There is a meme that is currently going viral that reads, “Pay Close Attention to Your Straight Friends Ignoring the Worst Terrorist Attack Since 911. They Were All Praying for France Though.” When I first read this, I was thinking that it was someone being too sensitive, but I thought I would check out some of my straight friends’ Facebook pages. I was completely shocked to find that many of them did not post anything about the attacks. My first reaction was to be mad, then I was hurt, and at the end I was just confused.
First of all, I would never put all straight people in one box, so let me get that out of the way. In fact after digging deeper I did find many straight friends that posted about the attacks. The issue I was left with was wondering why many of my friends seemed to not care about what happened in Orlando. Do they not care about the LGBT Community and does this mean they don’t give a shit about me either? For me, that is a really tough pill to swallow. These are people I grew up with, people I went to college with, and overall people that mean a lot to me. BUT… If they don’t even have the LGBT communities back when people are getting murdered, then why would I consider them a friend? Or even an ally?
So, rather than sit around and bitch about it with my gay friends, I decided to ask my straight friends directly, why they didn’t post about the horrible attack in Orlando. Here are their responses:
“I didn’t personally know any of those people. If something happened to you! Well that would be different”
“Well, now I feed bad…I have many gay friends, but I guess in my head I was thinking that it was more of a gay post. You asking me this has made me think a little differently.””I didn’t respond to it as I don’t respond to much anymore…There’s so much negativity in America these days that I can’t even bear to watch the news. It was a tragic event that once again puts fear in the heart of all of us”
“Honestly it took me until this morning to watch any footage or read anything about it cause I knew how bad it would break my heart. I just think of all of you guys, my abbey family, my dance family and hands down some of my best friends in the world and this is so unimaginable. ️️ so much love for you”
“To be honest I was worried about what the religious people from my church would think. I am still in this small town and people don’t accept that lifestyle as much. You know I love you, I just didn’t want them to give me shit”
“I am not really sure why I didn’t post it. I obviously feel bad about what happened, but something kept me from posting. I am sorry if it offended you”
“Well, now I feed bad…I have many gay friends, but I guess in my head I was thinking that it was more of a gay post. You asking me this has made me think a little differently”I was not really paying attention to the news that day”
“I do think it’s a terrible tragedy. And completely uncalled for. I didn’t post about it but I did comment on my cousins status (who is gay)… I feel for anyone having to fear for their own lives due to their sexual preference. It’s just wrong. I actually had heard about it but didn’t know it was for those reasons until a while after it had happened. I live in a bubble lol (maybe I’m better off that way. These things just make me so sad)”
“Hey, of course. Although, I wouldn’t want to be labeled as your “straight” friend and would rather just be labeled your friend. I think we are way beyond labels. I usually don’t post about these types of incidents or change my profile picture/use hashtags and I don’t pray because I’m not religious. Obviously I care what happened because that could have been any of my friends or my brother, but I don’t feel that a hashtag or a Facebook post truly does anything nor does it determine how I feel about the situation. I have very strong feelings about religion (because I am against it) that a lot of people, including my family do not agree with, so when something has to do with religion (which this tragedy most certainly did, as well as being a hate crime) I try to not talk about it on my Facebook. Personally, I think people are so quick to join a hashtag or profile picture change movement but then continue on with their lives a few days later as if nothing happened. They really just want to pretend they are involved by doing so. They think that by saying “Thoughts and Prayers” they are showing everyone they care and I think it’s an easy way to do something without actually doing anything. I showed my support by mourning on my own, reading about each of the victims and their lives to humanize the situation and donating to the Go Fund Me page, which I don’t think I have to share with the world on my Facebook. My heart breaks every time I see, hear or read about it, but I don’t feel that I need to post that on Facebook to prove to others that I do. I have many friends and family members in the LGBT community and they know that I support them 100%. To me, that means more than showing “support” on a social media platform by just simply posting a hashtag on my status or changing a profile picture. Social media has made people truly disconnect actually feeling something because they feel they are doing something by just writing a few words. They aren’t required to actually feel something anymore. It’s so much easier to just post a hashtag now and move on. For me, it seems very insincere.”
Well, there you have it! All of this has left me feeling like, as a LGBT community, we need to communicate more with our straight friends and let them know how we feel. We need to continue opening up conversations and minds because no one else is going to do it for us!
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