Today is the anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, so this post seemed especially fitting for today.
When I was a little girl in school, I loved to read. I’d read everything, but I was especially interested in history… and still am today. We would get our little homework assignments to read a chapter in our history books on the Civil War and I’d come in having read all the way up to women’s suffrage. Why? Because history fascinated me. But moreso, what fascinated me – and scared me a little, to be honest – is that human beings are squishy and have expiration dates, but most of us just… don’t learn from our mistakes. My history professor in college made this point when he reminded all of us that, “history is written by the winners.” So, we read about these extraordinary people and these social movements because they were catalysts for change… and sometimes, not in the good way. Why? Because the good guys aren’t always the winners. Life isn’t a superhero movie.
As I was growing up, I used to watch the news with my family at night. It almost always came on right before it was just-about-too-late for me to be up on a school night, but my parents let it slide because it was the news. It was educational. I was watching and learning about history as it was being made.
I stopped watching the news with any regularity on June 12, 2016. Why? Because that morning, when I woke up to take Vincent out to the yard to go to the bathroom, I remember first being irritated that he’d gotten me up so early. It was a Sunday. I didn’t have to work that morning, so there was no reason to be up that early. And hell – let’s be honest – I hadn’t even been to sleep that long between playing around on SL and Guild Wars II or WoW or whatever the gaming poison of the moment was back then. And as I was brining him back in and grumbling about how much I wanted to go back to sleep, I noticed that the news was on. Initially, I didn’t compute what had happened… until I noticed that the same story was on every channel. So I stopped, grabbed the sheet off my bed, and sat in front of the television. The news crews were still at the scene. They were showing footage of the police, of clubgoers, recordings. They were relaying news as they got it. I watched for hours, even when they started repeating the same information over and over again. I sat and I watched and I cried. I cried for the lives lost and the terror of it all, and the absolute audacity that something like that would happen in my world. In the 21st century. In a time when people are supposed to be more educated, and more open, and more unified, and more willing for change.
This was the day that I talked about in my previous blog – the day my mother sat me down and explained to me that it wasn’t that she was ashamed of me… it was that she was scared of me because of stuff like this.
And what did she mean?
Blind, ill-informed, hatred. It leads to violence. It leads to upset and to tragedy and to profound, unspeakable loss.
After the Pulse shooting, I remember being moved by how much the community came together. And I thought we’d finally learned. I told myself what I always try to tell myself when someone does something unspeakable: It’s one person, and you can’t judge everything based on the one. Things will get better.
But the truth, guys? The truth is, things haven’t gotten better. We still have more shootings than I can count. Children. Innocent people just trying to live their lives. People who, by simply existing in the wrong place at the precisely wrong time, paid the ultimate price. We have riots in the streets, people burning buildings and breaking windows and beating complete strangers. Riots in the capitol. Cancel culture.
Yep. That’s on the list, too. Why? Because it may not be quite as bad at face value, but it’s still horrible. If we erase our pasts, if we simply erase the things that we don’t like, the things that make us uncomfortable or the things we don’t agree with… we can’t learn from them. We can’t learn from our mistakes. We can’t evolve as human beings and be better than the ones that came before us. If we continue to try to stamp out the past, we are only adding to the tragedy. There are people in my own family who do the same thing with the Pulse shooting. This day symbolizes nothing to them because they don’t understand it, or they don’t like LGBTQ+ people anyway, so they shrug it off and don’t talk about it.
We can not let ourselves forget. We can not let ourselves erase the past. As horrible as it has been for some of us, it needs to be there. Why? Because those people need to be remembered. They deserve to be remembered. The events, the culture that has shaped us into a society today needs to be honored for what it was – good or bad – and not simply swept under a rug. Otherwise, we will keep repeating ourselves and doing horrible things to each other for no reason other than hate and discomfort and our own selfish greed. We don’t want to be like that. We don’t want to be one of those people. When history looks back at us, will they see a good footprint, or a bad one? Look at the kind of tragedy that a mind full of hate can birth. Today is the five year anniversary of a tragedy that was born out of hate. Look at all the hate we’re breeding in the world right now… and then throw it out the window and choose love instead. We need that right now. The world needs that right now.
[Body][The Shops]Legacy Mesh Body Special Edition (1.3)
[Skin][Eudora Beauty for Happy Weekend]Amber (Medium)
[Brows][A R T E @ UniK Event]Rebel Eyebrow
[Eyes][WarPaint @ Collabor88]Blaze Liner
[Lips][Velour]Simone HD Lips
[Hair][Tram]J0324 (hud C)
[Top][amias @ Anthem]Wera top
[Shorts][pixicat @ Anthem]Nicole shorts (HoundTooth)
[Shoes][Reign @ Equal10]Dune Plats
[Tattoo][Endless Pain Tattoos @ Vintage Fair]Bailey
[Bed][Dust Bunny & Con]Florence Bedroom Set