Phobicness (#Orlando)

My 2016 campaign will focus on eradicating the suffix “-phobia” from the language of our polity.

“Homophobia” and “transphobia” inadequately characterize the lethal hate our LGBTQ friends and family experience daily. We are anti-LGBTQ. Anti-trans. Anti-woman. Anti-child. Anti-black. We are not phobic. 

I have a phobia. It makes me scared while going along with apparently fun high-up enjoyments such as sitting in a stadium, riding a roller coaster, motoring around the Alps, white scarf aflutter, and drinking cocktails on a Brooklyn roof in July. 

My irrational anxiety about perching higher than evolution intended (I’m neither a leopard nor a sloth, not even in spirit) does not make me legislate rules keeping people off of roller coasters. It does not make me fabricate religious justification that cloaks my heights-avoidant neurosis in sham moralism. 

It does make me hand off certain heights-required tasks to non-phobic companions. But it doesn’t make me slaughter 49 people with a military weapon at the only place they feel safely and fully themselves.

 Irrational fear does not impel slaughter. 

A culture defining masculinity as dominance buttressed by firepower impels slaughter. 

A culture that fails to name domestic violence as terrorism impels slaughter. 

A culture that equates gayness with weakness, femininity and castration impels slaughter. 

These are decisions we make together. These decisions are not based on irrational fears. We decide to treat LGBTQ people, disabled people, women, and children as second class. Third class if they are people of color. We sell military weapons to people we’ve told are fully entitled to the minds and bodies of others. Then we blame another culture when the inevitable result of all our decisions turn out worse than we expected. 

We are not “afraid” of LGBTQ people. We actively constructed a society that deprives them of human dignity. We handed assault rifles to people who believed us when we said that str8t is gr8t. And then we blame “radical Islam” and “mental illness” for these decisions that we made together, thus relieving ourselves of the moral obligation to confront our actions. 

We call “senseless” a massacre that makes perfect sense, given the logics of supremacy undergirding our society from its founding. 

We made Orlando. 

I am Americaphobic. 

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6 thoughts on “Phobicness (#Orlando)

  1. Thank you for this empowering, poignant – not to mention brave – post! As seen through the events of the last week, using your voice to speak up about discrimination against members of the LGBT community is extremely important.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings so inspirationally!

    It would mean so much to me if you could spare a few minutes of your time to read my most recent post on the events in Orlando and provide feedback – https://ohitsonlysteven.wordpress.com/2016/06/14/the-recent-events-in-orlando/

  2. […] lawmakers to confirm the most racist, sexist, anti-queer, anti-love, anti-truth, anti-science cabinet […]

  3. […] The last time we had the biggest-ever mass shooting, I wrote this argument that “phobia” is the exact wrong word to describe the decisions our societ…. […]

  4. […] I know gender fluid children and transgender adults. I know gay parents. I know bisexual people. Such people, my friends, exist. But published references to their existence are considered (by editors, say, or readers) as partisan. And if partisan, then less true. My friends are less real. […]

  5. […] The legacies of white supremacy have resulted in men of color experiencing a similar anvil. Race theory has coined “microagressions” to describe the daily barrage of mini-dehumanizations that keep disempowered people out of power. Perhaps #metoo, if it effects widespread structural change, may result in a comparable change for people of color and LGBTQ friends. […]

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