found out he was gay, he would want Mateen to kill Miguel to "honor" his father and win his forgiveness.

Horrifying. It is telling that his father was quick to accept that his son had killed people, and yet he could not bring himself to admit that his son might have been gay. Bizarre and awful. Assuming this is true, his father sounds utterly toxic and beneath contempt.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:47 PM on June 23, 2016 [4 favorites]




So it's settled. This was religiously motivated anti-LGBTQ terrorism.

Just as I predicted, some people tried to insert themselves in the story by making shit up about the terrorist being gay and having personal contact with him as a result.

I hope the FBI's refutation of those claims gets as much coverage as the lies trying to portray him as a "confused" self-loathing gay man did, but I expect to be disappointed -- a lie is halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes and all that.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:46 AM on June 24, 2016


Isn't basically all anti-LGBTQ terrorism religiously motivated?

I mean seriously. I don't know of any of the men I have known across the decades who were attacked/beaten/killed whose attackers weren't taught by religious leaders that the gays must be eliminated. Baptist, Evangelical, or whatever. It's always religion that teaches this stuff.
posted by hippybear at 12:07 PM on June 24, 2016


all homophobia may be religiously grounded

but not all religious are homophobic --- and that's why it is more important than ever for synagogues and mosques and churches and temples to not just be accepting but affirming. We need to be loud and active in our support for LGBTQ rights, because we can't let the bigots claim to speak for G-d or for morality.

besides which, everyone knows that G-d is a pansexual genderqueer. (neither male nor female, loves all - and goes by "they" even in the Hebrew of Genesis - Elohim)
posted by jb at 12:13 PM on June 24, 2016


Historically there have been secular anti-LGBTQ movements, but they're not as active currently and didn't have to rely on terrorism when they had license to "treat" us.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 12:13 PM on June 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


but not all religious are homophobic --- and that's why it is more important than ever for synagogues and mosques and churches and temples to not just be accepting but affirming. We need to be loud and active in our support for LGBTQ rights, because we can't let the bigots claim to speak for G-d or for morality.


The Pride march in Spokane, where I live, is a major exercise in "you are part of our community and we welcome you" and that includes a lot of religious communities. It's honestly one of the best Pride celebrations I have ever attended, because it's not corporate, it's not trying to outrage with a lot of men in tiny speedos... It's just a march of community organizations saying "it's okay that you are here".
posted by hippybear at 12:17 PM on June 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


There are definitely strains of homophobia and transphobia that justify themselves in secular and/or scientistic language, just like misogyny and racism. I mean, Nazism was a pretty secular movement; their persecution of queer people IIRC was couched in the language of eugenics, medical pathology, and pseudoscience more than religion. I suspect straight cis male supremacy will just ally itself with whatever is convenient. After all I think there's a reason that anti-queer religious dogma specifically has particular salience for homophobes, over many other religious proscriptions that are given equal/greater weight.
posted by en forme de poire at 1:15 PM on June 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


"Isn't basically all anti-LGBTQ terrorism religiously motivated?"

Sadly, I have encountered anti-LGBTQ atheists and agnostics. As far as I know, they have not yet been motivated to the level of actual violence, but their voiced willingness/eagerness to engage in violence against LGBTQ people in various hypothetical situations certainly contributes to the atmosphere of terror.

TW: violent transmisogynistic example in smalltext: I spent a day trolling the shit out of every public Facebook post I could find promoting boycotting Target, during which I encountered numerous people who bragged that they'd shoot any trans woman who went into the bathroom while one of the poster's female relatives was in it. A couple of those people indicated either in the relevant thread or elsewhere on their page that they weren't religious. They merely believed all trans women to be mentally ill sexual predators. While this opinion might be shared and voiced by many religious people, it's still a fundamentally secular belief in that it has nothing to do with religious texts or God's will.

Smalltext TL;DR: Some people have non-religious justifications for their hate and can be just as scary as the believers.

Shouldn't blanket threats against minorities intended to scare them out of going somewhere or doing something count as some form of terrorism? I certainly count it, in which case there are definitely non-religious anti-LGBTQ terrorists.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:37 PM on June 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Secular homophobia, including violence, existed, and exists. In addition to the Nazis, many of the Communist governments committed highly organized violence against LGBTQ people, e.g. the USSR and Cuba.

I'm surprised that the "Mateen was a self-hating gay man" theory has collapsed so rapidly, but that's life. It would be highly bemusing if a bunch of people were all confusing Mateen with a set of similarly built men of similarish ethno-religious background.
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:57 PM on June 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm not so sure the "Mateen was secretly homosexual" theory is so over yet. The article hippybear linked is ambiguous. Anonymous federal officials say they have found no evidence, but we still have various named sources saying they met the killer, saw him at Pulse, and chatted with him on gay apps. We also have his ex-wife voicing some ambiguity.

