I wasn't planning on making my first topical blog post about such a sad topic, but I got some feelings down right after the news broke of the shooting at Pulse in Orlando. It's about time I publish them.
It was the late Martin Luther-King Jr that once said:
"We've learnt to fly the air like birds. We've learnt to swim the seas like fish... And yet we still haven't learnt to walk the earth as brothers and sisters."
This act of terrorism committed against the LGBTQ+ community right at the beginning of our month of Pride celebrations is proof that there are still people who don't believe in equality. Unfortunately, it has shed light on the unavoidable fact that homophobia and xenophobia are still very much alive and can even be deadly forms of hateful ideology.
But I think that this just gives our community and those who support it even more of a reason to stand, march, dance and live for love. Love is the most powerful and pure substance on this earth. These hateful organisations will only last so long before their brand of bitterness is replaced with a new one. But love is transcendent. It is an intrinsic human right for us to love freely and openly and to feel safe whilst doing so. I for one will never let anyone believe that they can take that right away from me.
It's been just over two weeks since the shooting occurred and I think its impact is clear: People are not hiding. We are all very much visible. There is no shame in Pride. There is, however, no greater shame than being forced to hide who you are.
The world is a wonderful place full of so much love. Hate became the way it is because it is too weak to take on the whole world. There is no strength to be found in division and persecution. Strength lies in unity and acceptance.
The sacrifice that the Orlando victims made in order to live their most authentic lives is one that I will never forget.
There is still a fight to be had, but no amount of ammunition will ever kill self-expression.
Love always wins.