Five years ago, a makeshift memorial formed in downtown Orlando in front of the Dr. Phillips Center, following the death of 49 innocent people at Pulse. There was no shortage of people in our work and social circles that went to Pulse from time to time, and it took a few days before they were all accounted for. While I was relieved about my friends, I was deeply sad for our community and the families that lost someone to this senseless violence.
The sadness turned into anger over time. I'm still angry, about the irrational hate directed not just at the LGBTQ community, but toward all people who seek equality. Florida is an embarrassment, recently passing anti-trans and voter suppression legislation.
Those seeking equality aren't looking for an advantage, they're looking for the same baseline that everyone should enjoy. That isn't something to fear. Five years later, we haven't come very far in dispensing with hate, and in some ways, we've gone backwards. I want to be hopeful, but it's hard.
Love is love. Let's do better.