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No One Is Alone


Cynus

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No One Is Alone


From the musical “Into The Woods” written by Stephen Sondheim


Mother cannot guide you


Now you're on your own
Only me beside you
Still, you're not alone
No one is alone
Truly
No one is alone


I wish...


I know
Mother isn't here now
Wrong things, right things
Who knows what she'd say?
Who can say what's true?
Nothing's quite so clear now
Do things, fight things
Feel you've lost your way?
You decide, but
You are not alone
Believe me
No one is alone (No one is alone)
Believe me
Truly


People make mistakes


Fathers
Mothers
People make mistakes
Holding to their own
Thinking they're alone
Honor their mistakes
Fight for their mistakes
Everybody makes
One another's terrible mistakes
Witches can be right, giants can be good
You decide what's right, you decide what's good


Just remember


Just remember
Someone is on your side (Our side)
Our side
Someone else is not
While we're seeing our side (Our side)
Our side
Maybe we forgot, they are not alone
No one is alone
Someone is on your side
No one is alone

 

Recent events have reminded me of a lesson I once knew, which I’ve forgotten over the last few years. In truth, I knew this lesson well, even preached it hypocritically from time to time, but I’d forgotten to apply it to myself, even when it was staring me directly in the face.

 

This opinion may be unpopular, and perhaps that’s the way it will always be. I don’t know if I’m really trying to change anyone’s mind with this, or even trying to get under anyone’s skin. Actually, I think I’m writing this to accomplish the opposite. I want to tell you that if you disagree, I acknowledge you, I in fact, welcome you in my life, disagreement and all.

 

The Orlando shooting caught me off guard. As many of you know (and of course you do if you’re reading this at one of those sites) I’m an active member in the LGBTQIA community. We’d covered so much ground over the last few years, and I honestly was breathing a sigh of relief that it seemed we’d finally reached a point of acceptance. Despite what happened on June 12th, 2016, the ground we’ve covered is still behind us, we just have more hurdles to cross still before we’re completely there. Unfortunately, some aren’t happy with the ground we’ve gained, and one of them decided he needed to do something about that.

 

We all know about the 49 people who were killed and 53 who were injured by Omar Mateen that night. I’m not going to try and politicize this for either side of the argument. That’s not what I’m here for today. I’m not going to make a case for gun control, or a case for targeting “radical Islam” or any other such nonsense. No, I’m going to talk about something else, which arose out of this tragedy for me.

 

But first, I’m going to talk a little bit about Omar. One thing I can’t entirely grasp is why we’re unwilling to count him among the dead that night. I’ve heard it said that it’s because we don’t count him with the victims, because that’s not fair to them. Well, maybe it isn’t, but his death should still be accounted for, shouldn’t it? When we talk about why this occurs, don’t we need to consider what broke a man so badly that he felt this was the answer to his problems?

 

A great deal of evidence seems to have suggested that Omar was a gay man himself. Why did he target his own community? What could have driven him to that? You could say it was his religion, or perhaps pressure from his family, or perhaps it was some bad breakup we don’t yet know about, but all of these are rooted in something else, something I’ve been ignoring, and I think a lot of people have.

 

Omar Mateen felt alone, that he, and only he, understood his problems, and that only he could solve them, and that this terrible act was somehow the way to answer that. He hated something so badly about himself (either his sexuality or his unwillingness to accept his sexuality would be my guess) that he felt set him apart enough it was worth destroying everything to end his pain.

 

I’m not excusing his actions. I would never dream of doing that. I’m not trying to insinuate in any way that anything he did was remotely justified. He did something truly horrific, and clearly committed the act out of supreme hatred. But I think we need to acknowledge that the reason he chose his targets was because they had something he wanted, something he wasn’t able to rationalize within himself. Maybe he targeted them because of their sexuality, because they were free to live it and he wasn’t? Maybe he targeted them because they were able to be true to themselves (regardless of sexuality) and he felt he couldn’t? He thought himself apart from them, because they had what he desired. He felt alone, because he couldn’t see how to obtain what they had and become one of them.

 

If you break them down to their base thought patterns, and disregard for just a moment the actions that Omar Mateen committed, is he any different than any other self-loathing homophobe? Or self-loathing happyphobe(I know this isn’t a real word)? Or self-loathing anybody?

 

I don’t believe there is, and I believe therein lies the answer to how we prevent this kind of tragedy. Maybe all the political things will change some things for the better, though they’ll also probably make some things worse. I personally believe these things are symptoms of the greater problem, and it’s one I believe is within our ability to solve.

 

Love. Inclusion. Community. We have to give them what they crave. Movements change minds. Bullies can be reformed. Witches can be right. Giants can be good. In order to find out, we have to show love to those who feel alone. You are not alone, and they are not alone.

 

We need to remind them of that.

 

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I've never thought that the man who acted so cruelly has his personal background like this. And I am not sympathizing and all. But Cynus, might be right about it.

 

Giving the love to those who felt alone. Telling them they are not alone. Its not simple, but its what atleast we can do... :)

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It's partly a question of inclusion but also in many cases a question of being able to access appropriate mental health / emotional support services.

 

 

The fact of not feeling part of a community is likely to cause some problems but it needs a very significant level of mental and/or emotional fragility to cause someone to respond in such a devastating, frighteningly inhumane fashion. The fact that doctrine / religion / radical tracts might be part of the mix only makes any such individual that much more unpredictable and liable to lash out without regard for the consequences.

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There were many things about Omar that would have set him apart from others. Being a gay Muslim was only one of them. Some people who knew him said that he actually celebrated 9/11. He was a teenager at the time. He was all giddy when the South Tower was hit. I read that in a Washington Post article on my Kindle Fire. So on top of being a self-loathing gay Muslim, he likely also suffered from some kind of MI, probably of a psychotic variety. He would have felt like an outcast in every sense of the word, because his actions and behaviors would have been well beyond social norms. It was said that he used Grindr a lot and was not very successful. People who tell the world, "Fuck you!" the way he did, do so to make a statement, knowing that it may very well be their final act and that it will grab headlines around the world. Such a terrible way to earn your 15 minutes. 

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