What is happening in our world? What is being done to our world? Hating people is normal? Killing people because they don’t abide to some kind of norm is okay? I am scared. I am afraid. I don’t know what to do but I know, something needs to be done. This can’t go on like this.
When I heard about the shooting in Orlando, it hit me hard. Yet again, innocent lives were lost. Devastated families have to mourn loved ones. Men and women grieve their partners. Maybe it hit me harder than before because it hit closer to home. I am not talking about physical home – Paris, Brussels, Instanbul, etc. are far closer than Orlando – but emotional home, heart home. I am a gender queer lesbian and it took me a long time to come to terms with that. But now I have accepted who I am and try really hard to be proud of me, of who I am.
To find out there is somebody who shot 49 people just because they were queer was hard. But to find out that most of my friends didn’t even care, was even harder. Last Sunday I reached out to some of my queer friends to ask how they were doing and if they were okay. Turned out they were and I was the only one that was crying and confused and miserable. One of my friends said: “What can you do? People are stupid. There is nothing you can do about that.” Another one stated that we were fortunate to live in the open-minded country that we do and that we would have nothing to worry about as long as we kept our mouths shut (oh, the irony). I got the overall feeling of “I don’t care as long as it doesn’t effect me”. This carelessness made me sob. How could the situation get any better if we only care about ourselves. This won’t stop random shootings and terror attacks from happening again. If we don’t start caring about each other (again), where will this all end?
I didn’t feel better on Monday. The feeling inside me grew, that I needed to do something. I was reminded of an occation ten years or so ago. I was sitting around the dinner table with my family and my step-dad told me that he pictured a future me on a Greenpeace boat fighting to save the planet. A couple of weeks ago my colleague asked me why I became a vegan. It was because I was lactose-intolerant, right? “No, actually I am vegan to save the earth!” “That’s not a small goal.” “Yeah, I know. But somebody’s gotta do it.”
I need to reach down inside of me again to be that person. It sounds a lot like me. I am going to try to save the planet one tiny step at a time. Do I have any idea how to do it? No, not yet. But there are numerous possibilites. I want to start with not being afraid to tell people who I am. Making people see that diversity is good and not something they need to be afraid of. Only because something is different doesn’t mean it is bad. Homosexuality, religion, physique, race, gender is all part of a person but it doesn’t solemnly define one. We need to focus on what unites us instead of what keeps us apart. Nobody has ever changed the world in playing it safe! I need to do something. I want to fight. For a better world, for a better life, to end hate, to spread love and accpetance!
No, I am not okay…