homophobia open thread

Open Thread: Mass shooting at gay nightclub in Orlando; at least 50 dead

Police, sherriff and FBI officials at a press conference this morning
Law enforcement officials at a press conference this morning

UPDATE 2, 1 PM central time

Horrific news out of Orlando: A gunman armed with an assault rifle and other weapons killed at least 50 in a terrorist attack the Pulse nightclub in Orlando; more than 50  have been taken to hospitals.

The gunman, killed in a shootout with police, has been identified as Omar Mateen; the Daily Beast reports that he was previously investigated by the FBI. NBC is reporting that before the shootngs he called 911 and swore allegiance to ISIS.

NBC is also reporting that Mateen was a violent homophobe, according to his father. It seems clear that the club was deliberately targeted because it catered to the LGBT community. The father told NBC that the shootng was likely motivated by his son’s hatred of gays. “This had nothing to do with religion,” he told them.

His ex-wife told the Washington Post that he was an unstable and abusive man. “He beat me,” she saud. “He would just come home and start beating me up because the laundry wasn’t finished or something like that.”


Meanwhile, 4chan trolls are busily spreading disinformation about the shooting.

Please post your thoughts, and any relevant information you run across.

166 replies on “Open Thread: Mass shooting at gay nightclub in Orlando; at least 50 dead”

Is there a gun fanatic bingo chart for this yet?

It would have

“Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”

“All we can do is pray for the victims and their families.”

“Let’s not politicize this tragedy.”

“My right to a gun is more important than your dead kid.”

Ugh. They’re so predictable. But the conversation of course, is mostly going to center around Islam. Not homophobia being deadly. Not guns. Not toxic masculinity. I don’t even object to discussions about how religious extremism leads to violence. It’s just that there are multiple factors and it’s not only Muslims who commit mass shootings.

I’m with you there @Miss Edgy Nation. Virtual hug.

I moved out of Orlando a couple of years ago, but I have family and friends who both work and live in the area. Thankfully many are now logging in and marking themselves as safe on social media.

Best wishes to you, I hope everyone you know comes out safe.

I live here. Maybe it just hasn’t sunk in yet, but I’m frightened by how numb and unsurprised I am.

Even though I haven’t seen them in 10+ years, I’m worried some of my old high school classmates might have been in there.

Not looking forward to that pig Trump and his fascist buddies capitalizing on this. I don’t have words for my contempt.

So is the NRA going to go around saying that we shouldn’t ban guns because if gay people and other minorities all had guns then hate crimes wouldn’t happened? Or does that only apply to straight white men?

Anyway I second all the people saying we shouldn’t bring up information about the killer. A great deal of research has gone into the psychology of mass shooters and the conclusion is they are narcissistic little turds who commit the shootings because they want to receive mass attention and are inspired by watching other mass shooters get wall to wall media coverage. heres a great article on the topic

When faced with mass shootings and terrorist attacks, always remember: Don’t Feed The Trolls.

@The Australians:
I live in the USA and news like this has ceased to be at all surprising to me. Still depressing yes, but not shocking. And I’ve ceased to ever expect any meaningful change in response. I mean, after someone shoots up an elementary school and no one pushes for meaningful change, it’s pretty clear that basically nothing is going to do it.
I think I said once that I don’t expect anything real done about guns until literally every single person in the USA personally knows someone killed or wounded in a mass shooting.
Which, at this rate, might not take all that long.

Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick made a post saying “God cannot be mocked, a man reaps what he sows” in a clear attack stating that the people in the club got what they deserved.
Fucking asshole.

Trump’s response on Twitter:

When will this stop? When will we become tough, smart & vigilant?


Can I just go into some sort of hibernation/stasis until widespread lgbtq+ acceptance? I don’t want to live in this world anymore.

Yeah, I used up all my rage a few days ago. I don’t think I have anymore. 50. Except it’s gays and such, so what’s that count for? Dozen tops? Sadness? Dread. That’s the word


But the conversation of course, is mostly going to center around Islam

I fucking wish. We don’t ever talk about this
Really, it’s all about this

Fuck. I’ve only just come back in and seen the updates showing how many were murdered.
So many left devastated.

