June 16, 2016
Couldn’t have said it better myself.. 😭 Its been a very hard week being so far from home while all this is going down. I still can’t wrap my head around it nor control my tears when I sit alone thinking about it. I’m not around many other Americans and although everyone has been so incredibly wonderful and empathetic, I really wish I could be back at home to go through this with my fellow citizens. I’m not sure what I’m really trying to say I just wish I could be there with (and for) everyone. But rest assured, I’m surrounded by an incredible boyfriend and amazing, supportive friends.. I’m a very lucky guy. Anyways, I’ll just leave my friend Melanie’s words below as they basically sum up what’s I’m feeling. Love you all. 💙
“I was so distraught yesterday watching the news and hearing from mothers who lost their children, best friends who lost their best friends, lovers who lost their soulmates. I can’t even imagine the grief that they are feeling right now.
I turned off the news and went outside, and saw this rainbow in the sky, and was reminded of the indomitable power of love that has always struck me as being one of the defining features of the gay rights movement. I looked up the meaning behind the rainbow flag: red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, blue for art, and violet for the human spirit. A poignant reminder that what lies at the heart of this movement also lies in the heart of us all.
The gay rights movement has always been a fight for love. It began with the simple desire to love openly. During the early days of the AIDS epidemic, gay people loved and supported each other when everyone else was too afraid to go near. In the face of those telling them to hide their true selves, they threw a big, loud, fun parade to celebrate the pride they felt in themselves. When faced with bigotry from politicians and fellow citizens, they didn’t devolve into hatred, but instead fought to win the right to marry one another and be equally protected under the law. When Westboro Baptist protesters showed up, they showed up, too, except they came armed with their girlfriends and boyfriends for a little public makeout session 😉
If we can learn anything from these struggles, it’s that love is a strategy that works.
Though the LGBT community experienced an unfathomable tragedy this week, it’s thanks to them that we know how to respond. Compared to our response to other similar tragedies, this one has been a class act. From what I have seen, blame, hatred, and vitriol has been replaced with an outpouring love and unity. As I look through my facebook feed, it’s clear to me that the gay rights movement has paved the way for this open-hearted response. Though we might not know it, we are just following in the footsteps of people braver than ourselves.
Despite our wounds, we won’t fight hatred with hatred. We will respond by celebrating one another. And we’ll be loud about it. And we’ll tell each other that we love each other. And we’ll have parades. We will make love our battle, our weapons, and our armor for the challenges that lie ahead.
And as we settle back into our daily lives, let’s take even more cues from this movement. Let’s remember that no one is a freak, even though sometimes we all feel like we are. Let’s remember what it feels like to need love. Let’s remember the love that we have received from one another and what it has done to transform us. Let’s temper our anger with tenderness for those around us.