The Orlando Pulse Nightclub Massacre has rocked much of the world. It killed and injured in excess of 100 members of the LGBTIQ community and their loved ones. Many of us feel helpless to make a real difference especially those of us who are not locally or financially able to support. In the wake of this tragedy what can you do to make an actual difference that will have an outcome for the LGBTIQ community from individuals to world wide? This is meant for members of the LGBTIQ community, our straight allies and those who until now have been less than supportive of the LGBTIQ community. It is time to stand up and too late not to. This is the only way lives will be saved.
It may seem like an overwhelming task for an overwhelming problem however you can make a difference today which can and will touch lives. Mourning the deaths and lives changed for ever is an important part of healing for everyone touched by this horror. However the world must change because as has been reported many times, this event didn’t start with a lone gunman making a sole decision to kill dozens. This event started by a culture allowing homophobia and discrimination against the LGBTIQ community. The answer to what can be done? A range of behaviours one at a time to chip away at this culture.
Doing something positive will make you feel more useful to the LGBTIQ community and it will bring change at the core of the problem i.e. homophobia.
- Commit to never again tell a joke about gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender people or intersex people
- Commit to never again laugh at ones of these jokes and take it one step further – speak up and ask the person telling the joke to stop and why
- Commit to never again use the word ‘gay’ to negatively describe a person, behaviour or object
- Commit to tell someone who uses the word ‘gay’ in this manner to find another word
- Stop listening to music that uses homophobic slurs
- Act to support policy change that promotes equality for the LGBTIQ community not only marriage equality
- Commit to discussing these issues with your friends and family; don’t allow these topic to remain taboo
- Teach your children to do each of the steps above
- Stop thinking someone else will do this and you don’t need to act
- Don’t ever stop
There will be a multiplying effect if you take these steps. Show people that you never want to mourn such a tragedy again. Show that you know stopping it lies with every individual changing the culture around them. It doesn’t matter if your actions change the world for one person or many. This is the only way to bring about sustainable change.