Just a couple of really, really quick thoughts I wanted to share this early Wednesday morning: No sooner had I finished my last post about the reaction to the unfortunate event over the weekend in Orlando do I remember that… oh, dear, someone who spews a lot of hate is making his way to Madison today. I will not give this man any dignity by telling you who he is, but he has had a history of xenophobic diatribes against the LGBT community, those to immigrate to the United States, and anyone else who does not share his same religion if not his same world view. His organization had long since scheduled a rally on the Capitol Square, which is to be staged at midday today. Said organization has stooped to buying ad time on local radio to promote the event, which makes me change the station. (If only these radio people had as much backbone as Arthur Carlson when it comes to radio ads with bad taste.)
But this Man Who Will Not Be Named is about to realize that he’s heading into a very progressive community, one whose populace disdains and rejects those who swoop in and preach their hate. Want proof on that? Well, Madison religious leaders of different faiths will convene an alternative rally at the very same time as Mr. Unnamed Bigot’s Capitol Square dance. The point of the alternative rally is this: A great many people of faith — whatever their faith may be — practice a faith that does not shun or alienate those who may have a different religious view, nationality, or sexual or gender preference from theirs. In other words, faithful people, in Madison and elsewhere, embrace diversity and frown upon the words and actions of people like Mr. Unnamed Bigot. Their rally is scheduled indoors at a church a couple of blocks away from Mr. Bigot’s outdoor rally. Oh, and for the record, it’s gonna be a hot and humid day here in Madison today. *hint hint* There’s more information on this situation here and here, as well as a very good word about the alternative rally here.
Outside of rallies and vigils and charity drives and whatever else, one of the many ways those in the LGBTQ community have responded to the tragedy in Orlando is to continue to live their lives openly. An example: One of the people I follow on WordPress, Hannah, took time on Monday to post on her blog some results from a recent photo shoot. Hannah is a beautiful person (not to mention a talented artist), and her post has received a multitude of compliments (including one from yours truly). But more than how Hannah looks, I was struck by her response to a comment someone left stating, basically, now is not the time to be so shallow (these photos were posted one day after the tragedy in Orlando). Hannah responded, basically, that while there is grief from her and others in the LGBT community, her photos are a way for her to continue to live proudly, openly, and unafraid as a trans person, just as there are still pride rallies and crowded LGBT nightclubs after Orlando. Bravo on those words, Hannah; as if one couldn’t admire and appreciate her already, she expresses thoughts of staying a genuinely beautiful person in the face of tragedy, and does so in a respectful way. You can see those comments, and some of Hannah’s photos, in her blog post here.