You Lied to Us
By Phoenix Calida (June 15, 2016)
Final thoughts on the Pulse shooting-
Something has been bothering me, and I couldn’t land on it until just now.
I realize it was the lie. That’s what’s hurting the most right now.
The lie from the bigots in their own closet. The bigots who are out. The bigots who pretended they weren’t bigots at all.
all of you lied to all of us.
The loud church goers that threaten hell.
The people who stare on the streets when we hold hands.
The people who laugh when we’re called names.
The ones who stand on the floor of government buildings screaming about freedom of religion while pushing ideas to make us subhuman.
The ones who won’t make us wedding cakes or dj our events.
The ones who call child services when we adopt because we are a “danger to children”
The ones who threaten to shoot us if we’re in the wrong bathroom.
The ones who dead name.
The ones who spit on us in the streets.
The ones who won’t hire us.
The one who secretly fantasize about us, but beat us as punishment for their sins.
The ones who call us slurs and try to make us cry.
The ones who threaten rape to correct our behavior.
The ones who call us unnatural abominations.
The ones who leave their own children on the streets for being born this way.
The ones who swear we choose this life for attention.
The ones who don’t understand why we can’t just hide it.
The ones who think we need be locked away because it’s a mental illness.
The ones who think we have an agenda to convert the youth.
The ones who think they can beat and pray the gay away.
The ones who love to remind us we’ll never pass.
The ones who “have gay friends” but don’t support gay rights.
The ones who say “keep it away from me”
You f*cking lied to me. To us.
Because we did keep it away. We kept in a dimly lit club, away from your sensitive eyes. We pay to hold hands and kiss on dance floors inside buildings where we won’t be seen. We sing with our friends under flashing lights that obscure clear vision. We create relationships in secret. In the dark. In a club designated for freaks like us. In a designated safe space where we could just live, and you didn’t have to look at us and be disgusted.
From the outside, you couldn’t see what we are doing.
We did as we were told.
We kept it away from you.
But you murdered us anyway.
You never meant what you said. You don’t want us to merely “keep it away” from you. This isn’t about your physical proximity to women kissing or men holding hands. When you said “keep it away from us” you didn’t mean act straight while on the bus with you, you meant keep it in another realm of existence.
“Keep it away from us” means we aren’t entitled to share the same planet with you. I know that now, but saying “I just don’t wanna see a bunch of queers” doesn’t fully encompass your vitriol. I didn’t fully understand that a few days ago.
We hid in a dark club because of you, because you said that was enough. And you lied. Being in the dark wasn’t enough. Because a club isn’t as dark as a morgue. Or a coffin. Or a freshly dug grave.
And there’s where you’ve wanted us all along.