I have been, rather quietly, fuming in my little corner over recent developments on this sunny island and thought I was doing a pretty good job holding my peace in a semi-public space. Until the reactions to the Orlando shooting came in, and by golly, to stay silent is to be complicit.
What happened in Orlando was an outrage – it was a hate crime committed by the deranged, seeking to eradicate the presence of a community of people. A gay club – a club for a group of people who are already dealing with ostracisation, condemnation and judgement everywhere else to find solace and company, to party and to have fun, and for some, to forget and ignore.
To have people, people who claim to be disciples of the Holy Book, come out in the aftermath to proclaim that Pulse was a cavern of sin, and that this was “rightful cleansing”, that this was “God’s judgement”, and that the gay community “brought this upon themselves” more than sickens me – it enrages, it incenses. To have those who pronouce their sympathies with the victims and their families on one hand, and turn around simultaneously almost-gloat that this incident would teach the gay community to flaunt and perpetuate their sexuality so openly – the hypocrisy grates.
Are you even Christians? Why are you warping the faith, why are you warping MY faith? (I have a full string of curses here, but I am conservative enough to feel a twinge writing f*** you in the same sentence as God.) Christ asks for introspection, that we look first to our sins (seriously, read this; it’s more eloquent than I can be). Do you not look within yourself and know, with shame, that you are worse than the Pharisees and you have forgotten the key commandment Christ has dictated? That to above all, love God, and love one another?
In my mind, this lobby that has sought to eradicate the presence of the LGBT community in public life is only marginally better than the Orlando gunman. The latter took it to the extremes, but this lobby is seeking the same thing: erasure of the existence of an entire group of people. They are not seriously afraid that the gay community will corrupt their precious families – they are much too arrogant to believe that any one of their own can possibly be gay; they are just spitefully seeking to eliminate, to deny, to wipe out another group of people whose philosophies differ from theirs.
It’s cultural genocide.
Yet our current government policies are supporting this corner! Why in the name of all that is Holy are we even taking a side?! Did we seriously respond to complaints about one, ONE, bloody kissing scene between two men that is taken completely out of context – in the same musical that also featured prominently lewd acts in a scene about prostitution?
In demanding that a single scene be removed and the organisers be penalised for the comfort of this myopic and tyrannical lobby, we are effectively saying: yes, the gay community should not be seen in the mainstream and certainly not in public. Well and good that they can show up in pink in the park – at least they are contained and kept separate (and even then, we have some issues with that). They do not, cannot, exist outside of that park. We invalidate the existence of an entire community of people.
On a (only slightly) lesser note, in every statement that has come from any public official about Orlando thus far, there has been no mention that the victims were targetted because they were gay. That Pulse was a gay club. In stripping all mentions of that community, we complete what the gunman wanted: we kill the victims twice over.
We take comfort that we have actual functioning anti-weapon/anti-gun laws here in Singapore, such that the tragedy that is Orlando will not happen here. But make no mistake: we have the same massacres here, the same blind killing sprees – just that ours are invisible, insidious, and no less tragic and damaging.