The people who support the NRA and suchlike didn’t care when it was young children, I don’t suppose they’ll care any more now that it’s GLBT adults.

I’m so sorry for all the injured and bereaved.

Trump would only make this worse and worse and worse; if only the NRA’s lobbying power could be snuffed out.

Non US resident offering condolences to the victims of such a horrific tragedy. In a common sense world following such an event I’d hope gun laws and protection to LGBT crowds is built upon. Sadly that’s looking unlikely, and certain folks will be using this for political gain despite not caring at all for the LGBT crowd.

Best of luck to those in Orlando.

@ Axecalibur – I dunno how productive it would be to discuss the Koran. We don’t go straight to the Bible when some fanatic tries to shoot a Planned Parenthood… even though there are quite a few passages in there that seemingly advocate violent retribution against one’s “enemies”.

What leads people to violence isn’t so much the ideology, as all the other factors like depersonalisation, a sense of justification, and peer encouragement that come with it.

One could just as easily kill in the name of animal liberation, or any other cause that serves as a focal point for one’s worst instincts.

What I do not want is for these acts of violence to inspire mosque shootings.

Fuck. When I went to sleep (very) late last night, they were saying 20 people had been killed. This just keeps getting worse.

I just updated the post with the latest information I could find.

Go away, cool_clock_ahmed. This was domestic terrorism, and has nothing to do with any disgusting right-wing race war fantasies.

Best sum-up so far:

Here are some relevant snippets:

The unnamed ex-wife said she met Mateen online around eight years ago. She moved to Fort Pierce, Florida in 2009 to marry him.

She left him after a few months later due to domestic violence, she said, but they were not divorced by law until 2011, court documents confirm.

She said his family was from Afghanistan and confirmed that Mateen was born in New York and later moved to Florida with his family.

After a short time of being married, he became abusive, she said.

“He beat me,” she said. “He would just come home and start beating me up because the laundry wasn’t finished or something like that.”

Her parents intervened when they learned Mateen had abused her. Her father confirmed this to Washington Post.

Mateen’s ex-wife said that, to her knowledge, he was not very religious while they were married.

The shooter’s father, Mir Seddique, spoke by phone with NBC to “apologize for the whole incident.”

“We are in shock like the whole country,” he said. “This had nothing to do with religion.”

The father told NBC his son became angry when he saw two men kissing in Miami a few months ago. He said he believed that might have spurred his son to attack the gay nightclub.

So…nothing to do with religion, everything to do with him being a violent and hateful individual to start with. The fact that he “worked out often” (also noted in the part about his domestic abuse) suggests he might have been on steroids, which would no doubt compound the violent tendencies. He is clearly someone who should never have been entrusted with a gun.

I’m sorry but I can’t accept your accusation that him working out means he was on steroids. I spend 30 hours a week training myself and I don’t use them.
Your assertion that he must use them because he goes to the gym is just a false stereotype born of ignorance.


Agreed. Working out doesn’t “suggest” steroid use in any way, shape or form.

It took Dan Patrick (or his social media team, whatever) about 4 hours to delete that horrible “reap what you sow” tweet.

If Dan Patrick is also “uncomfortable” whenever he sees two men kissing, how long will it take him to realize he has that in common with the Pulse murderer?

@Victorious Parasol never
People like him want to believe that they’re too “good” and “godly” to ever have anything in common with anyone who’s not white and cishet.

I wonder how many of the “we must take immediate action to protect the women and children” from people using a bathroom will say they are currently too busy this term to take up any new legislation when discussing any gun bills.

I’m scared that it would take a civil war for the US to ban assault rifles amongst the general population.

I’m scared that it would take a civil war for the US to ban assault rifles amongst the general population.

Somehow I doubt even that would help.
But then again I’ve grown very jaded over the last few months with all the things I’ve learned about the horrors committed in and by the US

Donald Trump has made a tweet in response to this tragedy saying he appreciates that he was right about islamic terrorists
Someone get that man a brain, heart, and bigger fucking hands please.

