Writing this exact post has taken so much out of me. I have erased everything and started over so many times. The main reason is that the last few days have left me speechless. A city for which I called home for many years and a bar that was a safe haven for the LGBT community came under attack. This barbaric and heinous hate fueled crime has sent chills down my spine and across every inch of my body. I will never forget the feeling of when I woke up Sunday morning to the notifications of the attack. Or when I had to use the Facebook Safety Check feature to ensure my friends were still alive.
In catastrophic events of this nature it can be hard to remain positive and optimistic. For me, I almost feel guilty in a way that I have the ability to wake up every morning and work towards my dreams. Those 49 individuals went to a bar to enjoy their evening and never got to come home. Taking a moment to put myself in their shoes I couldn’t even imagine what they went through in their final moments before their lives were taken from them. As a society we grieve the loss of such incredible people.
Even as I continue to attempt to pour my thoughts out in this post, I remain speechless. We must make a commitment to the victims of this tragedy and the tragedies before this one that we have to change. In this country we are all too familiar with violence in our schools, places of worship, nightclubs, movie theaters, among others. Our commitment must be to create a more safe society for everyone.
This tragedy is not and should not be used as a political tool. It was a crime against the LGBT community that lost 49 innocent lives. We are all too familiar with these situations and must put an end to it. I encourage you to speak out and make your voice heard to your government officials about creating a safer community. My opinion is sure to be different than yours but all voices matter.
In the days, weeks, and months to come after the heinous crime at Pulse in Orlando we will learn the back story. Though we must continue to move forward by making a promise to the victims to live our lives to the fullest and a commitment to our society to be more vigilant.
I send my thoughts and love to a city that is my second home. It is a place that I spent all of my early 20’s and a nightclub that I have been to on many occasions. I love you Orlando, the LGBT community, and everyone who calls this place home.
Go out there and share your story with the world, its so very important.
Take a moment to listen to this wonderful song.