Afraid of Terrorism at LGBTQ Pride Celebrations? Read This Columnist's Encouraging Advice
After the mass shooting at the gay nightclub Pulse, in Orlando, Florida, and the news of a plot to attack LA Pride, people may be hesitant to attend LGBTQ pride events.
S. Bear Bergman, who answers questions as part of "Ask Bear," an advice column on Bitch Media, addressed three readers this week who were willing to attend pride on their own, but feared bringing younger children.
"I think you should go and know that your attendance creates more safety in the world, even though it may cause you some fear on the day," Bergman responded.
Bergman called fear a "completely reasonable and perfectly valid response" to the massacre and said that fear has the power to "set us free or add another lock to our prisons."
"Fear also has the potential to crack us wide open and let all kinds of learning rush in," Bergman wrote. "I want people to notice that they are afraid and take a deep breath and go anyway, or to encourage their families to go anyway (or join them!)."
Bergman said that, out of the terrible nature of the tragedy, by attending, we might learn a lesson about love.
"I want same-sex couples to take each other's hands in public so that wee small proto-homos can see a loving future reflected to them," Bergman wrote. "I want my dad and your mom and all our siblings and everyone's Aunt Mildred to speak openly and proudly of their queer and trans friends and loved ones."
Part of that love, Bergman asserted, was making sure LGBTQ youth don't have to deal with homophobic bullying — 56% of LGBT students nationwide face a harsh environment in school — or any other issues, like lack of shelter or lack of access to competent health care.
"I want us all to feel loved," Bergman wrote. "I want us all to feel worthy of love. To feel completely and utterly deserving of love."