Monday, 13 June 2016
It was the kiss
On Sunday June 12, 2016 Mateen Omar shot killed 49 people at the gay nightclub Pulse, in Orlando, Florida, U.S.A.
There will be the usual discussion. Was he a Muslim extremist? Was it a terrorist attack? A racist attack? Was he mentally ill? Is it time for sensible U.S. gun regulation once and for all?
Matten’s father had this to say:
“We were in downtown Miami, Bayside, people were playing music. And [Omar] saw two men kissing each other in front of his wife and kid, and he got very angry. They were kissing each other and touching each other, and he said ‘Look at that. In front of my son, they are doing that.’”
We are eager to find a reason for the massacre. That’s only natural. So we look outside ourselves — for something that is not in us, something that is not like us, something that is the ‘other.’ Omar Mateen is a foreign name. So perhaps Omar was not really an American at all. He claimed allegiance with ISIL. And on top of that, he was probably very different from us; he was probably insane.
Don’t you see what’s happening here?
Can you not understand that it in the rush to make this horrid act into something alien, something from outside ourselves, we have ignored the obvious? How many straight men do you know who would find the sight of two men kissing — or (worse yet!) making love — disgusting? And how many straight men might even get angry about it?
You see, the fault is not out there somewhere; it’s in ourselves.
It is gay bodies they hate — gay bodies that yearn for each other, that yearn to touch, that yearn to to have sex. We can pass gay marriage legislation, we can institute transgendered washrooms, LGBT people can fight for the right to adopt children or join the military, they can become the most respectable doctors, lawyers, ministers, policemen, politicians in the world. But don’t you see that none of that ultimately matters?
I’m gay. So I’m going to organize a kiss-in at a straight bar near you. In fact I think I’ll go down to The Fifth Social Club on Richmond Street West with my boyfriend — and sit at a table, and neck. Or maybe I’ll have sex with my latest trick in the washroom of Faces Nightclub. Or I’ll try to pick up some guy at Cabin Five.
Why would I want to do that?
I’ll tell you why.
Because it was the kiss.