Dominick Pupa: Don’t Tell Gay People How To Mourn

Written and posted by Dominick Pupa:

Us gays.
We make you look prettier.
We dress you for your important occasions.
We polish up your neighborhoods until we get priced out of them.
We plan and attend your weddings even though you take vows to an entity that hates us.
We are involved in every movie you see.
We are involved in every TV show you watch.
We are involved in every song you listen to – even the homophobic ones.
We teach your children without having to tell you it’s us.
We protect your communities without having to tell you it’s us.
We nurse you back to health without having to tell you it’s us.
We clean your gutters, paint your houses and mow your lawns without having to tell you it’s us.
We fix your pipes without having to tell you it’s us, even though you let us know what bathroom we can use.
We govern your citizens – sometimes openly, sometimes only until we’re involved in a scandal after years of spewing homophobic rhetoric.
We are on every, single one of the sports teams you root for, but are usually hesitant to say we’re there because we don’t want shit thrown at us on the playing field.
We are at the root of every cue you take in life – even those of you who wish us dead.
We fight and die on your battlefields without letting you know it’s us – and until recently, we weren’t even allowed to let you know.
We got rid of DOMA.
We won the right to marry, which was already guaranteed to us, but we just had to work harder than you.
And now, as though we don’t have enough on our plate, we will absolutely be the ones to fix up your abhorrent fucking gun laws.
Watch it happen, and marvel.
Because that’s what we do.
We clean up your messes.
Without the guarantee of safety and respect in return.
Can you imagine doing ALL of that work without DECENCY as a reward?
So don’t tell me I have to view #PulseOrlando as an attack on America instead of an attack on gay people.
Because we’re not Americans when you call us faggots, we’re not Americans when you legally fire us, we’re not Americans when you kill trans people, we’re not Americans when you deny us adoption rights, we’re not Americans when you say nasty shit to us when we’re holding hands on the street (and yeah, we do hear you) we’re not Americans when you deny us marriage licenses or a simple wedding cake with our names on it.
In all of those circumstances we’re just gay people, and being an American doesn’t matter.
So, out of respect for everyone who fought and died before me, I’m going to take a few days to mourn as a gay man before I mourn as an American.
And then after that, you can resume telling me I have to be at war with people I don’t know, even though I’ve been at war with my own countrymen my entire fucking life.
Be happy you’re at war with ISIS. Because you would lose a war against us.
Oh, and you’re welcome in advance for the gun thing. Like always.

The Liberal Redneck Gets Serious On Orlando Shooting

I’ve run several pieces by the usually hilarious Liberal Redneck. But this time, LB gets serious on the subject of the Orlando nightclub shooting.

From the New York Daily News:

There’s no joke to be told here for Daily News Hillbilly-in-Chief Trae Crowder following the massacre in Orlando. In an impassioned and powerful appeal to stop the “archaic lunacy” of religious and gun fanaticism, Crowder breaks it down to its most granular level on whether you’re on the side of love or hate.

“Saying that gay people shouldn’t be allowed to get married or be parents is not the same as murdering them, OK? Clearly. But that is where this road leads. This is what happens when zealous hate masquerading as faith is allowed to go unchecked.”

Imminently watchable.

New Jersey 101.5’s Joe Votruba On The Orlando Nightclub Shooting

New Jersey 101.5’s Joe Votruba talks to Jeff Deminski about how it felt reading the news about the deadly Orlando shooting as an openly gay man.

Votruba also penned an essay for the station’s website, which reads in part:

It’s easier to be gay in America in 2016 than at any point in history. Slowly but surely, homophobia and bigotry against the LGBTQ community are being silenced by pride, love and support. That being said, it’s still not enough.

Sunday was a very difficult day. Before the death count in the Orlando massacre was final, it was being politicized from both sides of the aisle. This is how these tragedies get forgotten.

When it finally hit me that not only were 49 of my fellow Americans gunned down in an act of terror, but were also targeted for being members or allies of the LGBTQ community, all I could do for most of the day was sit and reflect in silence. I spent most of that windy day on my back deck thinking about how it it could have been Georgies or Paradise in Asbury Park, or the Stonewall Inn in New York City.

Word was going around about several vigils taking place at various gay bars in New Jersey that night, so I made my way down to Georgies in Asbury Park to pay my respects. There were so many tears and prayers, and it is truly an experience I will remember for the rest of my life.

