Late Departure

One day it’s early and the next day it’s late. Events conspired in such a way that I was able to make up half an hour of the previous day’s early exit. An extra person needed a scan for a malady. It had to be done this day as the next day was looking pretty full. This week seems slower than the last. We seem to move at the same speed but progress is harder to attain. There are rescans and difficulties due to a missing dot or a cross on the t. These details are important.

As more information on the shooter in Orlando emerges it seems more and more like an act of mental instability than an act of strategic importance. It seems like it was someone who struggled with his own identity his own feelings and was unable to come to terms with himself do he took it out on others.

I was thinking about this and how a portion of society views the LGBT community. There are people who will never be able to get their head around it and to be frank it took me a while to do it too. I don’t remember when it was the first time the concept of homosexuality first entered my consciousness. I think it was sometime when I was living in Toronto. Back then and still today Toronto has been a fairly liberal city when it comes to accepting the gay community. There was a yearly gay pride parade that happened every summer and I remember being downtown one time as it passed by unintentionally. I was still a young kid and puberty was either just beginning or commenced not much earlier. I had started to notice girls and how they made me feel. It was strange to me then to see two men embrace as a couple it was always easier to see two women embrace in this manner.

My real education and understanding came from being a doorman at a nightclub that hosted a weekly gay night. It was on Sunday’s and the work was there if I wanted it and at that time I needed the money. The first night I worked there was something else. I was a bit nervous not knowing exactly what was going to happen. I knew that it wasn’t going to be violent but it was preparing myself for what I was going to see that gave me some pause. My friends kind of had a fun time with me about all of this. They left me downstairs at number one to make sure everyone got their stamp for after paying for cover.

As I stood there after the doors opened a steady stream of pin up men and some women came walking down the stairs. It was all quite orderly and civil. I kept checking out all the people some in costume some in drag just wanting to come in and have a good time. There was one man who came down. A large black man in a white mini skirt with high heels and a loud personality. He noticed me looking at him. He knew I was new and he kicked his leg high over my head with flair and then gave me a hug. He welcomed me to this place and sauntered into the heaving mass of gyrating bodies inside. I must have had a look on my face as my colleagues were laughing their head off.

In the few years that I worked those Sunday nights I learned a great many things about the gay culture. For one it was probably the most peaceful and enjoyable night to have a good time in if you’re ok with what’s happening around you. There were maybe two fights in that time. The one I remember is a stereotypical overtly gay shouting/slapping match between two effeminate men. It had an air of an overdramatization in order to get attention. There were tears and a classic “how could you?”

People who came into the club on such a night were not all gay. A lot of the women who came and enjoyed themselves felt like they could let loose on the dance floor without constantly being harassed and checked out. In a sense they could have fun and let their guard down a little. People behaved and listened without being belligerent. This allows them a bit more freedom so the hedonism was amped up just that little bit more. People certainly came to have a good time.

As I continued working these nights I got to know some of the people and we ended up becoming friends. We talked about some of the issues they had growing up and how they discovered their orientation. Most of them were born that way and knew from an early age that they found their own sex more sexually appealing. No amount of suppression is going to change that. It’s like liking tiger tail ice cream but always forcing yourself to have vanilla. Once you get beyond their proclivities behind closed doors they are just people.

Why did I choose to write about this? I don’t know. Part of me thought about the tragic loss of life at The Pulse nightclub and it made me think of my time spent working in the clubs. If I was working there that night I would have been the first to go. It made me think about targeting an easily identifiable group of people and how throughout history this group in particular has been singled out by seemingly good pious people. It makes me wonder if they really are as good as they seem. It leads me to think that it is really about scapegoating. Projecting a view that on the one hand divides but on the other unifies behind a viewpoint. These are usually religious edicts from ultra orthodox sects within the major religions. Some people will take that view and use it to justify their acts of violence. The one in Orlando is just a major one that has made headlines there are countless more that occur daily all over the world. 

This leads to more analysis as the type of differentiation between “us” and “them” whatever the “us” and “them” is. Lashing out against groups is a means of unifying the aggressors by picking on a weaker group. It is bullying but in a different scale and the pattern not only applies to gays but also to many other types of people that have something in common that another group dislikes. Currently we also see this division between nations, political parties, and races. These problems fester like an open wound and are currently inflamed unable to heal. 

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