One week ago, the life we thought we knew was changed in a big way. A man walked into a club in Orlando and began shooting.
One week ago, we thought things were alright. Gay marriage had been won, DADT was done, DOMA was done. And we kept moving on. Free to hold our lover's hand in a restaurant, or really anywhere else. Saying how we don't need gay bars anymore. Giving to gay organizations dried up, too.
A week has gone by since that day. And things have changed. We have changed. Every person I talk to has been rattled by it. Shaken by it. Slightly broken by it. Some who weren't out have told me they realize more than ever the need to come out and be honest. Friends post on their walls, friends stand with Orlando. It's a beautiful thing to see. While the angry ones say it's another attempt to erase us. They say this, but they do little to make it better. If you don't use anger to bring about progress, then what are you using it for?
A week has gone by, and we're still here. We're still celebrating Pride, still holding hands, still raising the flag, still being who we are. We know now that things are not over. We know now that we have to keep fighting, keep moving, keep growing.
Here's the thing: if you want to be angry, then stay angry. Use it to bring some good into this world. Use it to make change happen. If you're in the closet, it's on you to decide when is the best time to come out. On your time. And if you're sad, let that sadness carry you. Create something, say something, write something.
The mourning for Orlando is different than other incidents that typically shake America. And that's because not everyone in this nation agrees with who we are. Not all of America is mourning for us. Some folks are glad this happened. So what? Screw them. We don't need them nor would we ever want them. We show them who we are. Like we have done time and time again. The ones who matter, who loves us, they mourn for Orlando alongside us. And anyone who doesn't is not worth our time.
One week ago, things changed. Will we solve it tomorrow? No. Will we vanquish homophobia in a day? No. But we have opened our eyes. And we know now that we need to demand more. We know now that we can't rest. Everyday is a battle. And we rise, we go on, we carry on, we face the day with our heads high and our hearts alive. And we never stop being the fabulous, amazing, wondrous souls we always have been. We live when no one else will.
The moment comes when you realize a few wins isn't enough. When your eyes are open and your hearts ready. The time when you stand, when you fight, when you challenge the norm. A long journey lies up ahead for us. But stand with us. No more divisions, only unity. No more destroying each other. Hope isn't this faraway thing. It's always been there. Right inside of us.