So many of us woke on Monday morning to discover the severity and magnitude of yet another mass shooting in the US, the biggest one yet.
And for the gay community, the news was even worse, this was an attack in a gay club, a hate crime, aimed at gay people.
While some in the media were more interested in the terrorist angle, others chose this as a moment to celebrate the death of many gay people.
One US Senator produced bible quotes on Twitter, essentially justifying they had it coming for being sinners.
A Tasmanian politician chose Sunday as the day to reinforce his view that children are threatened if gay marriage is legalised.
Hadn’t we been through enough?
But this is nothing new for gay people, and I guess that is why we are not just upset, we are angry, angrier than we have ever been.
I have experienced homophobia first hand, we all have. As the obviously gay kid going to Doonside High in the late 80s/early 90s, I received a barrage of hate, violence and homophobia. As a young man I had to leave a job at a video store in Greenacre because of threats against me after it was discovered I was gay.
I have lost count at the amount of times I have been called the “f” or “p” word while just walking down the street.
And now, after my LGBTQI brothers and sisters have been slain because of hatred, I am done with it. I am done with homophobia. And it starts with you.
Ever had your Facebook page open and someone decided to write as your status, “Guess what guys, I’m gay”. Funny right?
How about the meme I’ve seen where a woman sneaks a look into her husband secretly on the computer, the caption reads, “Oh no, he’s been looking up info on the Roosters, he must be gay”. Or there’s the favourite, “Drive a Ford, you must be gay”.
So from this ‘humour’, we can deduce that being gay is bad. Enough. This isn’t about political correctness, this is about people not being homophobic arses. By making your little jokes you are saying that gay people are less than you, you are teaching your children to make jokes about gay people – and guess what they will repeat in the school yard?
Hatred begins at home, fear is taught from any early age. Teach your kids to accept everyone and I promise you, if you say, “That’s so gay”, be prepared to cop an earful from me.
Gay people don’t want anything more than the freedom to be themselves, to love who they choose. Gay men could not donate blood to other gay men in Orlando, I can’t go donate blood tomorrow. We are constantly segregated and it is time to stop. Homophobia needs to stop, as do really bad jokes that even ‘Hey, Hey It’s Saturday’ would have rejected in the 80s!
Remember, it starts with you.