To the people who've lost loved ones and to the community who've lost many of their own, there are no words to describe what you are going through. I am an ally, a friend, and someone who hopes you find some peace in this senseless violence. And it is senseless. Don't get me wrong, it's targeted but it's senseless.
I have been lucky enough to be accepted into your community. Most of my friends fall somewhere on the LGBTQ spectrum and, not to be biased but they are the greatest people I know. They are my friends, my family, and the loves of my life.
I can't tell you how many times we've rolled up to the club in Toronto's village ready for a great night out. It is our church, our dance floor, our stage. The place to shake off frustrations, to celebrate birthdays, engagements, break-ups and to drink too much all the while being surrounded by fabulous people. Clubs within the LGBTQA community allow you to be you. Whoever you are, you are free to dance with whom you want, to kiss who you want, to be exactly who you are in that moment. For anyone who has had the privilege to step inside a gay club, you know the magic that happens there. The music, the incredible dancing, and the feeling that you are on fire. That's why you go there. That's why all those people were at Pulse Nightclub. But most importantly, anyone within the LGTBQA community knows that we go to these clubs because there is no question about whether or not we'll be safe. Until now.
And that's the thing, this act of violence has created so much devastation within a community that is so filled with love, strength, and hope. It's also made people fearful to go out, to be seen, to be "out" loud and proud in the world and that is unacceptable. I am devastated that one violent person has made my friends question if they are safe in their own clubs. And for that, I'm sorry. It's not fair and it's not right.
In a world where people tell you to hide who you are, who try to stop you from being with the person you love or who ends the lives of many people within your community, I'm so sorry. It doesn't change anything but I'm so incredibly sorry. The world can be a cruel place and it's easy to think that you are not wanted. And although I don't want to speak for you, I want to tell you that you are loved. You are cared about. Your lives matter. And this is absolutely horrific.
As an ally, I want to be there for the friends who need me. I also want to remind anyone who reads this that your existence matters, you are important, and there are people who are here to support you.
This feels like a very shallow and simplistic post about a complicated and emotionally charged event. But like many people I'm at a loss for what to do or what to say. I don't know what action to take so at this moment so I can only offer this promise; If anyone needs me for a tea, a check-in, or a hug, please don't hesitate to reach out.
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