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