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Love Is Stronger Than Hate, But You Don't Need to Love Bigots

Love Is Stronger Than Hate, But You Don't Need to Love Bigots

Love Is Stronger Than Hate, But You Don't Need to Love Bigots

It's okay to be angry.

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Photo: Todd Quackenbush

In the wake of the Pulse shooting in Orlando, a message of "love is stronger than hate" has re-emerged in the queer community and among its allies. It's a beautiful message, as it encourages us to be better people in a time when it would be easy to be anything but. It reminds us that the simple act of loving the people we love is still, in and of itself, revolutionary and powerful. However, there's an element to the aforementioned idea that bothers me deep down.

It's not I love hate or hate love, I just think there's a certain emotional and moral cost of living with the ideology that love is stronger than hate, particularly in times of tragedy. There's a certain amount of anger to be expected when an ignorant, disgusting monster slaughters people with identities you hold in places that you go on days that are special to your community. It sends a powerful message that you are not safe. Or at least that's how I took it.

Continuing to love one another is important in these times, but really, I've never understood how I was expected to continue to love and show love in the face of people who don't respect a single thing about me. Some people respect the perseverance our community has shown, but people also respect someone who puts the fear in them. I'm not suggesting violence, but I'm certainly not shook or bothered when I hear of female-identified people, queer people, or POC fighting back against the oppressive communities that make their lives hell. Granted, we can't treat one person as the embodiment of all the systems that oppress us, but in the end, it feels as though our opponents are able to feel and express themselves in a human way while we are expected to remain angels.

It's a disservice to say that we're on the same level as these people, because clearly we're not. We're better than them because we don't live our lives, as a community, to actively persecute other groups (although we do attack sub-groups within our community, but that's another issue). Being better, I get that the expectation for us is higher, but still, it seems like a road to really poor mental and spiritual health to feel the burden of being more mature and kindhearted than people who may or may not have any intention of changing their bigoted beliefs.

I just want to feel angry without feeling guilty.

I think there's space for the type of anger that isn't necessarily focused on some sort of positive action because there's only so much a person can take before they need to snap a little. But it feels as though we're judged for not being able to smile and stay positive when atrocities like this go down. I want us to be able to feel without worry and to not always have to be the bigger person for metaphorically and perpetually little people.

I don't want our entire community to go negative because positivity is important. I just don't want to have to turn the other cheek for the rest of my life. Historically, peace has been able to successfully bring about change, and that seems to be what we're doing now. But let's not forget that Stonewall changed the world, and was everything but positive and peaceful.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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Buffy Flores

Aries/Taurus cusp, Latinx, vegan, femme person, and the biggest Buffy fan you know. Now writing for Bustle, PRIDE, Everyday Feminism, and The Rumpus. Passionate, deeply feeling, sometimes angry, mostly emotional. Wants to make people feel less lonely in the world. Follow them on Twitter @buffyonabudget.

Aries/Taurus cusp, Latinx, vegan, femme person, and the biggest Buffy fan you know. Now writing for Bustle, PRIDE, Everyday Feminism, and The Rumpus. Passionate, deeply feeling, sometimes angry, mostly emotional. Wants to make people feel less lonely in the world. Follow them on Twitter @buffyonabudget.