The Orlando Shooting: I Guess I’ll Say It.

On June 12th, 2016, a very tragic incident occurred which left 49 people dead and 53 injured. Hearing this news was beyond heartbreaking for me. I mourned alongside my fellow LGBT+ brothers and sisters. I found out about this incident the way many did. Through social media. Particularly, Facebook. With the news bore messages of hatred against the Islamic faith, as well as a sense of support to the LGBT+ community. My emotions from this message were so conflicted that I had to close the app on my phone and open one of my gaming apps to try to distract my mind from my thoughts. Until today, I’ve remained silent. Until today, I’ve kept my opinions to myself. But that is over.

I would like to start by saying I do not, and will never, blame an entire religion for the acts of terrorist, no matter what faith, race or region they hide behind. My heart goes out to all the Muslims who live in fear each day because of their faith, and those of middle eastern descent who live in fear each day because of their physical features. You are not the enemy. And while my fellow Americans, and other citizens of the world, do not all agree on that, fact is fact. And I apologize on behalf of their ignorance.

Secondly, to all of the people who just last month were fighting to have laws passed in order to oppress my brothers and sisters of the LGBT+ community, those who have ridiculed, and spread hate, those who have refused service of any kind, in an effort to show your disapproval for their “life-style choices”, why now, do you mourn with us? I spoke with my grandmother about this, and she told me, “They’re still human.” And you know, I must say, that statement lit a fire in me. They’re. Still. Human. So, they weren’t human when you fought to deny them the right to marry? They weren’t human when you fought to have laws passed to leave them unprotected from violence, abuse and hate? They weren’t human when you fought to have laws passed in the name of “Religious Freedom” to have the denied the right to basic services, such as medical care, grocery shopping and having a fricking wedding cake made, to name a few? These are just basic examples, but they serve a much more powerful message. At what point, do we become human? And at what point are we second-class citizens? Do you believe this is the first time the LGBT+ community has been targeted, hated and even killed? This happens. Every. Day. So I ask again. Why now? At what point, do we, as a community, matter? When more than one of us is killed at a time, in a single location? When the media is finally on OUR side? Is that what it takes before you realize that WE ARE HUMAN TOO. Because if that is what it takes, than shame on you society. Shame. On. You.

I am saddened by this world that we live in. I hope that one day we can find peace, not through tragedy, but through love.

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