Image from: Autism Women’s Network
“Privilege is something you’re not really born with. There is more than one definition….. and if you are believing the old-fashioned term, you really do have the wrong definition of privilege.” -Anonymous
When I opened my phone up the morning of June 12, 2016, my heart stopped. Not literally, but I felt a pinch of pain rip through my chest, as if someone had stabbed me. I had opened up Facebook to find a ton of posts that early, early morning and read what was around 12am, the Pulse Night Club, in Orlando FL, had been attacked by an american citizen. I knew about Pulse, because we have a Pulse Nightclub right here in Baltimore. I instantly found myself flooding with tears. The hardest part? I had to go to church that morning. And I am so blessed to have a church that accepts my bisexuality. If your church does not accept people like me (ones that are bi, lesbian, gay, queer, etc.), then it’s a sign that your church needs a new minister, and that there are people within the church who are spreading the wrong message of God. God loves all of us, even the ones who are LGBTQ+, even though ones who are of a different race other than white, and even the ones who are disabled, and the ones who are just plain different. God loves everyone. So when I see these messages being spread around, all I see is a sin. And this sin is not of those who are different than the white, male, cis-gender, christian, able-bodied, and straight individual. This sin is of those who judge others for who they are.
My bisexuality is not a choice. Neither is my autism. Nor is it for me to be white. Yes, I am privileged, as I have mentioned several times on this website. Black/asian/latino/native american/and other races are not as equal as I am. I want them to have as much privilege as I do. LGBTQ non-white autistic women struggle more than I do, and those are the facts.
To say though that LGBTQ+ people are not hated upon is a really ignorant statement. That probably sounded harsh, but can you recognize the shame in being white and privileged? I know I can. I am not anymore, because I’ve accepted the fact that other races have it much harder than we do. None of us as human beings should ever have to be ashamed for who we are, yet we as white individuals don’t deal with racism. We are being racist ourselves, and it’s not our faults. Yet I won’t deny the small group of whites who are literally being racist on purpose, and unfortunately it’s hard for people to not label our whole race as racist. We are unintentionally being racist, and you do have history to blame for that. You can do something about it though, and decide to ignore the internal racism. It can be unlearned, I promise. If you can see what I see, then you are not part of the problem. If you are worried that you don’t live a privileged lifestyle, you are indeed incorrect. Why? We were raised to be, and yet I know I have to tell myself everyday that I am blessed to be white. All of the minority groups are hated upon. And if you cannot see the things I see, then you are indeed part of the problem. But this article is not just about racism, it’s also about the LGBTQ community too. If you are white, like me, but also are part of a minority group, you get to see a world that the cis-gender, male, straight, white and able-bodied individual would not see, and that is hatred. Yet you are white, so you don’t deal with as much hatred as someone who is of a different race. My concern is that I’ve seen some other races who bash people like me, an ally towards non-white folks, saying we don’t deal with hatred at all. And that is the problem. See I deal with ableism everyday. I deal with biphobia all of the time. My own family hates me for it (not all of my family, thank goodness). What you can do is mention to us that we are not as privileged while acknowledging the hate. So please don’t attack me for supporting ya’ll and please do admit that even though we don’t deal with as much hatred, we still deal with hate. I wanted to address this before moving into the Orlando Mass shooting and Pride month. This cluster of viewpoints deals with a term us minorites like to call INTERSECTIONALITY. If you want to know more about the beautiful political ideology, then check out this link and also check out what Lydia Brown has to say! Lydia Brown is a fantastic autistic disability civil rights activist.
the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.(thanks to Google for that lovely definition)
Moving on…… June is LGBTQ+ pride month. This month is a particular time out of the year where we are supposed to be accepted, recognized, and appreciated for who we are. What’s ironic? This mass shooting happened right in the middle of LGBTQ+ pride month. Some white folks have asked why there have not been straight pride parades. Do you, reader, recognize that the reason we have these pride parades is because of the Stonewall Riots? We’re not literally celebrating being different. We’re not better than you. But we are and should always be equal. Those pride parades are really not that fun to go to. We are all walking in a parade, battling the ongoing hatred. What happens during a pride parade? Well the one that I go to in July will be my first one, but several of my friends have gone, and from what I’ve seen online in videos, videos taken by my friends that were not edited, they are very complicated. We have people on the sidewalks cheering us on which is great…. but then we also have people that hate us. We have individuals that will literally go out of their way to tell us that we cannot be who we are. They spew out that we are faggots, freaks, queer, and that we deserve to go to hell. They spew out more, but I am too upset to think through all of it. We are threatened, we are hurt, and we deal with a bunch of christians and non-christians that label and hate us as such. Here is a quote that I made for pride parades:
“A pride parade is your typcial modern day protest in support of the LGBTQ+ community, but in parade form.” -Lindsay (MusicalAutistic)
For those allies, we need your help. We need you to speak with us, not for us. We need you to tell those that hate us to stop the hatred, bigotry, and fear. We want to be accepted by society just like everyone else. If you want to get involved, then get involved! Don’t just send posts on Facebook. Don’t just spread the word. Donate money, help non-profits, educate, and help us out. There is a lot of fear and stigma associated with the words LGBTQ+, and we need your activism allies. Moving back into the mass shooting.
As for the mass shooting itself, this was a hate crime, and not a terrorist attack. Please stop attacking Muslims. They are just as human as we are, and yet they’re the most stereotyped religion out there right now within the United States. We all should know this. To say that it was not an attack directly on the LGBTQ+ community is a form of biphobia, homophobia, and transphobia. We also have the controversey around gun control. I personally believe that we should not have to get rid of guns entirely. Not all guns, anyhow. But we as a people have shown time and time again that we cannot handle the weapons responsibly, so why the need to have one? If I ever had one, it would only ever be for self-defense purposes. But I am also a pacifist, and believe that killing someone is not the answer. So I would never even buy one, unless it was an absolute necessity and I felt that my life would be in danger 24/7. But this is the United States folks! I mean sure, we sometimes have people that kill, but we have laws for these very reasons. I am Ghandi, haha! Guns are not necessary, and hurt more than protect. Maybe if we were to still have guns, then one simple handgun should do. But since when do people need to purchase M-16 Assault rifles with 700 caliber??? Really? You need a big gun like that to survive? I laugh. I laugh at the fact that it is that easy to go purchase a gun, especially a gun like that. I laugh that this country has a small amount of people that believe that killing is the way to go, and then that leads into the assumption that every person within the ethnic minority/race is like that, WHICH IS NOT TRUE. The religion itself does not cause the violence, but certain individuals within the faith do, and yet those folks cause the stereotype to exist. Like I said, religion does not cause violence, nor hate. But some people within those faiths do cause violence. I am screaming internally at how many people literally don’t understand this. Also, I noticed that mainstream media (MM) says it’s the deadliest mass shooting in the United States that we’ve had. Boy, I am so surprised by this. No I am not surprised, folks, that mainstream media tends to lie a lot. But why? Native americans have had the largest mass shootings within U.S. history. Also, there are SEVERAL other historical events that have killed more than 50 people. 50 is not the deadliest massacre. This was a hate crime done by someone who was very homophobic/transphobic/biphobic. One more thing- I’ve noticed some people have based some of the previous shootings we’ve had and compared it to this one, blaming mental illness. Please stop stigmatizing mental illness! It’s hurtful, and unless you’ve experienced mental illness yourself, then you have no idea what it is. You can accept it, however, so please stop stereotyping misconstrued facts. This shooting was shameful, and please stop the hatred! It will only get worse if it continues.