26 Things Queer People Actually Want To Hear After Orlando
"I grieve with you, care for you and want you to know that you are not alone."
1. Assure us that we're safe with you.
"My mom cried with me and listened to my fears and assured me I was safe and that our home was a safe haven for me. I think people really need to ask their LGBT friends how they are, listen to them. Ask them if there's anything you can do and try to make a safe space for them to tell you their fears."
—Mello Abby Marvin, Facebook
2. Just tell us that you love us.
3. Message us on Facebook and tell us you're grieving with us.
"My teacher from high school sent me a message on Facebook and part of it read, 'I grieve with you, care for you and want you to know that you are not alone.' Of course, I wish more people were more affirming and understanding at this time, but receiving that message from a teacher in conservative rural Kentucky meant so much to me."
—Leah Beth Dublin, Facebook
4. "Tell us you’ll educate your children no matter your beliefs. We all know it was because of homophobia, but we can prevent it."
5. Don't try to convince us that this is about "Islamic terrorism."
"Don't tell me everything is fine, don't go trying to convince me that because the shooter was affiliated with ISIS, it makes this any less of a hate crime towards the gay community. Don't embrace the term 'islamic terrorism.' People associated with ISIS are as far from being Muslim that one can be. Honestly with everything going on, I wish we would focus on making Muslims in this country feel less alienated and under attack.
Everyone please try your hardest to do what is in your abilities to promote anti-violence and tolerance for those different than yourself."
6. "I want every ally to tell me 'I contacted my elected representatives about gun control.'"
7. Send us a text that says "I love you."
"My dad texted me a simple, 'I love you, honey.' It both warmed and broke my heart.
Remind your LGBTQIA friends that they are worthy, that you recognize this isn't just another mass shooting but a massive hate crime, and that you support them."
—Molly Jane Sisson, Facebook
8. Promise us that you'll speak up against homophobia and transphobia.
"I NEED straight allies to promise they will stamp out and invalidate whatever homophobia or transphobia they encounter. They need to know their silence only validates people's homophobia and you never know when that can turn violent. We can all stop violence against marginalized groups by stopping it at the source at every single instance."
—Cody Sanders, Facebook
9. Reach out to let us know we deserve your support.
"I had many co-workers and friends reach out to me and that was amazing — that was it — for them to understand that although I myself was not directly involved or directly impacted, that being a member of the community that was targeted, I deserved their support. It meant everything."
—Aidan Prince, Facebook
10. Tell us you have our backs.
"I wish people would tell me that I was protected. I deal with bullying and discrimination on top of being bi, so a new door to abuse is something I can't deal with. It's never been truly accepted that I'm bi, so knowing someone has my back when things like this are happening really means a lot."
—Mallory Mason, Facebook
11. Let us know that even though you can't find the words, you're thinking of us.
12. "I want to hear that it is okay to feel for my brothers and sisters who were killed, that being bi doesn't make me half part of the community."
—Ariel Silberman, Facebook
13. "Admit that you don’t fully understand how painful this is for the queer community."
"But don't invalidate our identities or feelings in the process."
14. Don't pressure us to have a certain reaction.
"I want allies to understand that this is affecting me differently than it's affecting them. I've been staying with my parents recently and they haven't addressed it at all. They're pressuring me to go to vigils and stuff, but haven't ever asked me how I feel about it.
I also want allies to understand what it's like to have to come out multiple times. So many of my friends think that once I'm out to my family and friends, I'm out. I don't have to hide anymore. They don't understand that I have to come out again every time I start a new job or meet someone new. And just having them ask if they can help with that or acknowledging that that will be hard for me would be nice."
15. Tell us that you're horrified, too.
16. Acknowledge that you might not have checked in in a timely way but now that you are, we are loved.
"So my best friend sent me this and it was great:
'Hey it just dawned on me I never said this.
I'm so sorry for what you and your community are going through today and everyday. I just wanted to remind you that you are loved. Happy Pride week.'"
17. Ask us if we feel safe and tell us we belong here.
"I want more than to hear the vague platitude that you're praying over the tragedy. I want to be asked if I feel safe. I want to be asked what it feels like when protestors tell you at Pride that 'fags should be smitten' and then a terrorist hate crime targets a gay club on a celebratory Saturday night. I want to be told that every measure is being taken to prevent this tragedy in the future. I want to be told that LGBT citizens belong in your homes, bathrooms, and in our elected positions."
18. Offer to go to Pride with us.
"One of my best (straight) friends offered to go to Pride with me. Even though I can't actually go because my mom is too scared to let me, the gesture meant so much to me."
19. That you know this was an attack on LGBTQ people during Pride month on Latinx night, and on our safe spaces, and that you'll try to be a better ally.
20. That you'll actually help us effect change.
"I don't want their Facebook photo filter, I don't want their 'love wins' tweets. I want them to act, because they have the power to act. They can help us effect change. I don't want their empty words: I want their actions. That is what allies are for."
21. "I want to hear that this isn’t something that they’re just going to forget about in a month."
"Because for us, we don't have the luxury to forget."
22. Ask us what you can do to make us feel safe and loved. And extend your support to Muslims.
23. That you won't use this tragedy to be Islamophobic.
"I want to hear solidarity and unity and discussion about why we have so much societally reinforced and institutionalized homophobia and hatred. Let's have that discussion on how to change and fix these things; I don't want to hear Islamophobia, I don't want to hear talk about guns, and I don't want to hear that this was an attack on 'America.' First and foremost this was an attack on our safe spaces, respect the lives of the beautiful people lost, respect our community and do not hijack our tragedy for your own political agendas."
24. Tell us that you're going to stand by us to fight injustice.
"I wish allies would tell us that they know how fucked up all of this is and that it is just as wrong as any other mass killing. That they understand why we fear for our lives and why its so hard to come out even to a complete stranger. I wish they would say that all of this is going to get better and stop happening with 100% certainty. I wish they would say we are all here together to fight this in justice and no matter what we are beside you through thick and thin."