A (long) thought: if the talk on social media by LGBTQIA community members and allies is tiring you out, keep in mind that it’s only been two days since Orlando. When you’ve forgotten about us, we will still be thinking about it. We’re still thinking about Stonewall in June 1969. Remember, this is Pride Month for a reason.

If the talk on social media about gun control makes you shout about US constitutional rights, remember that slavery was in there too. It can be changed.

If you think that because I wear pink cat ears and enjoy musical theatre and sing in an LGBTQ+ (and straight-friendly) choir, means I don’t know or understand how firearms work, you’re sorely mistaken. I already proved that last night before blocking the idiot who challenged me.

If you’re tired after 49 hours of this deluge, just think about the 49 people who lost their lives on Saturday night. Think about their families and friends.

Think about the families and friends of victims of gun violence perpetrated all over the world. Think of the studies that show that incidents of self-defence with a firearm is much lower than you think, compared with accidental shootings, and shootings because there was a gun around.

Think about people with mental illness who are being lumped into the same category as mass shooters.

Think about a toxic society of hyper-masculinity where people are defined by a construct so meaningless, so fragile, it needs gun violence and rape behind a dumpster to defend itself.

We are all people. We are in this together. We have one chance at life, on a single planet, in a solar system in a galaxy in a universe so large we can’t comprehend it, and it’s the only one we have.

It’s easier to be nice than to be nasty, and it makes everyone feel better.

It’s also fine to be angry about things, and learn ways to channel that passion into productive things. Work on weekends in construction projects, hammering nails and knocking down walls. Go to a firing range and shoot some targets (I’m not against guns if used in a safe environment, and if you’re not using assault rifles). Whatever.

The thing we seem to be missing, is talking to each other. Our lives are so caught up in ourselves that we end up talking past each other. We want to be heard, but no one is listening.

If your father is a hateful bigot and believes that queer people are subhuman and should be killed, and you’re harbouring queer feelings, how does that make someone feel? Do you get married and have children? Do you see others on the sly? Do you have enough self-loathing that you then hurt those others you see on the sly?

I’m not talking about the Orlando shooter here, I’m talking about a large number of other people who are stuck in this cycle of intolerance.

Love is love. If you don’t like gay sex, don’t have gay sex. If something disgusts you that seems to be tolerated by others, and isn’t hurting anyone, maybe you can give it some thought and ask yourself why it disgusts you.

Anyway, I’m tired too. Of having to defend myself, of having to repeatedly worry about being “queer” in public, of being seen holding hands with, or kissing my husband of ten years. I’m tired of having slurs thrown at us. I’m tired of the anti-feminine culture that literally says anything “feminine” is automatically “bad”.

There are good people in the world. If you’re not one of them, if you’re disgusted and unhappy, I’m offering hugs, and an ear to listen to what’s bothering you. Let’s talk.

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