I have a habit of waking up in the middle of the night and staying awake. While I’m in North America, it’s a good time to message my love and my family and friends at home. This morning, there was a very early news alert about a shooting in an LGBT nightclub in Orlando. No details on casualties, just the bare fact.
By the time I woke up, things had changed dramatically. What seemed like a bad dream was reality. I’ve been trying to figure out if an attack on a specific group of people is worse than a random attack on whoever happens to be around. There is no right answer to this, of course. It’s all wrong.
This evening I went to Portland’s vigil. It was beautiful in its simplicity. A block around Ember nightclub was closed off and secured by the police. Their chief was one of the speakers, in addition to a number of local activists and the mayor of Portland. Candles were distributed and there was a performance by the gay men’s choir and the lesbian chorus.
The turnout was significant but there were times when you could hear a pin drop. People cheered at a call for action on gun violence, but most just looked shocked and upset. The younger people were angry, but the older crowd were visibly devastated. How can a community come through all the difficulties and hardships that they have, and still be the targets of this blind hatred?
I don’t know what else to say. My heart is broken for those I love.