Dan Savage: “Donald Trump Is The Enemy Of The LGBT Community”

During an appearance on MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes last night, LGBT activist/columnist Dan Savage was asked about GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s claim that he is an ally of the LGBT community:

“We’re not going to fall for it. And you can’t draw a clean line between the LGBT community and the Muslim community because there are LGBT Muslims in the United States and all over the world. Muslims are a part of the LGBT community, not distinct from it.

“LGBT people come from all races, all faiths, all ethnic backgrounds, all classes. And Donald Trump attempting to pit the queer community against the Muslim community is not going to fly. We don’t believe him.

“Donald Trump has pledged to undo marriage equality. Donald Trump is the enemy of the LGBT community just as he is the enemy of the Muslim community. And beating up on what is, in the United States, a vulnerable minority group isn’t the way that you impress other members of other vulnerable minority groups to win their support.”

Savage also weighed in on the possibility that the Orlando shooter might have been gay:

“Self-loathing violent closet case and radicalized religious extremist are not mutually exclusive categories. There are a lot of self-loathing queer people out there. Most of them are self-loathing because of religion, because of the zap religion put on their heads. So he could be both of those things.”

Sen. Pete Sessions: It Isn’t A Gay Nightclub, It’s A “Young Person’s Club”

This is embarrassing.

Apparently, Texas Republican Rep. Pete Sessions attempted to redefine gay Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, where the deadliest shooting tragedy in the history of the country occurred, as not a gay club but as a “young person’s club.”

From Talking Points Memo:

Pulse describes itself as “the hottest gay bar in Orlando” on its website and while the shooter’s precise motive is not yet known, a number of the victims were part of the LGBT community.

Early Sunday, 29 year-old Omar Mateen opened fire at Pulse, which was hosting a Latin night, and killed 49 people before ultimately being shot and killed by officers who stormed the scene to rescue hostages he’d taken.

Here’s what Sessions told National Journal reporter Daniel Newhauser when asked whether the shooting changed his position on a measure that would ban federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT individuals:

Sessions’ communications director, Caroline Boothe, told TPM that Newhauser’s quotes were correct but “taken out of context without the background information.”

“What my boss meant to say was that there weren’t only gay individuals at the club but people from all walks of life were present,” Boothe said.

She added that “at the end of the day we’re all Americans” and said Sessions’ heart grieved for everyone.

Wife Of Orlando Shooter Admits To Driving Him To Nightclub, Could Face Criminal Charges

Noor Salman, the second wife of Orlando shooter Omar Mateen, may be facing criminal charges after she admitted to driving him to the nightclub on an earlier occasion but talked him out of an attack at that time.

From NBC News:

Several officials familiar with what she has told the FBI said she was with him when he bought ammunition and a holster. She also once drove him to the nightclub because he wanted to see it in advance, the officials said.

Mateen shot and killed 49 people at the club and injured another 53.

Law enforcement officials said authorities are considering filing criminal charges against Salman for failing to tell them what she knew before the attack, but no decision has been made.

Several officials said she is cooperating with the investigation.

Orlando Shooting Through One Survivor’s Eyes

Pulse Nightclub shooting victim Angel Colon recounts what happened during the deadly shooting this past Sunday night via CNN.

Colon was initially shot three times in an early wave of gun fire. His legs were broken in a stampede trying to exit the club. The  shooter later came back to fire two more shots into Colon as he lay on the floor.

Colon said that Mateen was shooting at dead bodies to “make sure they were dead.”

“He didn’t say anything. He was just shooting. . . . He came in with the intent of evil,” McCoy said in an interview with The Washington Post. “It was him trying to kill every single person in that club.”

More from survivors of the shooting here and here.

Thousands Stand In Silence As Bells Toll 49 Times For Orlando Shooting Victims

From the Orlando Sentinel:

A massive two-hour vigil for the victims of the Pulse Orlando nightclub shootings Monday evening spilled over the lawn of the Plaza at the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center near City Hall, as thousands gathered to cry, embrace, remember and cheer.

“This is my therapy for the day,” said Jimbo Wood, 27, who lost several friends in the Pulse Orlando shootings and came to pass out white candles to the crowd. “I didn’t want to just sit at home and mope. To have busy hands has helped.”

Others passed out water. Some brought flowers. A group of gay men in nun’s habits from the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence – the charity that grew out of the AIDS epidemic – came to reunite and bring comfort.

As the names of the victims were read, an otherwise noisy crowd fell quiet, with the muffled sobs of survivors.

“Hearing these names echo off these buildings, it’s hitting me even harder today,” Nadine Smith of Equality Florida, which had organized the vigil, said afterward. “I find myself awash in anger, sadness – and also in pride.”