To quote Lin-Manuel Miranda from his acceptance speech at last night’s Tony Awards, “Love is Love is Love…”
I am, simply, a woman with a broken heart.
Early Sunday was a very long stretch of hours for me and my partner as his daughter lives in Orlando.
This is her city, her community, her world and for many long hours, we did not hear from her. In the end, she was home fast asleep but we didn’t know that. In my mind I was already booking flights, making plans, arranging for every possible outcome.
We are lucky because she is alive and well.
But so many families are now dealing with the worst outcome imaginable.
So many of my family and friends are dealing with this hate crime, for that is what it was. Plain and simple, a hate crime.
A hate crime against lesbians, gays, bi-sexuals, transgenders, queers and intersexuals. People who love and live and have every right to be free in this country and yet still, in 2016, live in fear on a daily basis.
It is my opinion that ISIS has nothing to do with this attack. Hatred. Homophobia. Bigotry. Those things have everything to do with this attack.
Above all, way way way above all, is the fact that the gunman was able to buy an assault rifle and walk out of the store with it.
Our laws facilitate terrorism, mass murder, hate crimes. Our refusal to change those laws makes us complicit.
How is it that we continue to allow this in our country? We spend more on military than we do on education. How do we, as a nation, sleep at night knowing that?
And yet on the media we hear dulcet voices coaching us to prepare for an act of terror. These voices are incredibly creepy, like the ones used in stress visualizations or meditation tapes. They strike me as brainwashing.
Yes, there are people – including our President – saying we need stricter laws but they are quickly undermined by “get ready, it will happen to you, breathe, exhale, look for your closest exit, play dead, imagine yourself being terrorized.”
This too is terrorism. Sending us constant messaging that we simply have to live with this state of constant fear only accomplishes the dumbing down of our nation and the building up of our military industrial complex.
I fear for our country. I fear for our international community. But most of all, I fear for the LGBTQI people I love. My family, my friends, my colleagues, my neighbors; they deserve better.
As the names of the deceased and injured are released, read about them.
Look at their faces and think about their lives. These are the individuals who have most recently suffered as a consequence of our nation’s refusal to address gun control. These individuals could have been you or someone you loved.
Make it stop. Do something, say something, if nothing else, think something. Use your vote. Use your voice. Use your words. Use your heart. Stop the NRA. Put gun control laws into place and enforce them.
My heart goes out today, and every day, to everyone touched by this horror.
Love is Love is Love.