The text message read: …He’s coming. I am going to die. As a mother receiving this message how do you go on? This was the coverage on the news this morning (one day after the shooting). Immediately I began to cry because I could only imagine what they both (mother and son) were going through at that moment.
Many times we are told “Life is short, makes the most of each day”. Nothing makes this statement ring home more than a national tragedy that takes your breath away. As I typically do when I wake up on the weekend, I immediately turn on MSNBC to see what has been happening in the world. On Sunday, I saw that there had been a shooting in Orlando, Florida. I then picked up my mobile phone and started scrolling through my Facebook feeds only to find out that the shooting took place in a popular gay club. I spent the bulk of my morning watching the news coverage and saw the fatality count grow from 20 to 50 in a matter of hours. You just grow numb. I am not much of a club goer but when I do I go to enjoy myself with friends and this could have easily been me or someone I know and love.
The LGBT community is hurting but most of all parents, siblings, lovers and friends are hurting much more than any of us can imagine. What started out for most of the victims as just another night of good times and celebrations of life during Pride month with those they love turned into a night of terror and for some death. While this tragedy does not supersede or overshadow those in the past it is the first to be specifically target on our community. Yet again it reminds us of the horror that paralyzes us to begin going down the list of “what ifs”. We have become a country that is consumed with guns and this seems to be the way we settle our differences or deal with our own personal issues (emotional and mental). We must change for we can’t go on like this. Unfortunately in a few weeks man of us will go back to life as we knew it before the night of June 11th. The call for gun legislation will be suggested and those beholden to the NRA will fight against any regulations for it is the dance we have become accustomed to only to be a group full of sound and fury signifying nothing.
There are those that fuel hate within this country based on race, gender and sexual orientation and I want them to know that while this man had the gun the blood of each victim is on their hands as well. You have stood on the public stage (pulpits, legislative offices, news outlets, etc.) spewing your hatred and venom on a group of people that you feel are less deserving and for that you are culpable. You have played your part in throwing the rocks and bricks at those of us who you deem unworthy so you do not get to sit back comfortably. You can deny your involvement as much as you want but the blood of each of those innocent individuals is forever on your hands and soak in the fiber of your being.
What kind of world have we become where a person’s “presumed” religious belief coupled with his personal dislike for people who love differently is an affront on him and his life as a human being? When do I (Ronald Wadley) get to love and be loved without retribution, stares or distain from other people. The fact that I show affection by hugging, touching or gently kissing my boyfriend in public should never be a reason for hatred. When do I get to live out the dream of public love, laughter and affection with the man I love? Is this a part of the dream of life long happiness that is only afforded those that are in opposite sex relationships? This massacre has brought so many personal issues to the surface for me. However, I have come to realize that the only way to get what I deserve is to take it. I will not allow my “Dream (to be) Deferred” for “I Too Sing America”.