I realise that this event is going to leave everyone reeling for quite a long time, but there was one detail that I thought shouldn’t be allowed to get lost amongst the shock and anger, and grief.

The article makes mention of there being a police officer in the club, who exchanged fire with the gunman.

Usually, following such a tragedy, people lament that everything could have been prevented if bystanders had been armed and willing to engage the shooter in a standoff. Well, this time there was our bystander, and he was involved in the deadliest mass shooting in US history.

I really want to know whether that “good guy with a gun” did everything he could to handle the situation and failed, or whether his involvement escalated the violence. I think that’s a discussion that needs to take place in the media when people want to dismiss pleas for gun control.
And I hope that this time it stirs a meaningful change.

@JSun Oh I guarantee he will get far, far worse in the next hour or two.

I am sure before this day is out he will find a way to blame this on the current administration. Then go on TV and say that if he was president this person would never have been able to accomplish this (without giving any specifics on how the heck he would do that) and then say that this will happen again if anyone but him is elected.

This is so fucking awful. It seems clear the this had nothing to do with religion and everything to do with homophobia.

What a fucking bastard. Just people out on a night out, having fun. For fucks sake.

Grá agus taca ó Éire libh.

I’m sorry but I can’t accept your accusation that him working out means he was on steroids. I spend 30 hours a week training myself and I don’t use them.
Your assertion that he must use them because he goes to the gym is just a false stereotype born of ignorance.

Where did I accuse him (or you) of anything? I said it suggests a possibility. Please learn to read before you jump all over something I didn’t even say.

Altofronto, it looks as though the police response saved many lives rather than escalating the situation.

To those who don’t want the name of the killer mentioned, the name is out there already; we need to know who did this to understand why. Without his name being out there we would not have gotten the information from his ex-wife and from his father.


The fact that he “worked out often” (also noted in the part about his domestic abuse) suggests he might have been on steroids

That’s barely different from an accusation and is based entirely on a false stereotype of people who ‘work out often’

Islam isn’t to blame for this. Muslims aren’t to blame for this. That human pathogen is responsible for his own malignant actions. I just get so sick and tired of people couching their hatred of brown people in a pretend ‘criticism’ of Islam
You know what tho? Actually talking about actual Islam with actual Muslims in an actually productive fashion could do some, actual good. Nope, ain’t gonna happen. People like you and me aren’t important in this country. Donald fucking Trump is. And Obama’s a seekrit moozlum, so he’s not to be trusted

@JSun + Bina
Please… stop it

I was one of those who asked for the name to not be mentioned. I understand. I will not be offended if folks talk here about it. I get that we need to find out why before we can stop future events.

All I hope is that when people think back on this event next year the discussion is centered around the victims, survivors and solutions that resulted because of it instead of glorifying the acts of the murderer by focusing primarily on him.

Please drop the steroids discussion; there’s no evidence for it

Obama now speaking about the massacre, discussing it as an act of hate deliberately targeting an LBGT club.

And now we’re going to see lots of people everywhere speaking out against one type of bigotry by using another type of bigotry.

David, I actually checked out the 4chan threads. It’s… well, 4chan. Some users used Omar’s ethnicity as a “gotcha” moment against perceived liberals, because most American mass shooters are right wing white men . Others made the usual derogatory remarks against Muslims and Middle Easterners. Others mocked the idea of Obama giving another speech. Others said liberals’ tolerance of Muslims will lead to more killings and make America “cucked”.

There was even a poorly drawn cartoon of America being infected by insects, caricatures of Mexicans and black people, while European countries back away from America in horror, some of them infected by insects, caricatures of Muslims. America spouts random, incomprehensible jargon.

There were random anime girls, pictures glorifying Trump, random picks, Pepe the Frog etc. The usual. How is 4chan edgy again? This kind of stuff is so banal these days its become dull. If 4chan was some kind of modern art masterpiece about the banality of human evil it would all make sense.

