It’s at moments like these where I often find myself at a loss for words. Which is a funny conundrum for any writer to face. Words are our art form, our life, the way we work through the darkest points of our lives.

Like all of you, I awoke yesterday and was greeted by the nightmare images of what happened in Orlando. President Obama said it perfectly, it was an act of terror, but it was, also, a hate crime. A hate crime that was directed at my son, my friends, my loved ones. In short, some of the most important people of my life.

When my son came out, the LGBT community welcomed us with opened arms. They helped us learn how to navigate this new world that we were faced with. For as sad as it may seem, at that moment in the eyes of many, my son had become a “lesser than.”

It was a bitter pill to swallow and it still hurts to this day. Even though we have made great strides in equality in recent years, the hate is still more prevalent than ever. The words that I hear spilling from certain politician’s mouths, city officials who refuse to issue wedding licenses, and just from ordinary people continue to confuse and anger me. I thought that we would have progressed more as a society. Learned more from the mistakes that have been made is history. Yet, this issue of prejudice and hatred continues to flourish.

So, I have some things that I will be doing. I will continue to fight harder than ever against hate. I will speak out against those who are building a breeding ground for more hatred to grow. Most of all, I will not be stopped.

This is what I won’t do. I will never speak aloud or write down that shooter’s name. He does not deserve that honor. Instead, I will embrace the names of the victims and their families. I will burn each name into my memory and never forget about them.

One more thing I will refuse to do is to blame one religion for this. ISIS is not Islam any more than the Westboro Baptist Church is Christianity. Islam is a religion of love, respect and kindness toward their fellow men. We must not let this change us and make us stigmatized an already unfairly ostracized group of individuals.

What I call for all of us to do is to make sure that we always say “I love you” to the most important people in our lives. Not be afraid to step out of the shadows and speak for what is right. For if we do, then they will win. That we can’t ever allow.

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5 Responses to Orlando

  1. Athena Aubrey says:

    I was going to a new church and in sunday school classes for two weeks in a roll, the ladies in the class keep putting down gay people and I never went back again. God is the one to judge all not use are those ladies.
    Everyone on this earth was put here for some reason are another. I’m friends with alot of people, gay, straight, by, whatever. It’s like when a white couple adopt a black child, are a child from another country, they love that child as there own. Just why can’t all the killing everywere just quit? Leave God children alone, know matter how they are. For we all have are different know matter what and also very special.

  2. Kylia says:

    Well said.

    This is a horrible tragedy that affects everyone, not just those in the LGBT community, like myself and your son, and the thousands of other people all across the nation, but every single person we/they have touched. This sort of hate-mongering affects everyone and we, as a society, can not afford to let it pass as if it doesn’t matter, nor can we lay the blame at any one religion because this tragedy isn’t the fault of Islam or any other religion. This is a hate crime. This is terrorism. If we allow fear to dictate our actions, then they have won.

  3. Meg D says:

    I woke up and after seeing the news thought my grand children have one f’d up world to live in. I thought of the couple of people I went to school with back in the 70’s that have since come out, and wondered how hard a time they must have had. I hadn’t noticed. I wonder about the co-worker of my other half who was always teased about ACTING gay. I told my other half that he may y think it was just a kidding thing, but it was just wrong. The guy move to Florida and came out. I aske my other half if he didn’t feel like a real Ahole now. He did and I was glad. I was so happy when my grand daughter said her friend came out and that every thing was all good with him and all their friends. I thought maybe this generation would break away from old prejudices. It breaks my heart that so many in the LGBT community still suffer so much. Why can’t people just live and let live? There aren’t many animals as cruel as the human can be.

  4. lou says:

    I will follow your example. I am deeply saddened with what is going on from the attack to the unnecessary deaths because fools are murdering worldwide, My prayers are with the families and always shout to the four winds the right that we all become free and love freely.

  5. Kerry says:

    My heart goes out to every one who is hurt or suffering at this time and just know that you are loved

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