#OrlandoShootings Will Not Stop Us We’ve Come To Far To Go Back

2A32B7F700000578-0-image-a-8_1435929057376 (1)Not since the murder of innocents in Sandy Hook have I been so affected as by the tragedy we witnessed this past Sunday in Orlando and continue to see now that the stories of those killed and wounded come forth.

I like many around the world sat in disbelief that yet again there was another mass killing by a madman here in the United States. But for me this time it was different as my brethren of the LGBT community were the targets of such brutality. One can never reconcile as much as we may try in our minds how this could have happened. What evil had been implanted in a mind to carry out such a diabolical and senseless deed.

I will let others put different labels on this event and the shooter, the only label important to me is this was a homophobic attack on innocent people whose only offense was spending an evening with friends and strangers in a safe place to be who they are without condemnation. 

I haven’t written on this blog now in a couple of years. I had lost my interest in expounding comment on the LGBT community either good or bad but this has moved me to the point to write something even if only for the sake of writing as an outlet to allow the deep feeling of sorrow I have about this egregious act of  inhumanity.

The obvious about gun control when it comes assault weapons I need not write about. I need not make excuses nor theory as to the shooter’s purported affiliation with terrorists. Make no mistake this is an act of terror by the very definition of the word to put fear into a group of people or people at large. This is nothing less than and perhaps nothing more than the action of a homophobic individual whatever other inlying reasons there may be. The action of someone with so much hate towards a segment of society and perhaps himself need be the only reason to be discussed as to why this happened.

Politicians will use this to advance their agenda, those for and against guns will do the same, but we as community will not allow those voices to speak louder than our own. You may kill us but we will not go away. We will not go back in the closet, we will not give up one inch of ground we have fought for over the decades, we will not be silenced in fact we will become louder and more defiant to the actions of this slayer of innocents and those who are now taking advantage of this tragedy to spew their own hatred, many under the guise of religion.

We as a community will not, can not allow this to happen. If our history has shown us nothing else we become stronger the more they attack us by word or by deed. And if the day ever comes when we don’t, we all may as well go back in the closet, lock the door and throw away the key.

To paraphrase Harvey Milk, burst down the closet doors once and for all, and stand up and continue to fight. We owe ourselves and those we lost and who were wounded in Orlando on Sunday nothing less.

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About Lyndon Evans
Associated Press Award Winner

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