10/24/16

A video about mass shootings & voting

Note: This was written during the time the Orlando Shooting occurred. I wasn't comfortable enough to post it then, however, I'm ready to post it now after doing a lot of thinking (and trying to clean up my drafts folder.)

Content warning: death, mass shootings, guns


When I heard about the Orlando shooting I was scared, sad, and angry. Scared because it affects me on a personal level as a queer person of color. Sad that the shooter thought that this was even okay in the first place. And angry that the society we live in is still for LGBTQIA+ discrimination, from bills that dictate where a trans* person could go to the bathroom to the fact that people could be fired all because of their sexual orientation. As the video says, we're not going to help anything if all we do is change our fucking profile picture on Facebook for a day or two. Yes, that shows "support", but what use is that support if you continually practice LGBTQIA+ discrimination yourself. Whether it's intentionally misgendering someone; refusing to see someone's relationship as valid because you only believe in heterosexuality; believing that a person could only be straight or gay and can't be anything in between; intentionally harass someone because they don't fit your view of what a "normal" male or female is supposed to be; complain about why isn't there straight pride and then using the excuse, "sorry, I didn't mean it like that. I know people who are gay/part of the LGBTQIA+ spectrum." when people confront you about it; and more.
Actual support consists of really learning about the discrimination LGBTQIA+ people face; actually try to not discriminate against people because of their sexuality and gender expression; sincerely apologizing if you do make a mistake, learn why it's a mistake, and then try to not repeat said mistake in the future; signing petitions that attempt to stop discrimination on a bigger systematic level; telling your local representatives to take action on behalf of the people to stop the discrimination; going to vigils; donating and/or helping out groups that actively try to stop the discrimination, and more.
When I saw the Dalai Lama speak live on my college campus, one of the important messages he gave was that if we wanted to see a more peaceful, happy society, then we need to actively take action, not passively pray about it or to talk about it on social media or in real life with no intention of actually doing something about it. And one of the best ways to do that is to register to vote and to actually vote on November 8, 2016. Sure, we may have a small voice when it comes to the federal government but our voice is big when it comes to local, state government.
Vote for people who you want to best represent your district and state. After all, the people in congress are supposed to represent the American people, and that's hard to do if some of them aren't willing to be more open-minded. Also, vote for people who genuinely care about the people they're representing, and who aren't going to turn on the people just to get more power, money, or because their party told them to. So VOTE. And don't forget to tell others to vote.

Some links to help you get more involved with the social justice movement:
The Human Rights campaign 
DoSomething.org

Voting info:
Voting registration dates (the whole site is pretty useful in general because it has other kinds of voting info like state requirements, voting methods, who to contact if you need help with voting, etc.)
Registering to vote

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