The whole Orlando incident has been weighing heavy on me and my relationship. While we both thankfully didn’t lose someone close to us, we can’t help but to think that could have been us. I mean we don’t live in the gay club, but we go on occasion. As a matter of fact, we were in a club around the same time all of this was going on. Knowing we could have very well been the ones shot at, has got my boyfriend spooked. Badly. We’re supposed to go out to a mutual friend’s birthday party in two weeks, and he refuses to go. He doesn’t want to take the “risk.” I told him we can’t live like hermit crabs because of this, but he won’t listen. What are your thoughts?
Won’t Live in Fear
Dear Won’t Live in Fear,
Thanks for writing to me. What happened in Orlando has hit home for a lot of people. I know the thoughts of “it could have been me” have crossed my mind several times this week. And each time I see a family member of a victim speak, my heart strings are tugged on a little more. The fact that the patrons of Pulse went there hoping to have a fun night, and wound up having the worst night of their lives is just a tragedy. So I understand you boyfriend’s apprehension about going to a gay club in the future. No one wants to go through that experience.
Now while I understand why your boo is against going clubbing, even for your friend’s bday, I don’t necessarily agree him here. I actually am on your side here. I refuse to live the one life we are given here on earth, too afraid to actually live it. I won’t let ignorant and misguided individuals of the world like Omar Mateen, stop me from going places. If I did, I wouldn’t go to the movies, the store, wouldn’t have gone to school, and I wouldn’t go to church. I simply refuse to live my life that way.
With that said, you can’t force your boyfriend to feel like you do in this situation. He is entitled to process the Orlando shooting in his own way and time. What you can do, is gently remind him on occasion of the dangers of living in fear the rest of his life. Explain all the good times he will miss out on. I think the subtle reminders will begin to change his mind eventually.
Suggestions going forward.
- Be prepared to attend your friend’s birthday celebration without your bae. While two weeks could be enough time to change his mind, it’s possible he just won’t be ready.
- Make sure you tell your boyfriend that fear has always been a tool of the enemy. The KKK for example used it as a tool to keep blacks from voting, speaking their minds, owning property, among other things. If those blacks of yesteryear didn’t decide to live in courage, where would this country be?
As always nothing but love,