About Orlando

This world keeps breaking my heart, but I’m not giving up on it. 

Someone wrote this, somewhere, some time ago. It’s stuck with me. It pops into my head at upsettingly regular intervals: 

When innocent people are gunned down and the reaction is: well, there’s nothing we can do about it. 

When people of color and LGBTQ people are targeted by politicians and hate groups alike. 

When members of these communities are assaulted and murdered, and politicians inflict further injury by erasing their identities, removing them from the tragedy by making it about “extremists” or “mental health.”  

As insane, hateful rhetoric becomes the norm, and the people responsible are not removed from power, declared unfit to serve or to run for government. 

As politicians use this atrocity to direct even more hate at the Muslim community. 

I'm afraid, I'm exhausted, I'm shocked. I'm like everyone else. But we can't give in to fear and despair. We have a job to do. 

 To my LGBTQ friends, my Muslim friends, my Black friends; to anyone who has been the target of hate and violence in this fucked-up world: I see you, I love you, I support you, I will fight for you. I’m not giving up. 

These are the people who died as a direct result of the hate that’s become part of the normal conversation in our country. They will not be forgotten. Their deaths will not be in vain. 

Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old

Amanda Alvear, 25 years old

Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26 years old

Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 years old

Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old

Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old

Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28 years old

Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25 years old

Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old

Cory James Connell, 21 years old

Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old

Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old

Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 years old

Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old

Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old

Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 years old

Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old

Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old

Frank Hernandez, 27 years old

Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old

Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 years old

Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old

Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old

Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25 years old

Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old

Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old

Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49 years old

Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 years old

Kimberly Morris, 37 years old

Akyra Monet Murray, 18 years old

Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 years old

Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25 years old

Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old

Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old

Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old

Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old

Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27 years old

Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 years old

Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 years old

Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24 years old

Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old

Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old

Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old

Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24 years old

Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 years old

Luis S. Vielma, 22 years old

Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 years old

Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old

Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old