Thursday, June 16, 2016

Haute Tension, Paris, Photo G. Koskovich
Haute Tension, Paris
Around the world, gay bars have always been special places for LGBT people.
They’ve been the place we’ve found a community for the first time in our lives that understands us, as well as the first place we’ve kissed and loved someone for the first time in our lives publicly.
And most incredibly, they’ve been the place where so many of us began to love ourselves for the first time in our lives and how to not let the self-hate that we’ve all battled growing up in a world that doesn’t celebrate who here continue to cling to us, and even destroy us [sic], like water to a napkin.
However due to this, our bars have also become sites of extreme violence for decades like the churches or mosques in Charleston and Kansas City that have faced their own violence due to being places in which black people or Muslim people can come together and love themselves.
Places like New Orleans’ Upstairs lounge in 1973 when an arsonist set fire and killed 32 people; or Otherside Lounge, an Atlanta lesbian bar, that was bombed in 1997; or bars like Neighbors nightclub that Musab Mohammed Masamari set fire to while over 200 people danced as the clock struck midnight on January 1 2013 stating earlier to a confidante that his reason was because LGBT people “should be exterminated.”
And now Pulse nightclub is not only added to this list of sites that served for many of us as a church, but it’s also the site of the most tragic act of terrorism on American soil since the attack on the World Trade Centers on September 11, 2001.
All because of hate and most likely the self-hate from those of us who couldn’t find the love they sought in the nightclubs.
Reports are emerging that Omar Mateen was gay or engaging in same-sex relations with others. Some are saying that he had attended the nightclub before on other nights, even wrapping his hands around men. That he was on hook-up apps talking to people he sought to explore the love he seemingly hated. And they are feeling that what led to Sunday’s tragedy was what we all know too well: self-hate.
And this narrative, while the worst our country has seen, is not new—rather it’s a well traveled path that many of us have seen too often.
Source: OUT, Self-Hate is a Great Tragedy, We Must Continue to Love, Zach Stafford, June 16, 2016 (Read more...)

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