I doubt anyone is unaware of the horrific murders committed in Orlando this week. I also doubt I have adequate language to explain how I feel about it.
Regardless of the killer’s actual motivation, which we can’t ever know, Orlando has revealed a sad truth. Because of the intolerance of others, you can be at risk at any moment. Through no fault of your own. Sadder still that this is 2016 and this can happen.
I just can’t take in that those people were assassinated whilst trying to enjoy a night out. Just being themselves. There is no reason that could ever be acceptable. For any of us. As a Trans person I am already used to living with a certain amount of tangible fear. I never know if or when I will turn that wrong corner or bump into that wrong person. Or if that momentary mistake could be the end of me. Bigotry and ignorance still have a sizeable presence and aren’t afraid to show their fearful little fists. But I can’t live my life in the same senseless fear either. Nobody should.
There really is no making sense of Orlando. It’s an aberration. A horrible moment, entirely lacking in any humanity. But the response to Orlando at least gives me hope. Worldwide, there have been vigils, prayer and a sense of togetherness. Most people know how wrong it was. I’d rather hold on to that.
And it’s made me even more grateful for all that I have. Family and friends who see past the lazy LGBT labels and take me as I am. My heart is sore for everyone who lost someone in that tragedy. Martyrs to a cause they shouldn’t even have to have fought for. Rest in peace.