Orlando

Posted: June 13, 2016 in Uncategorized
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You know what happened.

You know who did it.

And, although an official conclusion hasn’t been reached, you know why.

Hate.

The shooter hated LGBT people, and thought they deserved to die. And so do thousands of commenters in America, including many people in positions of power and authority. These people think that twenty-year-old men and women deserve to be murdered during a celebration, because they are queer.

And as much as I know that there are many thousands of American who think the exact opposite, and condemn this horrific violence, I’m afraid.

I’m scared.

I intended to go to the US for LGBT fiction conventions twice next year. Both are in Florida. I already rarely get to go through an airport anymore without being taken to the little white room for security to check why the body scanners are picking up something in my crotch area that shouldn’t be there. My title in public appears to be ‘er’ because nobody is sure if I’m a man or a woman. Judging by the chin fluff, by the time these conventions roll around I will have facial hair, and be carrying ID that says I’m female.

And I’m scared to go.

I’m scared to go to a country where we speak the same language. Where our governments both boast about our good human rights records. Where I can wear men’s jeans and t-shirts if I want. Where I can attend pride festivals, and wear my asexuality rings. A country that for years had a ‘special relationship’ with mine, a country which houses all the publishers I ever worked with, a country that is home to some of my oldest and dearest friends.

A country where I can be shot for being transgender.

Where there is a legal defense for murdering me.

Where death threats are issued by politicians against me.

Where companies are bombed for saying they don’t hate me.

But here’s the thing. I’m going to go anyway. Because the point of bombing bathrooms and shooting up clubs is fear. Those that hate us, they want us to be afraid. They want us to disappear back into our closets and cease to exist. They want us to go away.

Never give your enemy what he wants.

I will come to the USA next year. I will walk into a country whose transgender community is under violent attack, and I will be petrified the whole time. But I’ll do it.

Because we can’t let hate win.

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