For the first time since I started writing my blog back in August, I purposefully did not write a post on Sunday. I just couldn’t find the words to characterize how I feel.
Yesterday I woke up to the news of a horrific act of terror that had been carried out on my LGBTQ siblings in Orlando. The shooter murdered over fifty people and injured fifty more in a gay bar. For those of you who don’t know, gay bars are places of refuge and community for LGBTQ people. I will never forget the first time that I ever went to a gay bar. It was like coming home. I’ve met too many wonderful people to count in gay bars. I’ve also met too many very hurt human beings. They come in sad and angry at a world that can’t seem to understand that we’re all just people worthy of love and respect. A place of sanctuary for my community has forever been tainted.
I keep seeing the call for “prayers for Orlando,” but where was this compassion before? LGBTQ people are being murdered across the world. Over ten transgender people have been murdered this year in the United States. Over twenty transgender people were murdered last year. LGBTQ people are being fired, harassed, bullied, beaten, or worse all across the country. Your prayers aren’t worth much. Your action, on the other hand, is greatly needed. We need allyship to challenge the notion that LGBTQ people deserve anything less than respect. We need you to take the time to hear our stories and actually believe what we say. We need you to actively fight homophobia, transphobia, sexism, and racism because it wasn’t just the one shooter that killed all those innocent people. This act was a culmination of hatred years in the making.
Right now I am tired. I am angry. My heart aches for the victims and their families. We need more than prayers. We need love. We need action.