It’s hard for me to think about much other than Orlando, and how sad I feel.

And how much I want to tell the LGBT community that I love them and will stand by them and advocate for them, alongside so many others. And that they should never be afraid to be proud of who they are, that they’re perfect and loved just as they are right now.

And how much I feel for the Muslim community, who must feel so frustrated and overwhelmed by extremists who kill others in the name of their religion, when it’s not really their religion at all. And for how much hate and discrimination innocent Muslims will face because of that.

And how frustrated I feel about our politics, and that if you’re not a wealthy, old white man, your rights are compromised. Women, gays, blacks, Muslims, immigrants, children… Our politicians have made it clear that our rights don’t matter as much as the cash that lines their pockets.

And I wonder how quickly things would change if those wealthy, old white men had to buy birth control, or could get pregnant, or if on average one in four of them would be sexually assaulted, or they couldn’t use the bathroom, or had to be afraid each time their child walked out the door because of the color of their skin, or had to face separation from their families, or risk physical harm for kissing their partner in public, or be shot just living their normal life.

And I feel helpless, and sad, and scared that nightmares can come true.

And I feel hope that love will prevail, and that we can love one another and support one another in hard times as well as in good times. And we can band together and defend each other – a scrappy force of multi-colored, multi-gendered, multi-ethnic, multi-faithed, gay, straight survivors who will just love each other because we are each other.

And I know that there are good people in the world. I’ve seen them. And I will be one of them.

(Photo by @erikacarlock)

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