As I’ve watched the outpouring of support in Orlando, I can’t help but wonder what that support would look like had this tragedy happened in Jacksonville.
Would our mayor even acknowledge that it was an attack on the LGBT and Hispanic communities? Or would he just speak in generalities?
Would our churches do more than just “pray”? And, if so, would they do it without qualifying their charity in some way? Or would they only say they’d love and pray for us, making sure to mention that it’s in spite of our sin?
Would our city council representatives be out in the community, sharing in the collective pain of such an event? Comforting people, even LGBT ones? Would we even WANT some of them to do so after some of the things that have been said about us? Or would they go radio silent or only gravitate to the reporters for their next quote or sound bite?
Would city leaders be working to help get victims and their families visas if need be? Or would they be worried about where these people are from?
And if — IF — all of these answers are the best answers we could hope for, would we believe any of it is true and honest and good, given how our community has been treated? Given how we can’t even pass basic protections for our community? Given that, on the Monday after 49 people were murdered, people had to go to a school board meeting to defend a bathroom policy that has been in effect since 2008 with seemingly no issues? Would our community treat us better in death than it does in life?
Will our community now consider treating us better in life by treating us like everyone else? We’ll see.