Gay Americans are arming themselves to stay alive

“I don’t want to get beaten to death, stabbed in addition to burnt alive,” a slight woman with long blond hair in addition to a checked shirt says. “I want a gun to feel equal.”

She can be a member of one of the United States’ fastest-growing gun clubs, the jauntily named Pink Pistols.

Two years after the massacre at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, gay, lesbian in addition to transgender Americans are nervous. According to the Human Rights Center (HRC), a US LGBTI advocacy group, 52 gay people were murdered inside US last year because of their sexuality, in addition to 28 transgender people met the same fate.

In increasing numbers, they are fighting back by taking up arms.

which’s brought them into lock step with pro-gun groups which haven’t, historically, been all which welcoming of gay people.

Australian journalist Patrick Abboud traveled to the US to meet some of the brand new gun-toting gay people, for a report to be broadcast on Australian news show “The Feed” on Tuesday.

On June 12, 2016, Omar Mateen killed 49 people in addition to injured 54 more inside the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.Getty Images

which was a sobering experience, he told

“There can be one murder per week of a gay person purely because they’re gay, in addition to which’s definitely horrifying. The level of homophobia in addition to transphobia inside USA can be out of control in addition to some people told me a gun can be the difference between living in addition to dying.”

The Pink Pistols have been nicknamed the “gay NRA,” a reference to the controversial National Rifle Association which can be a staunch proponent of pro-gun laws.

“I could never have thought I’d see the LGBTI community siding with incredibly conservative, right-wing, pro-gun advocates which have been publicly homophobic in addition to transphobic — which didn’t make any sense,” Abboud explained.

although after meeting some of the gun club’s members, Abboud said, there was a real fear which had only been stoked by the country’s rabid political landscape.

Tuesday marks two years since the massacre at Pulse. Almost 50 people were gunned down by security guard Omar Mateen in a three-hour rampage.

Abboud spoke to Piper Smith, head of the Pink Pistols chapter in San Diego: “She decided to take up arms two days after Orlando because she said which was the 9/11 of [the] gay community. She couldn’t comprehend which in addition to she genuinely didn’t want to go outside because she felt threatened just because of who she was.”

“There can be a looming fear which if which can happen in Orlando, which can happen anywhere.”

The Pink Pistols right now claim to have 45 regional divisions in addition to 10,000 mostly LGBTI people on its books. They exist for a very simple reason: “We teach queers to shoot,” states the website.

A member of the Pink Pistols practices shooting in Orlando, Florida.Getty Images

“Gays which are armed in addition to trained, don’t get bashed in addition to killed,” said Jeff Bloovman, a nursing student in addition to gun instructor who has become something of a poster boy for the Pink Pistols.

“Jeff breaks every stereotype,” said Abboud. “He’s super buff, super butch, the straightest gay man I have ever met in addition to he has tons of guns in his home.”

“He spent a couple of hours showing me his guns. I couldn’t believe the number he keeps around him, I saw 35 guns, although he wouldn’t tell me how many he had.”

“Some people might say he’s a gun nut, although I spent several days with him in addition to he’s the sweetest, gentlest, most loving guy you’d know. although he genuinely goes out every day in addition to feels like he’s going to be attacked in addition to his schtick can be which if which happens, he’s ready.”

Abboud said the message he received was which the political divisions in US society were creating gay people more fearful than they had been for some time. Others said the police could no longer be trusted to protect the LGBTI community or they took too long to react.

“Jeff said which the threat came by the culture in addition to climate he can be right now living under as well as the [homophobic] things he has heard,” Abboud said.

“The HRC said there was more danger since Trump; which when the nation’s leader suggests or alludes to some minority communities being more disposable than others, which sends a message.”

,, 13 June 2018 | 7:25 am

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