In Response To Orlando

Pride, a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s achievements, the achievements of one’s close associated, or from qualities or possession that are widely admired.

Unconditional, not subject to any conditions.

Love, a strong feeling of affection.

I am fiercely supportive of those who need support. There's nothing that can solidify unconditional love, other than the person offering it. No title of ‘mother’ ‘brother’ ‘sister’ or ‘friend’ will mean that someone will love you unconditionally. People will turn on you and chuck you out as and when they wish, even if you share a bond of blood or years. Obligations aren’t a true foundation for acceptance, utterances like ‘i’ll always love you because you’re my daughter’ and ‘you’re my best friend, I have to love you’ mean nothing in the face of immediate judgment when you decide to embrace your identity.

So many people look toward religion, society and ‘the norm’ to justify the ingrained oppressive values they harbour due to years of hatred. They explain away bigoted thoughts with phrases like ‘it’s just the way I was raised’ or ‘the [insert holy scripture] says!!’ or ‘f**k you [insert slur].' But really it’s just laziness and an inability to change. It’s an indifference to the pain they’re causing by not checking their own privilege. It’s an inability to study their own opinions and wonder why so many people have a problem with it. It’s the niggling feeling in the back of their minds that tells them they should probably think about reevaluating their beliefs if violence is the only defence mechanism they can think of.

What happened in Orlando was HOMOPHOBIA, it wasn't an attack on humanity, it wasn't a religiously fuelled attack. It was someone disgusted that people could love each other in a way that he couldn’t process or understand.

However, just because the attack was on queer people, it does not mean it’s only the job of queer people to rally and fight up. Queer folks have the right to grieve, be scared, be hollow and process the horrific attack on their safe spaces. Now the rest of the world must rally and show the community they care. The rest of the world must talk about it, must raise their voices and shout outrage; they must not rest until gun control laws are updated and they must reassure the queer community that love is still present.

Unconditional love isn’t a phrase; it’s an action. So act.

By Krishanthi Jeyakumar, she/her, @krishithink