Monday morning I woke up laying in my bed feeling like the weight of the world was lying on top of my chest. Sure it was just my pug, but the emotional weight was coming from the horrific tragedy that befell our LGBTQ brothers and sisters as well as our amazing straight allies at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Not only did we have to process the horrific feelings from the shooting Sunday, but we had to face Los Angeles Pride with the fear that something could happen at any minute to us. The day started off with the news of an arrest of a suspected assailant of some sort. It was an emotionally taxing weekend to say the least.
That Monday morning I was feeling worse that I was Sunday and when I asked a few of my friends how they were feeling they said the same thing. That made me want to take to Facebook to say something, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say. I wrote a brief passage about what was floating around in my mind.
I’m thankful we as a community in Los Angeles had pride yesterday. We had a day to celebrate and enjoy with friends; gay, lesbian, trans, straight, from all walks of life. I woke up this Monday morning like I did yesterday. I have been feeling overwhelmed with sadness and confusion. A friend of mine said yesterday she didn’t want to meet us out at the pride parade but her girlfriend said if it’s our day to go it’s our day but let’s go celebrate. Another friend said his face hurt from crying all morning but he had to be there. We shouldn’t have had to approach pride in that way. I’m angry. I’m confused. I don’t know who to be mad at. People are angry at the shooter, the FBI, Trump, politicians, Islam, ISIS, whoever… But I don’t know. I’m just mad at humanity. We see this and we just fight. My twitter feed today is full of attacks and fighting. I’m glad I spent yesterday distracted and celebrating a community that has come so far and fought so hard to be proud of who we are and forever proud to raise our heads high in the face of adversity. We, the LGBTQ community, are a community willing to celebrate under grey clouds and drizzling rain to take a moment to not fight and find a couple hours of happiness on such a sad dark day. None-the-less I’m still so sad.
Monday I found myself feeling like a hermit. I didn’t want to tweet, although I did. I didn’t want to go on Facebook, although I did. I didn’t want to go to work, although I did. I didn’t want to talk to anyone, although I did. That entire day I refused to engage in election topics. I refused to read anything involving Donald Trump. I wanted to only talk about, read and discuss the Orlando shooting and what could be done to prevent it. Monday night I exploded at the right-wing nutcases on twitter who were attacking me for being mad at the guns that killed the innocent men and women who died. I may have even tweeted the F word out once, which I think I never do. Emotions will get the better of a person during a tragedy like this so I forgive myself.
Tuesday I woke up still feeling in a haze. The hate in the world seemed to be exploding. There were American pastors and priests applauding the murder of these gay men and women. They even called for the murder of even more gay men and women. There were people in the United States saying this tragedy was not a tragedy in their view at all. My heart kept sinking.
Anderson Cooper read the names of those who were lost. My soul tore apart. Not only did my soul tear apart though, I became angry. I didn’t know what to do. Like Monday, I didn’t know who I was angry at and I still didn’t want to take aim at politics. It seemed as if I did that I would be trivializing the situation.
Then Wednesday came around. Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut took the floor of the senate and started a filibuster. I thought I was going crazy when my Apple Watch buzzed at me with this notification as I was walking to lunch. I rushed to twitter to see if it was true. It was!
Senator Murphy had taken a stand and said enough with gun violence in America. It was time to do something about these senseless acts of violence that have claimed so many lives. It is time to end gun show loopholes and make sure military grade weapons remain on the battlefield and not in our bars or our schools. He was joined by courageous senate democrats throughout the day. It gave me chills every time I snuck a peak at my social media or news outlets throughout the workday.
Gun control is so important to me. People often think we want to take away their second amendment rights to own guns, but we don’t. We want to remove guns that belong on the battle field from our neighborhood streets. People think we want to prevent them from owning any guns, but we don’t. We want better background checks and to close loopholes which, if you are a responsible gun owner that shouldn’t affect you or bother you. You should still be able to own your hunting weapon. None-the-less your weapon has nothing to do with the founding fathers intent for militias which are no longer necessary due to America’s outstanding military, police force, national guard and the like. I was ecstatic to see action being taken. I was jubilant to know that democrats were forcing a vote to be taken on gun control legislation as oppose to letting republican obstructionism to continue.
Then the end of the workday rolled around and I started walking to my car and I noticed on twitter that the hashtag “#AskTheGays” was trending. I had to ask myself why and of course it was because of Trump. How insane is Trump to think that the LGBTQ community would ever prefer him over Hillary Clinton and how in God’s name did he think we would appreciate him referring to our entire community as “The Gays”?
Between the filibuster and Trump’s continued ignorance I snapped out of my hermit crab funk. I found my mission and it was to start swinging. I didn’t know why, but I had enough of Trump. I had enough of the Republican Party. I had enough of being quiet. I know I am never quiet, but I had enough of feeling helpless and hopeless.
I made my voice heard. I am angry. I figured out what I was angry at. I am angry at the do nothing republican majority running this country not allowing our President to get anything passed through congress. I am sick of senate congressmen and senators. I am sick of the NRA. I am sick of guns. If I had my choice I would ban them all, but I am reasonable and will argue for sensible gun laws.
Most of all I am sick of bigotry, hate, homophobia, sexism, racism, discrimination and the negative rhetoric that spews out of the republican party and Donald Trump every single day. How are comments like what John McCain said today, that President Obama is responsible for the mass shooting in Orlando supposed to help our country heal? How is that comment supposed to help accomplish effective change for the United States? How is that comment proposing a fix to the issues we are facing?
It’s simply not! The democrats think gun control is the answer and the senate, President Obama and Hillary Clinton are fighting to make the changes they think are right. Republicans like Donald Trump and John McCain are just obstructing progress. They don’t have to agree with gun control, but what are they proposing? The only proposal I am hearing is banning all Muslims from the country, which is absurd, unconstructive and unreasonable since the shooter was born in America!
I’m mad. I’m fired up and we are going to win this election. We are democrats. We are Hillary Clinton supporters. We are fighting for progress, not further obstructionism. We are fighting to prevent Donald Trump from making our country slide back into the 1960’s.
Thank you republicans for snapping me out of my heartbreak and giving me the anger to fight on! Thank you democrats for giving me the courage and pride to standup again! And thank you Orlando for showing me that we all should continue to be strong as everyone in Orlando is an inspiration for the ongoing love, strength and community you have shown all of us this week.