I spend much of my time on the Internet.
This means that I find out about tragedy, disasters, everything, before it hits the tending feeds on Facebook.
I want to sort out the facts. Process. I’ll do this for hours in a cycle. Search. Read. Sort. Process. Repeat.
The sooner I can get through those stages, the sooner I can quiet myself and listen to those that need to speak their minds. I’m not certified to provide any kind of answers. I just know the facts, and can repeat them until I’m blue in the face. When tragedy or disaster strikes, I’m a listener by nature. I listen. I sort. I process. Rinse. Repeat.
As millennials, the hate crime at The Pulse is our every day. We’ve become desensitized to the fact that this is our way of life. The millennial generation is defined as being born between 1982-2004, and in that time we’ve seen 80 mass shootings, including The Pulse.
80 mass shootings in the United States since the first members of our generation were born.
And nothing has changed.
Our nation became complacent with mass shootings and gun violence after children were killed at Sandyhook and nothing happened. Instead people wanted guns to be carried in schools, and other public areas, because that would stop a mass shooting. The number of events in which an armed civilian has stopped a mass shooting is small. Barely out of the double digits.
We turn a blind eye to the minorities and the young, and let them be killed while we let guns be protected by their own amendment. Minorities don’t get an amendment to protect their lives, their jobs, their safety. They get hate, when all they want are rights, peace, and to share their love.
Every time a tragedy happens, the same hashtags appears: #prayforboston #prayforaurora #prayforsanbernadino #prayfororlando #thoughtsandprayers. These are tweeted, and retweeted over and over.
These hashtags don’t create change.
We don’t want your thoughts and prayers. We don’t want your hashtagged condolences.
We want change.
This complacency with hate crimes: blatant homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, islamaphobia means that as minorities we don’t have a right to safety. We are not seen as humans that deserve basic rights.
And wishing us your hashtagged #thoughtsandprayers does nothing but prove complacency. Donate to help the victims’ funeral costs. Donate blood. Vote for change.
Don’t tweet your #thoughtsandprayers because that doesn’t help stop the hate.
Despite everything we’ve gone through, what I love most about the GSRM or LGBTQIAPD+ community is our resilience. We didn’t choose to be faced with hate day in and day out. Our choice was to be who we are. We’ll mourn the passing of the individuals that were taken too soon out of hate. And then we’ll get up and take up our fight again.
That’s all we’ve learned to do.
The Tony Awards were dedicated to victims of the hate crime at The Pulse. Dedicated to the closeted individuals who don’t feel safe coming out because they see the world we live in.
Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote a sonnet as part of his acceptance speech. Its what we needed:
If you need someone to just listen, or read something you’ve written to express your feelings, I’m here for you. Please feel free to contact me either here, on Twitter, or Tumblr. I’m here to listen and support my beautiful, amazing community. You are loved. You are important.