Saying that the Orlando shooting is an attack on America feels like saying that an attack on tribal lands is an attack on America. This is a group of people that have been continually attacked by American policy and culture from day one, and those of us who are not part of the LGBTQ community do not have the right to claim their pain as our own. It has been less than a year since the right to marry was granted by the Supreme Court, for fuck’s sake, and in a majority of the country it’s legal to fire someone for their gender identity.
Empathy is great. It’s a huge part of who we are as a species, but pretending that someone else’s pain and grief are your own is not empathy. That’s going to a stranger’s funeral and shouting down the bereaved by saying you’re in more pain than them.
I may have more to say on this later in the week, but for the time being, I just wanted to tell my fellow people outside the LGBTQ community – when you do this, you’re basically saying that anybody who’s not heterosexual and cisgender belongs to you, and only you get to decide what to do with them. Fuck that. Don’t do that.