As most of you probably know, today is the one-year anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida. The Pulse Nightclub was a safe haven for members of the LGBTQ+ community, and then overnight that safety was broken by a few bullets, and forty-nine people killed.
The senseless acts of violence that we hear almost weekly in our news are no longer simply an issue. These are deliberate actions of human beings against human beings that are sparked by anger and hatred, and they must not continue. Worst of all, however, is the fact that the incident does not end once the bullets have been fired and the people are dead. For example, with the Pulse shooting, it has been denied that the attack was a deliberate action against members of the gay community, though this was a gay club; people have published long angry debates and called each other out; and all this for opinions that do not affect them.
This. Needs. To. Stop.
We are all humans. We all have people that we love, things we enjoy; we all make mistakes. We all laugh, we all cry. Regardless of what you believe, it is time for us to simply respect each other regardless of sexuality, gender, sex, race, religion, or political stance, and simply calm the heck down. We have spent so much time dividing ourselves. Is it easier that way? Does it somehow make people feel better about themselves if they have someone else who is different whom they can call out for being the way God made them?
This is my open letter to the entire world. I am not attacking anyone. I am simply suggesting that we all try to get along a little better.
The attack in Orlando was a nightmare come alive, and no one should ever have to go through what the victims – forty-nine of whom lost their lives and many more who suffered injuries and trauma – did that night. Now, I am not gay. I am not bisexual or transgender or nonbinary, or any of the things that people are so often attacked for being. I am a straight, cisgender woman. But I see the persecution of people who are not, and it breaks my heart. This is not how God wants us to live. It’s time for us to knock down all the walls that we’ve built around communities and simply come together.
One year ago, forty-nine people died in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Let’s spend today praying for their families, their community, and the survivors.
And then let’s spend tomorrow figuring out how to get through this thing called life – as one.