Like most Americans, I am in a state of mourning this Monday after the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. Work deadlines, bills and responsibility call me. Yet, I cannot stop thinking about the horror that took place in the Orlando nightclub.
The fact that the club called Pulse was a LGBTQ bar makes the depth of grief even more unbearable. As the child of a transgender father who spent most of his life making my family suffer for his gender, I relish (in fact adore) any business or place that allows LGBTQ people to experience belonging and community.
When a club embraces people of different experiences, beliefs, genders, colors, and creeds, there is comfort. With comfort comes the ability to thrive. When people live fully immersed in the knowledge that it’s okay to be who they are, society blossoms into a colorful rainbow.
I believe that had my adoptive father known a place where he felt accepted for the gender he knew was true, he might not have beaten my childhood into a sad memory. Acceptance of self often begins with the embrace of others. When someone is encouraged to shine in their intended spirit state, they are able to add happiness to the world.
Being the child of a transgender person who could not accept his/her true identity, makes me sensitive to the rights of the LGBTQ community. When this group of humanity (in its infinite forms) can thrive, dream, and exist in peace- struggle dies. Struggle is pain. With pain relieved, a generation of suffering evaporates.
Pulse was supposed to be a safe place. On most nights, Pulse lifted up LGBTQ patrons to dance in delight of their individuality. This weekend, the devil entered the happy place, attempting to destroy that community. He failed. Bruised, this community will need time to mourn, for the losses are many. But they will return stronger, and hopefully knowing the world wishes them freedom of expression and love.
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