For those of you still with me – I love you.
Somehow, I think that’s important to say to each other right now.
49 of our brothers, sisters, and siblings were killed last month because someone hated us. We need to speak of love.
Yes, anger. Yes, pain. Yes, action. I will not tell you to turn the other cheek or let it roll of your back or any of those things.
But also, love.
Because there are three communities that have been torn apart by one man’s hate:
1. The LGBTQ community
2. The Latinx community
3. The Muslim community
Breaking it down –
1. The LGBTQ community. Obviously. We were targeted. We were hunted. We were slaughtered. It wasn’t a terror attack on a mall or sporting event where LGBTQ peoples could have been among the victims. This was a terror attack against us.
2. The Latinx community. Along those same lines, the killer researched the nightclub, its calendar, the crowd. He chose Latin night. Yes, we white members of the LGBTQ community deserve to fell attacked and threatened. It wasn’t just a racist act. There were plenty of straight Latin clubs he could’ve targeted but didn’t. But nor can we erase the fact that it was also a racist act, perpetrated against a very specific people.
3. The Muslim community. I don’t know how many times it has to be said before the media and political pundits start repeating it, but Islam is a peaceful religion. It’s been co-opted by some hateful, hate-filled extremists, but Islam itself is neither. Yet part of the reason the media and the political pundits were so fast to declare it domestic terrorism was because the killer fit the convenient, saleable profile of a terrorist. And no, I don’t believe he did it for ISIS, in spite of his claims. I believe he, too, knew that radicalized Islam would lend a sick legitimacy to his actions so he didn’t have to admit just how much he hated us.
Which brings us back to hate. Because he did hate.
He didn’t know the 49. He didn’t care to know the 49. He only knew hate.
So…I love you. I love you for exactly who you are. I’m not saying that should make everything better. In fact, I doubt it will make anything better. I still love you.
Because it’s all I have. Because love beats hate. Because if one man’s hate can do this much damage, maybe one person’s love can help, even a little bit.
So – I love you.
Until next month, take care of you – and each other.