The events in Orlando have caused me to adopt an unforeseen and even shocking resolution, which I will share with you in a moment. But first, let me tell you about my daughter’s pet rabbit “Sprinkles.” Now, despite what you may be imagining (picturing a multi-colored rainbow of sparkling candy bits scattered across the top of a chocolate sundae), Sprinkles, in fact, had a coat of the purest, darkest, unbroken jet black fur you will ever see.
At the time, Sprinkles lived in our house with our family dog, Daisy, who – on that universally-recognized scale of “Fierce and Fearsome Animals” – was listed not at the top of the scale (where she imagined herself to be) at “Snarling Wolf” but, instead, was properly to be found down at the bottom, under the heading “Fluffy Bunny.”
Now, my daughter would sometimes let them play together in the back yard – under her careful supervision, of course, lest “nature take its course.”
And you know what? Sometimes, Daisy would get a little too rough with Sprinkles, and her idea of “fun” would start trending over into “pinning down her prey for the kill.” But guess what? Sprinkles would fight back! Despite Daisy being four times his weight and a “carnivorous canine” (descendent of a wolf), Sprinkles would defend himself. He would use his teeth and claws to bite and scratch and send the message “STOP!” if Daisy got too aggressive.
What I learned – what my daughter saw – was this: That every living creature will defend itself. Push that fluffy black bunny into a corner, and he will come out biting and scratching and refusing to be taken down without a fight.
Thinking about Orlando, I will quickly acknowledge that no one would have imagined or predicted what took place, and Pulse did, after all, have an armed guard out front, who was overcome by the attack. So I do not blame anyone there in any way.
But on the other hand, I do feel it is time for us LGBT folks to borrow a phrase from our Hebrew brothers and sisters: Never again. This means… we must be brave and vigilant. We must assert our own individual right and duty to defend ourselves. Are our lives of less worth than a rabbit’s?
Thinking further on the subject, can you imagine an attack such as happened in Orlando happening at… a biker bar? Not likely! What grievous moron would walk into a biker bar and think he could terrorize those patrons!
(In high school, I used to frequent a biker bar near where I lived. The parking lot after dark looked like a Harley dealership. And if you ride a Harley, you cannot leave your Smith & Wesson under the seat when you go into the bar. You have to bring it in with you. I can assure you, you will never see such polite behavior, such restrained conversation, and such kindly tolerance for your fellow citizens, as you will see in a biker bar.)
Have you read the threats and boasts coming from certain Christian preachers, as they address the possibility of a transgender woman using the same Ladies Room as their wives or daughters? They assure their flock that the only possible reaction to such depravity is to assault that tranny. Perhaps even shoot her or beat her up. Because that is how bullies phrase their threats. Not “I will give that tranny a piece of my mind” but “I will beat her to death!”
Such preachers think they are free to make such threats because they believe we LGBT folk – in this case, transgender women – are nothing more than “Fluffy Bunnies.” These Christian-cowards have every confidence that if they confront us in the Ladies Room – and if they commence a “Biblically-approved” assault upon one of us – we won’t fight back. And, we must admit, this might have been the reaction of a gay or transgender child back when we were in elementary school. But no longer.
I live in Ohio, and our state law permits any responsible citizen (with a few exceptions) to obtain a license to “Carry a Concealed Weapon” (called “CCW”). Right now, Ohio has issued about 500,000 CCW licenses, but I promise you, next month that number will be 500,001.
Thereafter, when I go out where my LGBT brothers and sisters are gathered, I will think of myself as a sort of non-governmental – but trained, motivated and prepared – “Sky Marshall” for my fellow travelers. A person who has practiced and received training, wearing civilian clothes, and blending in with all the other trannies. But if something happens… I will remember Sprinkles, who – despite his soft and downy fur – was no “Fluffy Bunny” in a fight.