During a Republican congressional baseball team practice this past Wednesday, a domestic abuser open fire on several politicians. Four Congress members were shot, one of them being House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La). Capitol Police Officer Crystal Griner, an out lesbian, is a hero for saving the life of Scalise and his fellow congressmen.
While Scalise still remains in critical care, his doctors have stated that they believe he will pull through. Witnesses at the scene of the shooting have said that this would have been an all out “massacre” had Griner and her fellow police officer not put themselves in harm’s way to save Scalise and company.
Why does it matter what it was a Black lesbian woman who saved these men? Some would say that it doesn’t matter; that she was simply doing her job. That’s true—Griner has made an oath to protect and serve and this past Wednesday she followed through with that commitment. She put her life in danger to protect the life of an anti-LGBTQ congressman who has admitted affiliation with white supremacists organizations.
As a House Representative, Scalise has made the commitment to serve the people of his district. Within this duty as a congress member, he is meant to ensure the rights of his constituents. I explain this because time and time again Scalise has failed his LGBTQ constituents.
Steve Scalise has admitted to (and later apologized for) being an honored guest and speaker at an international conference of white supremacist leaders hosted by EURO (an acronym for European-American Unity and Rights Organization). On top of this, Scalise has also made a reputation for himself by voting against LGBTQ rights time and time again. He even was so kind to author Louisiana’s ban on same-sex marriage, under the guise of protecting “traditional” marriage values.
When people dismiss these facts, they’re ignoring the extent to which marginalized people actively separate the way people treat and/or oppress them and still do what may be required of them for their job. In turn, we need to demand that Scalise and others like him should be able to compartmentalize the way they personally feel about LGBTQ people and still do their job of protecting the freedom of each person to marry who they would like.
Every day, queer and trans people are forced to work with people who do not support our rights to exist in this world. Every week I hear of another violent attack on my LGBTQ community, usually perpetrated on the most marginalized of us. The resilience that has built up in our community is astounding, and through this resilience we are able to understand humanity on a deeper level. So much so that Crystal Griner—a Black lesbian cop—saved the life of a known anti-LGBTQ and white supremacist affiliated congressman.