It could have been me.
Yesterday, as I watched the reports of the carnage of the shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, I realized…
It could have been me.
I have spent countless nights with my gay friends dancing at similar clubs. From my college days in Greenwich Village to the early days of South Beach, I celebrated, frolicked and bonded with my friends of all backgrounds. Lifelong friendships and permanent memories were shared in these venues. I found the amazing woman who would be my wedding DJ at a gay establishment. I helped my friends prep for drag shows, and learned how to strut in 5 inch heels.
The thing I loved the most at gay clubs was while bouncers were present, metal detectors were not…there was no need! There were no fights, no foolishness. Just great music and tons of love. As a woman I always felt safe. Not only was I accepted for who I was, with no interest in my bank account, background or body attributes, I was physically safe. I can rest assured that there were no predators waiting to rape or rob me.
I am heartbroken and angry. But we will not be broken. The purpose of terrorism is to make people afraid to live their lives. We are better than that.
In these coming days, we must let law enforcement develop the full picture of who this hateful individual is, and then take steps within our Constitution to make sure this does not happen again. I reiterate within our Constitution, because it is easy to move away from our basic tenets in times of fear. As Thomas Jefferson, one of the framers of the Constitution stated,
“Whatever be the Constitution, great care must be taken to provide a mode of amendment when experience or change of circumstances shall have manifested that any part of it is unadapted to the good of the nation. In some of our States it requires a new authority from the whole people, acting by their representatives, chosen for this express purpose, and assembled in convention. This is found too difficult for remedying the imperfections which experience develops from time to time in an organization of the first impression. A greater facility of amendment is certainly requisite to maintain it in a course of action accommodated to the times and changes through which we are ever passing.” –Thomas Jefferson to A. Coray, 1823. ME 15:488
In the meantime, send your positive thoughts and energy to entire community that is in pain. I put this on my Facebook page yesterday because I was in negativity overload.
I’m so disgusted. Not just by the actions of the cowardly shooter in Orlando, but on the posts I’m seeing in my feed. “We have to shut down the borders”, “these Muslims”, and my favorite “Obama, Hillary and Bernie are at fault, Trump is the answer”. Really?? Let’s recap. We are still finding out information. We know that the shooter is a HOME GROWN US Citizen. We know he was homophobic. We know that 50 are dead, 42 are injured, and that number will increase. That is over 100 people directly affected, thousands who will be next of kin grieving the loss of a loved one, and more who will be caretakers to the injured. There is a community that has lost their sense of peace. Can we stop the politics for ONE DAY and realize that this is the time to come together and HELP?! Before you use this as an opportunity to say nasty things, maybe figure out how to donate money for the unexpected funerals and medical costs. Donate blood, the hospitals are in desperate need. Don’t worry, you can go back to debating politics later, we have until November. But the people of Orlando NEED US NOW!! #OrlandoShooting
If you really want to help (and not pontificate), here’s how:
The hospitals need blood. OneBlood.org will give you further information in order to donate, or call 1.888.936.6283. Due to ridiculously antiquated perceptions on gays and HIV, gays have been turned away from donating blood, so everyone else needs to step up!! O+ is especially needed.
Equality Florida, a LGBTQ organization, has set up a Go Fund Me page for the victims. Click here to donate. It is refreshing to know that over $1.3 million dollars has been raised by this campaign in the last 22 hours…but more is needed.
#OrlandoStrong #StrongerTogether #OneLove