|Was Omar Mateen, responsible for the Orlando|
nightclub massacre, secretlu a self-loathing gay man?
Turns out it's possible that Omar Mateen, that mass murderer, who targeted members of the LGBT community at Orlando's Pulse nightclub, could have been a self-loathing gay man.
This is all speculation, of course. In the days after these all-too common mass shootings, rumors and false impressions swirl like ugly soot from a wildfire.
But if Mateeen was secretly gay, the Orlando shooting is an extreme manifestation of what happens when society, or religion, or your parents tell you that being gay is evil, and yet you are gay.
I confess my gaydar went off when I first saw photos of the evil Mateen. The way he posed with his head tilted just so in some of his selfies, the way his features set in his face, made me somehow suspect it.
We first heard Sunday that Mateen's father his son't terrible violence was triggered when he saw two men kissing a couple months back, which totally angered Mateen.
Now we learn, according to some published reports anyway, that Mateen had been seen in Pulse occasionally for the past three years.
He'd get very drunk and often was kicked out because of it.
Reports said he also communicated with at least one man through a gay dating app.
The Daily Beast reported that Mateen was once friends with a drag queen and several gay people.
None of this proves Mateen was gay, of course, but this does represent some circumstantial evidence.
There were apparently a lot of motivations behind Mateen's actions. Loyalty to radical Islamic terrorists. Mental instability. A propensity toward violence.
However, if Mateen was a closeted gay man, the shooting was the worst representation yet of how a closeted queer has done real harm to the LGBT community.
I'm sure past violence against the LGBT community was sometimes perpetrated by self-loathing closeted gay people.
Then there are the politicians. Check out The Advocate's rogue's list of anti-gay politicians who turned out to be gay themselves. They harmed the gay community with their bigoted policies as a cover to keep their political ambitions alive, apparently.
I have my suspicions about some other rabidly anti-gay Americans who are causing harm, too.
There's "Christian" pastor Steven Anderson, who yesterday said the Orlando massacre was "good news" because "homosexuals are a bunch of disgusting perverts." Yeah, and I think you're one of them, Steven!
Then there's Theodore Shoebat, who's kill-the-gays videos are a hit on YouTube. I wonder about him, too.
Extreme right wingers and very conservative religious types love to spout off on how "evil" homosexuality is.
They've shamed countless gay people into the closet, into hating themselves. Some of this bigotry over the years, decades and centuries has contributed to the kind of violence that we saw in Orlando Sunday.
Every once in awhile, a shamed, closeted gay person will lash out. Tragically.
Words matter, and to an extent anti-gay bigots have blood on their hands.
Some people have blonde hair. Some people have brown eyes. Some people are gay. It's that simple.
If you ever hear of or know someone who is LGBT and is being told he or she disgusting, wrong and is not worth anything, tell them the truth. That they are valuable human beings.
I said words matter. Anti-gay bigotry matters.
Even more so, kindness, respect, truth and support matters. A lot.
If you love and respect and embrace members of the LGBT community, you might literally be saving lives.