It’s been five days since the tragedy which occurred in Orlando. Forty nine innocent, beautiful souls were lost to a deranged man. It’s been called the worst mass shooting in American history, and it was an attack on a gay nightclub.
People don’t want to admit it was homophobia. They don’t want to think they have something in common with a madman who killed so many beautiful people. There’s others who say things such as “God sent the shooter”. God is a loving being, who creates people in his image. He wouldn’t want someone to kill his creations in such a violent, horrific way.
Those who say religion is to blame, I ask you to stop and think for a minute. There are bad people as there are good, and as such, there are good and bad religious individuals. Don’t lump all who practice a certain religion into a category of terrible people.
Many are blaming Muslims, but do they know every single one? The answer is simple, no. My best friend is Muslim and she’s the sweetest, most amazing woman I have the privilege to know. She is also with another woman. I know she, as well as many other Muslims, would not condone the attack on Pulse.
As more faces were revealed, my heart cried out in pain. These were my fellow LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters. They were there to have a good time and spend time with their partners and friends. They didn’t deserve to lie on a floor and bleed out. They didn’t deserve to feel immense terror as they realized they weren’t going to make it out alive.
No one deserves to feel such fear.
I wept as I read stories family and friends posted of those who left this world. Their souls were wounded. They couldn’t understand how someone could do such a horrific crime and take so many before dying themselves. Families pleaded for their loved one to make it out alive, only to discover their life was ended by hatred.
Those who survived that terrible night… I can only imagine how they’re experiencing. Their fear must be immense. I know, if I was there and lived, I would be terrified to even step outside. No one should feel that way. No one has the right to make another human being so scared they won’t even leave their homes.
This attack on my sisters and brothers makes me scared as well. I live in Canada, where mass shootings are far, far less common, yet things can happen at any time. I’ve never been a club person, but I’ve thought of going to a gay one if I could find such a thing here. Now, I’d be afraid to step in one.
No one has the right to make me, or anyone else, feel such a way.
Gay clubs are our sanctuary, a place we can go to meet others like us and have fun. No person on this earth has the right to take away our one safe place; however, this attack on Pulse has, without a doubt, made many afraid to step foot in one.
We are Orlando. We are United. We will stand strong. We will stand together.
No one will take away our shine, no matter how hard they try.