Holding hope in the midst of atrocities and fear

I was the child who wanted to believe in the good in everybody.
I was the child who watched movies and questioned why villains could be so evil.

Now, I am still idealistic, and hopeful.

I am also cynical, and sometimes pessimistic.

I realized this week that as I watched the updates on Facebook, post after post after post about the Orlando mass shooting at the Pulse Nightclub, I felt like I should post something as way to express my emotions or make a stand.  And I also realized that I felt like I had everything and nothing to say.

I don’t want to feel obligated to say something. I do have very real feelings about this, and I also question the need to post everything on social media. And I’m speaking specifically to my own need – I don’t want to infringe on someone else’s desire or need to post something online.

As a bisexual woman and part of the LGBTQ community, I am sad and horrified. I grieve for those who lost their lives, for those still alive who witnessed such atrocities,for the family members and loved ones who survived them. I am deeply sad that many may be afraid to go into places of sanctuary – such as nightclubs like Pulse – in the coming months.

As the week goes by, the news comes, one thing after another. About Islam. About the LGBTQ community. Definitions of terrorism vs. hate crime. The articles pointed out what the mainstream media may have missed: most of those killed were Latino (or Latinx, as the LGBTQ community often calls them to encompass all genders).

I watch people take a vacation from Facebook. I watch people tell other people about what they need to be aware of. I watch people post rainbow flags, while others say that prayers are not enough: We need action.

I talk to my fiance the night after it happens. I rant, and I cry.

There are so many things that happen in the world each day. This is one event, and it is not insignificant. It is close to home, at least in the relative sense. It is something that impacts me personally in some ways, and not in others.

I don’t want to fear for my own safety or that of loved ones, friends, acquaintances.  It’s easy to feel helpless. I begin to stand against helplessness by writing these words. By acknowledging the ways I see people coming together. I hold fear, anger, and sadness. I also hold hope.

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