It’s been a pretty horrible few days to say the least. If we’re being honest, my words mean nothing. Just more noise added to the swell of fears and prayers and contemplations happening all across our country — and hopefully, the world. But I do have this blog and I do write my thoughts, so I’m sharing them because I have no idea what else to do.
In the wake of the tragic massacre inside Pulse nightclub in Orlando early Sunday morning, I feel broken, devastated, and terrified. It was difficult to face a Monday as if it were normal from deadlines to diapers and meal planning to traffic jams. The usual Monday things felt surreal and stupid. The grounding factor for me, only that I have a small child to care for. I am thankful for her for so many reasons, but right now I am particularly thankful that she’s giving me the motivation to keep going.
Several years ago, a very close family member of mine faced horrific consequences for his status as a gay man. We were lucky not to lose him, as so many lost their loved ones in Orlando. Reading the texts from one son inside Pule to his mom, I couldn’t stop crying. “Mommy I love you,” and soon, “I’m going to die.” Having my own child, the words hit like punches directly to the gut.
My useless tears in the wake of the event do absolutely nothing for rescue efforts in Orlando, nor do my silent prayers do anything to bring back the lives lost, senselessly to hate. I can’t stop them though, and I won’t. Though with every lucky breathe I take, I wish more and more that there was something real, something tangible I could do.
This world can be so cruel and yet so beautiful. It’s trite and tired but true. The universal fact of hate is this: we are not born with it. It’s taught. Cast the hate out and teach your children love and tolerance. Do not use the word “gay” to mean things it does not mean — like stupid, inadequate, or unsatisfactory. We must also remember that murder is not within the teachings of Islam; that people who distort the meaning of this religion, or any, to justify taking another human life, are working on their own evil, twisted logic and not in support of or accordance with that book.
Hug your children. Remind them that they are beautiful and deserving just as they are. Tell them the truth — which is that every single person of every race, religion, socioeconomic background, gender identity, sexual orientation, mental and physical ability, nationality, and difference are equal. We are all beautiful and deserving, just as we are.
Life is dangerously, terrifyingly short. This weekend it was a gay club in Orlando. Next time it could be somewhere, something hitting much closer to your, to my, home. Don’t just be relieved that it wasn’t your child in that club. Be desperate to find a way to help. Be bold in your acceptance and love for all people. Hang a Gay Pride flag in your doorway, and while you’re at it, put a Black Lives Matter sticker on your car.
Do not elect to the highest office of this land a man who is fueled by hate himself. Do not stand up for the ability for criminals and terrorists to freely get their hands on deadly weapons. Remember that this time it might not have been you, but next time it easily could. No one wants to receive the text “Mommy… I’m gonna die.” Stamp out hate with love. Show them what we are made of. We are made of love.