It's probably a complicated story. The truth never comes out this early in little leaks and glimpses.
posted by Nelson at 3:08 PM on June 24, 2016 [6 favorites]


I think I agree with Nelson there. I don't know what to believe yet. There was this report from TMZ which might be some evidence suggesting the Univision story has some truth to it, but I have no idea if I should trust TMZ to get a story like this right.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:44 PM on June 24, 2016


It would be highly bemusing if a bunch of people were all confusing Mateen with a set of similarly built men of similarish ethno-religious background.

Or at least some of them are lying for attention and to insert themselves into the story, which is something that always happens and the media really ought to learn to be less gullible.
posted by Jacqueline at 4:45 PM on June 24, 2016


I'm very disappointed with the media on this one. Usually sordid claims about infamous person of the now are only picked up on sleazy gossip sites. But this time even mainstream media outlets threw basic fact-checking out the window because gay.
posted by Jacqueline at 7:21 PM on June 24, 2016


I'm not surprised. The previous month, the mass media was all over Amber Heard's bisexuality as a cause for battery. Which actually is a fucking story, the fucking story is that bi women face nearly pandemic violence. But no, the mass media was all about how being bi with lesbian friends hurts a straight guy's precious feels.

To tie this sidetrack back in, media still defaults to victim-blaming when it comes to anti-LGBTQ violence when it can to avoid talking about anti-LGBTQ prejudice and bias.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 9:53 PM on June 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


I agree with Nelson as well. I don't know whether Mateen was straight or not but I don't think the issue is settled yet. There's still so much weirdness unaccounted for.

- The friend with benefits, Miguel, who was interviewed on Unovision seems really unreliable. Who even agrees to do an interview like this but an attention seeking nutjob? But then he tosses out these weird specific details (a threesome with two Puerto Rican men, an HIV scare, 11pm at a specific hotel).
- It sounds like it is confirmed that he visited Pulse immediately prior to the shooting. But there were early claims that he had been a regular there for years. Is that still believed to be true?
- The guy at the community college who said Mateen asked him on a date. That situation doesn't, I think, allow for mistaken identity as easily as Grindr or Adam4Adam do. But is that what it ended up being? Or did the student misunderstand Mateen's intentions?
- The interview with the first wife's current boyfriend. I mean that's all hearsay. He's reporting what Yusufiy told him to a Brazilian TV station in Portuguese. But still, is all that discounted too?

All of the questions above are genuine, not rhetorical. I am truly curious (even though I know it's none of my business). I hope when this is all over someone publishes a long form setting the record straight.
posted by great_radio at 2:50 PM on June 25, 2016


Japan has plenty of homophobia and is not particularly good legally for LGBT people, and almost none of it is religiously motivated (since its one of the least religious countries there is). "Tradition" and very conservative views of the family (in a culture that is very bound up in the idea of a rigidly defined family, even legally in the ie/koseki system) are the drivers.

I mean, it is slowly getting better there, but it was eye-opening to me as someone who always associated homophobia and other anti-LGTB feelings with religion (since in the US its usually the case, although given that the vast vast majority of people here are religious its hard to separate things out...)
posted by thefoxgod at 6:24 PM on June 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


One of the tools the FBI used to debunk the stories was cell phone tower data to reconstruct where he was and when.
posted by Jacqueline at 7:19 PM on June 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Was the Orlando Gunman Gay? The Answer Continues to Elude the F.B.I.

This new NYTimes story is less ambiguous about the lack of evidence that Mateen was gay. Specifically, Adam4Adam and Grindr seem to say there was likely no Mateen profile page.
posted by pjenks at 5:31 AM on June 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


I mean there are also other options than him being straight or gay, but yeah, that's a good and necessary update from the FBI.
posted by en forme de poire at 1:23 PM on June 26, 2016


In my experience doing stuff with mobile location data, cell phone tower data is terrible at providing accurate locations. It is often miles off.
posted by humanfont at 3:46 PM on June 26, 2016


On Radio New Zealand today there was an interview with forensic psychiatrist and criminologist Dr. Park Dietz who testified in the trials of John Hinckley, Jr., Jeffrey Dahmer, the Unabomber, and Andrea Yates. At about 18:50 they begin discussing Orlando and other mass murders and continue for twelve minutes or so, though the ~40-minute interview is interesting in its entirety.
posted by XMLicious at 4:46 PM on June 26, 2016


