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One Pulse

I want to talk about what happened in Orlando at Pulse Nightclub.  I've definitely been thinking of this entire situation since 7am the day it happened.  My good friend called that early to tell us and said she had waited two hours from when she initially learned of this monstrous tragedy.  I knew something wasn't okay when I heard my phone vibrating crazy, I honestly didn't think it was the worst terror attack since 9/11 bad though.  All I knew was my body recognized it was insanely early on a Sunday morning as I reached for my phone.

As I ran to the TV I shouted to Hunter "There's been an attack!"  This would be the start of a full 72 hours of being glued to all news, social media, and TV broadcasts.  As some points it felt like a blur, like this isn't happening here, not Orlando.  It's home to the happiest freaking place on Earth.  WTF!!  With every live update came more disbelief and more disgust for the monster who did this. A terrible, horrible, no good, lousy, sad, repulsive loser who was a coward and a terrorist choosing to live out his lowly 15 minutes of fame by imposing on a crowd of fun seekers.

A friend of mine, who Hunter and I hung out with the very night of June 11th, was at Pulse when this happened.  He left the housewarming party we were at together to head out for an evening of laughter and fun, two things you are always guaranteed when hanging out with this marvelous human being.  Love and light just go where he goes.  He thankfully got out but many, many of his friends did not.  So many people's friends and loved ones didn't get out as we now know.

I'm mad about this.  I'm devastated.  Orlando is the home I've made for myself, with the love of my life, where I've completed every one of my degrees.  It's the city I set out to see if I could break away from a small town.  It's where I've purchased plastic furniture in my early days, to the real stuff as our home has expanded.  I've represented this city as a writer in many local publications with Orlando in their title proudly.  My closet is full of pride in the form of Magic shirts, Orlando City tanks, and numerous 5k tees from all kinds of city races I've participated in.  I love how Orlando is a city full of cities.  We've got country space with land, we've got a vivacious downtown scene with bars, clubs, and food you won't get anywhere else.  You want entertainment spots?  We got it.  Malls?  Which direction?  It's a city that has it all and for these very reasons I've made it my own home for a decade.

I have been to Pulse, along with several other "gay bars" in this city in my decade of living here.  For the very same reasons those who were at Pulse on June 12 went there for; to laugh, dance, and enjoy a night feeling safer than I did in many bar scenes.  I went to support friends and see them be completely who they are in a space designed for it. My stomach aches at the thought of anyone being harmed when dancing.  Dancing is the good stuff in life and no one should fear their end will come during it.

I'm grateful many people have kept their heads out of their asses and have the decency to not turn this into a religious pillage aiming to turn "sinners" from their "lifestyle".   I'm incredibly thankful people see this for what it is and that's a terrorist hate crime.  I'm so sick of anyone who is still trying to say if someone is LGBT their life of sin is punishable and needs correcting.  I live a life believing hey, you live, I live, he/she my neighbor lives.  If you don't like how someone is living, as long as they do no harm, then let it be.  Stop spewing hate and quoting a book that was written thousands of years ago.  My God lives in 2016 and he certainly loves his children based on the core of being a good, kind, loving, giving, appreciative human.

It's always made me zero sense to me when people turn against their children, who one minute swear "they're my life" and "I can't recall life without them".  Yet, if they dare utter "Mom/Dad, I'm gay/transsexual/transgender/different than x y or z..." they are met with being disowned, being attacked verbally and physically, and are constantly being preached to about the error of their ways.  Get the hell out of here with that mess.  Your kid is still your kid, they aren't different than the lovable, happy, adorable being you were praising before they dare stayed true to themselves and invited you to be accepting of their truth.  It's funny too, it's always the ignorant hypocrites doing all the shit talking too.  I have to ease up now because I feel my body getting tense.

Yes, Orlando will survive.  Yes, members of this community have rallied with no reservation.  In the immediate days following this terror, I noticed the people of Orlando smiling a little more in passing, waving more distinctly when crossing a crosswalk, holding the door at the post office and acknowledging your thank you when on their cell phone still!!  Practically unheard of at times!

This.  This is the stuff that makes a place and its people resilient.  People are inspired to support and love one another.  I'm no expert on fixing the world but I have enough common sense that if you're kind and you work hard in life good will happen.  Be kind to one another, hug your children no matter who they go to bed with, and for God's sake invoke compassion as much as you can.  It's really that simple.  Stop with the hate towards people who are "different".  This world is in trouble and we should be leaps and bounds ahead of where we are.  We must stop judging how people live when it causes no harm to others.  There are far worse things happening on Saturday nights than dancing in a club and enjoying this one life you are given.

Let's meet again,
M

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