Defiance in the Face of Fear

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

The attack on the Pulse night club reminds us all of the problems that beset the United States. Problems of homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and islamophobia beset our country and still plague it to this day. It’s not just terrorists like those advocating against the equal rights of transgender people to use the restroom but also terrorists that would attack and kill us just for the crime of existing.

Today, I live my life as authentically as humanly possible. I have a job that I love, I am running for the Regional Transportation District Board of Directors and I am working hard to lose weight so I can make my thirties great. While I am cognizant of the fact that there are some people that take issue with the fact that I exist and may choose to visit violence upon me, I choose to live my life regardless.

One thing I want to address is how everyone claims that Islam was the catalyst for this attack, conveniently forgetting the decades of Christian persecution of LGBT people in this country. Islam may have been a catalyst, but so could the rhetoric of American homophobes and transphobes who talk about their efforts to deny us even the most basic civil liberties as a “war”. They claim that they are oppressed while actually oppressing us. Someone steeped in such dishonest, hateful rhetoric is just as likely to murder innocent LGBT people as a muslim subjected to the same rhetoric.

It is, however, a very convenient way to deny the fact that even today, LGBT people are still treated like second class citizens. We still lack crucial national protections for things like housing, employment and public accommodations. And homophobic and transphobic Christians still work to deny us these basic civil rights. By blaming it on Islam, it is a convenient and subtle way to shift some of the blame for homophobia onto Islam as a whole. Maybe Islam did influence him, but isn’t it just as likely that the likes of Kim Davis or Governor McCrory’s hateful rhetoric and falsely labelling us as “predators” could have inspired such vitriol?

Live without fear. The goal of terrorism and of terrorists is to instill terror, to use violence, to achieve their aims. By showing them that we will stand against them is defiance at its core. So, live without fear and be brilliant.

Love is the Law, Love under Will.

Véronique Bellamy

Dr. Véronique Bellamy is a polymath. She graduated with a doctorate in computer science from the University of Oxford but is equally well versed in literature, manga, theology and politics.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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