Feel free to get lost in the weeds with one of these lines of tangled logic if you’re looking to avoid facing uncomfortable truths about anti-gay bigotry in our country.
1. Although the gunman specifically attacked a gay nightclub during Pride Month, this is really just an attack on the American way of life of going out on the weekends: There’s no need to defend the rights of gay people when you could instead just talk about how we’re not going to be scared away from fun nightlife activities. You could even consider using a completely beside-the-point hashtag like #NoToFearYesToWeekends when you post your labyrinthine arguments online.
2. There weren’t enough exits in the nightclub: Should you wish to make the convoluted argument that this is a club safety issue, and not an anti-gay hate crime, we’ve got you covered. Just posit that the Pulse nightclub didn’t have enough exits for evacuation, and that if a fire were to have happened in the club, just as many people would have died. Would a nightclub fire in a gay nightclub have been an anti-gay hate crime? This is precisely the kind of completely warped logic you can bring up when you talk about this issue.
3. The Pulse nightclub attack is solely about gun control or Islamic terrorism or mental health or some combination of just those things: Look, you have enough to discuss already without also bringing up the safety of the LGBTQ community. By the time you’ve exhausted every line of thinking here, you may find that you have successfully dodged a debate on systemic homophobia and violence in America!
4. This tragedy is a grim reminder of the dangers of alcohol consumption: If you’re totally unwilling to acknowledge the deeply entrenched homophobia at the core of the Orlando shooter’s decision to massacre a largely LGBTQ-identifying population, here’s a super-tenuous conclusion you can draw from the whole event: Intoxication is a serious threat to safety. The logical moves are a little all over the place, but you can get to this reasoning by focusing exclusively on the idea that alcohol inhibits your senses, which would technically make it more difficult to escape in the event of an emergency like an active shooter. That’s totally a way you can think of this situation if you’re willing to do the legwork!
5. The gunman knew it was a gay nightclub, but forgot: Okay, so if you’ve gotten to number five on this list, you’re truly committed to finding an incredibly roundabout rationale to explain away this terror attack without having to think about the very real hatred toward the gay community that seethes just under the surface of our society. And here’s some truly cloudy logic to match: While it may be clear from his Facebook activity that he was disgusted by homosexuality, no one can say for certain that Omar Mateen didn’t randomly forget that Pulse was a gay nightclub moments before opening fire. And because it can’t technically be proven incorrect, this may be the one for you.
6. Focus on how all the victims are “just people”: If you’d really, really like to totally sidestep this tragedy as being in any way connected to identity or sexuality, might as well just say this.