Barbara Herr gives a speech in the Bronx, words written by Bre Medafax Bader. Encapsulates so much of what I feel about this entire event.
posted by hippybear at 5:40 PM on June 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Nobody can prove that Mateen wasn't gay but the best evidence for the theory has collapsed. And the evidence that he was working on behalf of outside forces (e.g., ISIS) was laughable from the very beginning. So where does that leave us? Some guy who was taught to hate gays, who was violent but whose actions were never quite criminal, who had ready access to weapons? That sounds true to me, but it's hardly a satisfying narrative. And how do we prevent similar atrocities? Should we (could we?) silence the anti-gay narrative spread by some religious organisations? Intervene (how?) more rapidly in cases of domestic violence? Make it harder for people to get guns? These are all things that are worth working on, but will any of them help? I don't know. It would be so much easier if we had a simple explanation so we could say IT HAPPENED BECAUSE OF THIS and now that we have fixed things IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN. I wish we did.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:28 PM on June 26, 2016


And the evidence that he was working on behalf of outside forces (e.g., ISIS) was laughable from the very beginning.

Huh? He outright said he was doing it for ISIS. He didn't need to be receiving direct orders from them to be working on their behalf -- decentralization is part of their overall strategy.

ISIS targets gays, he targeted gays, he said he was doing it for ISIS, why is the ISIS aspect of this still in question?
posted by Jacqueline at 11:15 PM on June 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


He also claimed to be a member of Hezbollah and to be associated with the Tsarnaev brothers (and by implication, with Al Qaeda). This is like someone claiming to be a Jesuit ordained by the Brigham Young School of Protestant Theology.
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:07 AM on June 27, 2016 [17 favorites]


ISIS targets gays, he targeted gays, he said he was doing it for ISIS

This does not mean he had any contact with ISIS at all, and it seems at best a stretch to claim that a group are directly responsible for something carried out by a third party they whose actions and existence they were never even aware of until after the fact.
posted by Dysk at 2:02 AM on June 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


He outright said he was doing it for ISIS.

Do you think that if ISIS didn't exist, he wouldn't have done this? There's a difference between an excuse and a reason.
posted by Etrigan at 2:42 AM on June 27, 2016 [13 favorites]


I'm not tremendously confident in the FBI's ability to discern whether a closeted person is gay or bisexual if the FBI thinks that finding online-gay-activity is necessary evidence.
posted by desuetude at 7:12 AM on June 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


frankly i don't want anyone who isn't queer to be weighing in on his sexuality at all.

also if you want to find where this man was radicalized, you don't have to go outside of american borders. many members of our government hate queer people and think we shouldn't have basic rights. multiple people running for president this time around in the last few months attended a rally where a preacher promoted the idea that being gay should equal death. states all over the place are trying to enshrine discrimination against gay people in their laws. (many parts of) america hates gays.
posted by nadawi at 7:58 AM on June 27, 2016 [9 favorites]


I'm not tremendously confident in the FBI's ability to discern whether a closeted person is gay or bisexual if the FBI thinks that finding online-gay-activity is necessary evidence.

It's necessary to the extent that the FBI was specifically investigating particular claims, claims made by third parties, about Mateen's usage of certain apps, viz. that he was meeting people on Grindr. Also, in the cell phone era, we can evaluate a claim that, say, somebody had gone on a date with Mateen, by tracking Mateen's phone usage, i.e. if I say that I had been on a date with Mateen on 1/23 at 4:00, we could use Mateen's phone to see if his phone was being used elsewhere at that time.

It's not foolproof, but then again, it's not like the FBI is saying "NAH GUYS, NO GRINDR MEANS NO GAY". They're looking at the claims presented by other people, and then saying whether or not those stories check out.

frankly i don't want anyone who isn't queer to be weighing in on his sexuality at all.

With regard to Mateen's personal life, be it about sexuality or whatever else, I am interested in 1) truthful firsthand accounts from people who had actually dealt with him, 2) reliable professional investigations, and 3) other verifiable claims, such as the recorded quitclaim deed. Misinformation, confabulation, and rumors are commonplace and unhelpful.

