When Omar Mateen shot up a gay nightclub in Orlando, killing 50 and injuring even more, it’s impossible to be absolutely certain what must have been going through his mind at exactly that point.
But from the little we have learned since his demise, inside his head would not have been a pretty place for one to be in.
There is the homophobic bigotry which his religion and his father deeply instilled in him. Obviously that must have given him a deep rooted hostility to those of same-s*x orientation.
However, it seems that hostility might have been combined with a form of crippling self loathing due to the fact that he was most likely, a gay man himself. Multiple accounts about Mateen since his death points towards this conclusion, and now his ex-wife, although a little mum about it, all but admits this orientation for Mateen.
Aside his ex-wife Sitora Yusufiy, multiple reports has shown Omar patronised Pulse, the nightclub he eventually shot up, and has been spotted there as many as a dozen times. He also has been discovered as a user of Grindr, an app for gays to hook up, and at least one witness has come forward to say Omar has hit him up on the app.
Yusufiy, although reluctant to flat out say Mateen was gay, came pretty damn close to saying it. (emphasis mine)
“When we had gotten married, he confessed to me about his past — that was recent at that time — and that he very much enjoyed going to clubs and the nightlife.
“So, I feel like it’s a side of him or a part of him that he lived but probably didn’t want everybody to know about.”
A former classmate of Omar Mateen’s 2006 police academy class, however, said he believed Mateen was gay.
Speaking to WFTV9 in Orlando, the classmate, who asked not to be named, said he was gay in 2006 but had not yet come out about his sexuality.
Mateen had asked him out, the classmate said.
“We went to a few gay bars with him, and I was not out at the time, so I declined his offer,” the former classmate said.
Mateen, who had married again, this time to Noor Salman who bore him a son, also visited Pulse several times over the past three years, according to club patrons.
One couple, who work together as drag-dancing performers, said they’d seen Mateen as many as a dozen times at Pulse.
Ty Smith and Chris Callen also said they’d seen him escorted drunk from the club more than once.
So we have here the portrait of a man who was something he had grown up being taught to hate. His father obviously is very anti-gay, being a pious Muslim- and he has said after the shooting that it wasn’t his son’s place to punish those people but God’s- so he certainly must have hated his son if he had even any indication of the s*xuality bubbling up within him. (And according to this TMZ report he did know and used it to refer to his son derogatorily many times)
So, again, nothing divides like the invisible lines we put up in service to religious ideology. So a perfectly healthy man who could have just lived his normal life and enjoyed what his natural body was telling him, was forced to hate exactly what he was, to the point that he possibly snapped and committed this atrocious act.
When people cage themselves into parochial corners, spurred on by their ideologies, and then discover they are actually part of this group of people they’ve been taught to hate- it can lead to such a huge amount of self loathing with such gruesome consequences. So aside the obvious barbarity of this massacre, as with most of religion’s finest, we also have massive hypocrisy embedded in it.
Just as it’s not uncommon to have preachers preaching chastity molesting small boys, people who rail loudest against same-s*x people can sometimes be caught as gay themselves. It’s simply a case of ‘the lady doth protest too much, methinks.’
There is nothing wrong with gay people aside the ridiculous notions of Bronze Age texts with barbaric codes such as stoning women for adultery (something the Christian Bible and Islamic texts actually agree on). Now a right thinking person looking at the evidence for intrinsic s*xuality and the principle of freedom would agree, but someone looking at it through the lens of their bigoted religion would reach the conclusions of Mateen’s dad, and possibly Mateen himself. In such instances, taking up an assault rifle to shoot such people is not the worst thing in the world- it might actually have God’s approval.
We could all enjoy this world and try to make the best out of ourselves we can, instead we divide ourselves along lines- Christian or Muslim, black or white, gay or straight- and we spend all our time fighting those we have put into separate boxes, rather than celebrating our shared humanity and watching out for 0ne another.