Weekend Update 6/18/2016: Compassion, mourning, and an epic vogue battle

Ernesto Vergne prays at a cross honoring his friend Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado and the other victims at a memorial to those killed in the Pulse nightclub mass shooting a few blocks from the club early Friday, June 17, 2016, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Ernesto Vergne prays at a cross honoring his friend Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado and the other victims at a memorial to those killed in the Pulse nightclub mass shooting a few blocks from the club early Friday, June 17, 2016, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

I’m going to be an emotional wreck because of the Orlando shooting for a while. Usually on Saturday I’ll post a few news items that I would have included in Friday Links if I had found them in time along with more commentary than links usually get in the Friday post. Or I post links to stories with new developments related to a story posted previously, also with more commentary.

Most of today’s links are things that made me cry, not because they’re about something awful, but because the story is about something wonderful and loving that people have done in response to something awful. Two of the links were sent to me by one friend. After the second one I replied back, “You keep sharing things that make me cry. Don’t stop.”

What happened when an Orthodox Jewish congregation went to a gay bar to mourn Orlando.

I included this one in yesterday’s post, but it’s worth sharing again to remember that we’re human, and we’re most human when we show each other compassion: Jetblue passengers write letters to Orlando victim’s grandmother.

LGBT community raising millions for Orlando victims.

These Are Some Of The Heroes Of The Orlando Shooting.

Some people are either outright ignoring the fact that this happened in a queer club, on a Saturday night, during Pride month, and otherwise was clearly a hate crime. Many of the jerks trying to further the myth that Islam is attacking America or freedom or whatever. Never mind that of the last thousand or so mass shooting in America, two were committed by muslims, and the other 990-some have been committed by white Christians. Anyway: The Other Group Mourning The Orlando Massacre: LGBT Muslims.

Gay rabbi: We can all mourn Orlando, but this was terrorism against gay people.

Orlando shooting prompts outpouring of blood donations. It’s a good thing all these straight people feel such compassion, seeing how gay men are banned for donating blood. Some pedants point out that technically gay men are allowed to donate blood if they swear they haven’t had sex for an entire year, but as one of my local TV stations reported, Some Seattle blood banks still ban all gay men from donating even if they meet the no-sex in 12 months criteria. I bring this up because the vast majority of medical experts agree that the 12-month rule is ridiculous. Straight people can (and do, lots more than you think) carry the virus that causes AIDS, and no one has suggested a 12-month ban on them. Also, a lot of bi people are closeted, and some so closeted that they would never admit it even in a confidential medical situation, so they’re not going to say. And all blood donated is screened precisely because people may not know that they’ve been infected or may lie about their sexual activity for the reasons stated above.

Enough about that. Another of the “it’s not a hate crime” craziness has been a claim that it can’t be a hate crime because maybe the shooter was a closeted gay man. First, if you don’t understand that a society in which the phrase “closeted gay man” describes a real phenomenon, then nearly all queer people live with a lot of internalized homophobia because of societal pressure, you’re really in a deep state of denial. Also: FBI ‘Increasingly Skeptical’ That Orlando Shooter Was Gay and Closeted.

The case that he was a closeted gay man was built on the fact that he had a user profile on at least one gay hookup app, and reportedly had been seen in the club previously, angrily drinking alone and sometimes becoming belligerent. Oh, and one old college classmate thinks he might have been gay and might have hit on him once. We already know that at least one of the conversations that shooter had on the hookup app with a local gay man consisted of the shooter asking, repeatedly, “what are the most popular gay clubs” and “where could I find the biggest crowds of gay people?” This would hardly be the first time that someone planning an anti-gay hate crime used a hookup app or online gay chat services to scout out potential victims. Or hung out at gay clubs to get the lay of the land. And the old classmate? Please! Both gay and straight men misread signals all the time.

But, we need to end this on a high note, so: Orlando Shooting Vigil In London Turns Into Epic Vogue Battle.

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About fontfolly

I've loved reading for as long as I can remember. I write fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and nonfiction. I publish an anthropomorphic sci-fi/space opera literary fanzine. I attend and work on the staff for several anthropormorphics, anime, and science fiction conventions. I live in Seattle with my wonderful husband, still completely amazed that he puts up with me at all.

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  1. Friday Links (Pride Weekend 2016!) | Font Folly - June 24, 2016

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