A Brutal Reminder

The worst mass shooting in United State’s history. A murderous rampage targeting the LGBT community. A gay-hating terrorist turns a night of celebration into a nightmare.

If there was ever a time for Pride, it is now.

This year, I found myself shying away from the Pride festivals, and even the idea of Pride at all. It’s too corporate. We’ve won the most important legal battle already. Pride is hot and crowded. I can hold my partner’s hand on the street and not feel weird about it. As a gay man, I feel safe.

What a brutal reminder — I’m not.

After marriage equality, many asked “what’s next?” The HRC responded by focusing on Employment and Housing Protections. That’s all fine, however this morning it has become more clear than ever what we are fighting for.

We are still fighting for our dignity. We fight — every day — for basic, human, dignity.

In a world where most people still don’t want to give it to us, and in a world where one man horrifically took the ultimate essence of dignity from 50 innocent people, we must continue to fight. We must be OUT and PROUD. Now more than ever.

Let this be a reminder that all over the world, LGBT people are targeted and killed for their sexual orientation, or for their gender identity. If you feel your Pride waning, then get out there and be proud for them. The hundreds of thousands still facing intense, oft times deadly, persecution on a daily basis. We must stand up against radical ideology that targets our loved ones.

As LGBT people, we must use our difficult experiences shape us into the best , most caring and empathetic human beings in the world. We are proud because we have discovered what Love can be, and we must share that love.

Love and light to the families of the victims in Orlando. We’re here for you, and we love you.

-Jake