I have been seeing a lot of people asking how it was possible for the shooter in Orlando to get in the club. From what I’ve read he basically shot his way in, but it has shown me that those not in the LGBTQ community and those who have never been to a gay club don’t know how drastically different from regular clubs they are.
The gay club is not just a spot to go get drunk, dance and party. It is a sanctuary, a safe place filled with folks who are just like you, who don’t judge you and want nothing more than to be themselves and free. There are bouncers in case folks get a little too riled up, but probably not armed. There is no metal detector or pat down at the door like I’ve experienced going to straight clubs…every single time. They might check a ladies purse for a quick second but the person at the door really just wants to see your ID to know you are of age. Yeah, pretty lax security.
But it’s because those of us in the LGBTQ community don’t fear each other!! We know what these places mean to all of us. Not to say that the LGBTQ community is free of violence, we are human, but that those of us who frequent these places aren’t going to do anything to jeopardize the safe haven we have within the walls of them.
And if in fact the shooter had been to Pulse as many times as is being reported, then the folks at the door would have known him and not thought twice about his presence…considering him even less of a threat than a first time club goer. In local circles, the regulars get noticed very quickly and may get moved through the door a bit quicker.
If you know where the gay clubs are in your area then you have probably noticed, 9 times out of 10, that it is a windowless non-descript building. Doesn’t draw attention. Just another building on the block. Every stop to wonder why? Because the banker who is still in the closet and parked five blocks away is safe inside those windowless walls.
I am sure after this horrific massacre, there will be talks about changing security measures. Not sure how sweeping they will be, but I know that we still love and trust each other…and will once again find our safety in our sanctuaries.