@makroth And then ignore such bigotry later when it’s ‘true Americans’ saying/doing the same things. 😛

@Axecalibur. I know Islam isn’t to blame for this… I think we both agree on that

But I also don’t think it’s up to all Muslims to defend themselves against persecution by constantly proving that they’re normal human beings.

@David – It’s a small comfort to know that at least some were saved, who otherwise might have perished. Sorry if anything I’ve posted has come off as insensitive, It’s hard to respond to a tragedy of this magnitude, and especially while primary information is still being released.

When nothing changed after Sandy Hook, I said it would take a roomful of babies being shot to death to get meaningful gun control.
I no longer think that would be enough. No matter how many deaths, no matter who, it won’t change anything. People’s minds have to change first, and I don’t know how to make that happen.
More than fifty people dead because somebody decided to shoot people who were out having fun. I don’t even know what to say about that. I should be shocked, but you can’t be shocked anymore by gun violence in the U.S.; it just is, it just happens, and people shrug their shoulders and go on. It seems like this should be something rare and unthinkable – like this shouldn’t be something that just happens, right? There’s places where this doesn’t just happen. It’s possible for a country to be like that. And yet nothing changes, except for who is dead.
Over fifty people dead because one person didn’t want to see two men kissing. That’s a sentence that makes no sense, and yet it describes something that happened. I don’t understand.

I’ve been a coward about this so far, I’ve been seeing the headlines and not clicking on them.

I can’t see how America will ever find a way out of the worsening cycle of violence. At least in war zone people can have the hope of eventual peace, but what do you when a country is at war with itself?

I hate that.

I am petty enough to derive a bit of satisfaction to see that guns (and the NSA) are useless against thoses attacks, but that’s very minor compared to the death toll.

While it’s only based on caricatures, he do look like a far right extremist to me. Violent, angry, in the security business.

For the steroid thing, it might be born of local climate. I know that half the guy who workout a lot among the people I know use steroids. I don’t know if it’s the case everywhere, but saying high workout don’t increase the odds he was on steroid seem false. Now, I can see the unfortunate implications.

I don’t think it’s really about changing peoples’ minds. I can’t remember the poll or exact numbers, but an overwhelming majority of people want gun control legislation. Even the majority of NRA members want gun control.

The only people who need their minds changed are the people in the Congress and Senate, taking gobfulls of bribes / “donation” money from the NRA and gun manufacturer lobbyists, and then blocking gun control legislation. The people selling fear and propaganda on right wing radio and TV. Those are the people who need their minds changed.

Ugh, it’s nauseating, all of it. It’s the same sickness that keeps affordable health care out of the hands of American citizens, keeps Coca-Cola cheaper than water, and then lets the public water system get polluted with lead as a “cost saving measure”. The same sickness that makes McDonalds burgers cheaper than buying raw ingredients in bulk, and then refuses a minimum wage that allows anything but the absolute minimum food budget. The same sickness that fills the gulf coast with tar and fills the Sierra Nevada with burning methane, but prevents even a discussion on climate damage. All the same vileness, gnawing at the root of world and wilting it with its poison. One more Jormungandr, one more pending Ragnarok.

I’m no pessimist, but it’s really grim these days.


I also don’t think it’s up to all Muslims to defend themselves against persecution by constantly proving that they’re normal human beings

This was not the time for my nonsense. I was adding to the inevitable pile on. I was insensitive. I shoulda known better. I do know better. Sorry

While I’m here, does anyone know what ‘virtue signaling’ is? I’ve seen it floating around in discussions about the shooting and the other terrible things this weekend. It sounds kinda social justicey, but I’ve only ever seen it used by very much not social justice types. Tried a very limited search and found basically nothing. I don’t have the strength in me to risk finding the dismissive, asshole, gotcha! definition on urban dictionary or r/whatever. Thanks in advance

You know, I’m almost 61 years old. And sometimes when I see two men or two women kissing it makes me uncomfortable. But you know what? That’s my problem. It’s not a reason to kill people. It’s not a reason to post nasty stuff. My religion tells me to love others. It doesn’t make exceptions for gays, or Muslims, or anyone different than me. And while I’m not perfect, I try. Which is all any of us can do.

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