I want to say something; anything; productive about the attack in Orlando and what looks like a failed plan to attack Santa Monica. The last time I struggled so much for words we were dealing with the shock of hundreds of deaths in Paris.
Killing has become so common that we mourn for victims en masse. Assault no longer makes headlines if it even makes it outside of the police blotter.
June is pride month. We should be celebrating hard fought victories that we brought about nearly a year ago. We should be supporting people that still need this encouragement and action today.
When we look at any attack like this, it takes away from our moment of air. From Stonewall to Pulse, tragedy strikes when people are led to believe that others are not their equals, and that anyone, for any reason, is less than them.
It’s not a single religion. It’s all of them. It’s not a single shooter, it’s everyone who values hate over love. And it’s not one tragic shooting. It’s lives that are ended, that are ruined, that are unfulfilled, because someone else had lost their humanity.
This could have been any of us.
I walk down the streets in Charlotte knowing that less than 20 blocks from my house a woman was assaulted last week for being gay. But I never feel like I’m in danger here. I never feel like I need to avoid that street or keep my head down or hide any pride symbols I’m wearing.
What place should be safer for an LGBT person than a gay bar? The victims of this attack were celebrating. They were having a good night. They shouldn’t have had any reason to be afraid.
I will never understand why some people want others to be afraid or to be in pain. I will never understand why when things start to look better someone has to make them worse. And I sincerely hope that I will never understand what it’s like to know that someone you love was taken from you by hate.