As to ISIS, it's evident (so far) that Mateen was an angry, disturbed person who had never been particularly pious. Casual (and formal) hatred of LGBTQ is common enough in the US such that it cannot be ignored as an influence on hate crimes and anti-LGBTQ terror. Likewise, it cannot be ignored that ISIS merrily "accepts" violent acts presented under its banner, even when the violent actors are ideologically incoherent. It's not as if ISIS minded that Mateen also trumpeted mutually exclusive ideologies - despite their macho, pompous proclamations otherwise, they're not particularly deep people.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:15 AM on June 27, 2016 [7 favorites]


> It's necessary to the extent that the FBI was specifically investigating particular claims, claims made by third parties, about Mateen's usage of certain apps, viz. that he was meeting people on Grindr. Also, in the cell phone era, we can evaluate a claim that, say, somebody had gone on a date with Mateen, by tracking Mateen's phone usage, i.e. if I say that I had been on a date with Mateen on 1/23 at 4:00, we could use Mateen's phone to see if his phone was being used elsewhere at that time.

What I mean is that it's pretty common to obfuscate regarding your real name/face/email address when using hookup apps, and not necessarily "go on dates" in the classic sense. The legacy of persecution means that gay culture retains some sets of norms to allow people to protect their identities and remain closeted.
posted by desuetude at 6:40 AM on June 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


I mean, yeah, but those norms are not really effective protection against a federal criminal investigation. The feds should still be able to verify claims about whether his pictures really appeared on an A4A profile he plausibly used (maybe the pics were locked, maybe cropped not to show his face, but even still), and correlate his movements with those of any people he was allegedly chatting with on Grindr or Jack'd or whatever. And that aspect of the investigation hardly depends on whether he was looking for a romantic dinner or meeting guys at truck stops.
posted by en forme de poire at 9:00 AM on June 28, 2016


I think, at its core, the important thing is that Mateen was born in Queens and raised in US culture, which is extremely homophobic even while it pretends not to be. He did this horrible thing not because ISIS told him to (ISIS operatives typically make videos before their operations, etc) but because he was raised in the miasma of "we hate the fags" that is endemic in this country.

THAT is what we need to solve. Guns make the job a lot easier, but a lot of queers are attacked and even killed without guns. Baseball bats or boards with nails in them have been popular in the past. It's personal for those doing the attacking, so the weapons tend to be more personal.

Whether or not he was a self-loathing gay man is not even material to this event. All that matters is that the culture at large really doesn't like the queers, and that is what leads to all the LGBTQ attacks and deaths, most of them under the radar of news organizations, that happen all too often here.
posted by hippybear at 11:52 AM on June 28, 2016 [8 favorites]


Pro-ISIS Video Calls For Terrorist Attacks In San Francisco, Las Vegas

The video surfaced yesterday and it glorified the man behind the Orlando nightclub shooting. It shows several San Francisco landmarks: the Golden Gate Bridge, the Financial District and Powell Street … along with a message: attack.

The propaganda video praises the Orlando nightclub shooter, Omar Mateen, and brings the message of terror close to home.

But why San Francisco, and why now? The answer may be the city’s LGBT-friendly atmosphere and the large Pride parade and festivities over the weekend.

posted by Drinky Die at 3:33 PM on June 28, 2016


But why San Francisco, and why now? The answer may be the city’s LGBT-friendly atmosphere and the large Pride parade and festivities over the weekend.


Those are some damn fine deductive skills right there.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 3:51 PM on June 28, 2016 [6 favorites]


I'll be honest, I don't usually look to HuffPo for quality journalism, but this piece moved me to unexpected and welcome tears this morning: Orlando: Straight America’s Stonewall
posted by hippybear at 8:07 AM on June 30, 2016


Boston bombing survivors visit Pulse shooting victims at ORMC. It's a photo album on fb. And they brought therapy dogs. /crying
posted by rtha at 8:26 AM on June 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


Miami Herald: The paramedics of Pulse heard the gunfire, then saw something they never thought possible A narrative of the first of the first responders at the Orlando massacre.
posted by hippybear at 8:54 AM on July 3, 2016


The New York Times was inspired by the Pulse massacre to give a proper remembrance to Vernon Kroening, a victim of an earlier homophobic rampage. When Kroening died in 1980, the Times didn't even bother to get his name right, and they reprinted incorrect information about him in an article that they published this June 15th. Some of his friends wrote in to correct the record, and the paper decided to interview them and publish an article about him that would treat him with the respect that he should have been given 36 years ago.

They're still looking for information on the other victim, Jorg Wenz, if anyone knows anyone who may have known him.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:38 AM on July 3, 2016 [8 favorites]




Before this closes up, I just want to thank everyone who hung out in this thread, posting links and personal thoughts and insights. I appreciate all of you, and it meant a lot to me to have this space in which to interact with you and find some solace. *giant schmoopy hugs*
posted by hippybear at 8:13 AM on July 12, 2016 [16 favorites]


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