I didn’t say anything about the #PulseOrlando shooting yesterday because I was still processing but I want to say something now.
I want to say that I’m shocked and I want to say that I’m in mourning, and I am, but it’s muted. It’s muted from mental exhaustion and it makes me look insensitive. But here’s the thing: I’m exhausted from fear. I live in a state of constant fear and this shooting only adds to it. Everyday, no matter where I am, I have a little bit of fear with me, buried under my other emotions.
I’ve had people who don’t understand why I’m always carrying a little bit of fear with me and here’s why:
I can be attacked simply for existing. I fear for myself and I fear for my queer friends. I fear for my Muslim friends who will be ostracized by ignorant people blaming the attack on Islam and I fear for my friends who aren’t even Muslim but will be mistaken as such and treated horribly by the same people blaming Islam.
I’m afraid everywhere I go and I’m not the only one.
My heart goes out to the family and friends of the victims, but mostly my heart is broken because I’ve been given another reason to fear the people in my own country.
We need to stop this violence, because too many live in fear in this country.