Orlando’s Messages

I have let the shock of last week’s tragic loss of 49 innocent victims, at the hands of a deeply disturbed gunman, settle in. My heart is still very sad. The past week has felt very somber and I was grateful for a busy schedule to keep me focused otherwise I could have been immobilized by grief. One more time we see how precious life can be taken from us, in the land of freedom. Every group of people, from children to every diversity, has been a target of death by an assault weapon. That topic will be a separate blog at some point.

For this blog, I am focusing on the LGBT community to whom were the target. The Pulse was a place of community where the LGBT community felt safe as well as everyone else who wanted to visit. You see, our community opens our door to everyone while doors have and continue to be closed to us. Sad and heartbreaking.
This event allowed many of us to observe reactions and responses by the public, our friends and families. As I listened to news coverage and read articles it was amazing to be part of as well as a recipient of heartfelt outpour of love simply because I was part of the LGBT community. Yet, as the week went on I noticed that about 95% of the heterosexual people in my life including friends and family were silent. There were no calls or texts with any type of checking in or “hey, I’m thinking about you.” While I do not participate in the gay club life anymore, there was a time when going to the local LGBT club was virtually the only place to be “out” with whom I loved with no judgement. Pretty sad yet very true. So this event could have been in any city/town to any of us. As the list of victims and survivors were revealed, there were a large number of heterosexual people at The Pulse. What that says again is that the LGBT doors are open to everyone. Isn’t that the way it should be everywhere for everyone regardless of skin color, gender, sexual preference, religious beliefs, etc.? We are a “conditional” world yet doesn’t God teach us to love unconditionally and do no harm to one another? Where have we gone wrong that we judge everyone where it’s none of our business?

There are many messages from this week’s events which include: our country has a serious problem with gun violence, we need to live life with love, not hate; and the media and politicians need to quiet down long enough to LISTEN. STOP TALKING!!!! We all need to get out of our self-absorbed lives and pay attention to the people we take for granted who we assume will always be there. That’s not the case. Pick up the phone to simply say hello, if texting is your communication mode then write a quick text of hello, or get in the car and take a drive to see someone you love who does not live locally.

I notice that while most heterosexual people in my life love my wife and I there is still that subtle ignoring of our family. Oh yea, it’s okay about us, but there’s no invite for my kids as well as never an acknowledgement for events in their life. That’s pretty conditional, wouldn’t you say??? Unfortunately, when I talk to many of my LGBT friends we share many of these disappointments. The only solution I see is to live life openly, joyfully and with love because our souls are richer for it.

As each day passes, I pray that our world will have more open hearts for diversity of any kind and that we work together to weave more love into our fiber so hate can fade away.