It is rare, in my online presence, that you would ever see me be anything other than irreverent, snarky or humorous. Overt sentimentality and cloying inspiration memes make me uncomfortable and I think we can all agree there are more than enough faux Marilyn Monroe quotes on ocean backdrops to last the internet many lifetimes.
And yet. Something like the Orlando Pulse club shooting happens, and irreverence and sarcasm suddenly don’t seem sufficient. There’s a desire to grieve and seek comfort with others. That, I think, is why so many turn to social media in times of tragedy—it’s not exhibitionism, so much as a need for validation, to know we’re in this together.
Yesterday, 50 people—many of whom were not only queer, but people of color—lost their lives in a senseless act of violence. Yesterday, the 12th day of National LGBTQ Pride Month and Immigrant Heritage Month. Yesterday, the day of Los Angeles and D.C. and Philadelphia and others cities’ pride weekends. Yesterday, the day my wonderful aunts were celebrating their 2nd legal, official wedding anniversary after 33 years together. Yesterday, the day of the best (and, not coincidentally, frequently the gayest) awards show, the Tony Awards. Yesterday, when I should have been celebrating all of these things, I was (and still am) instead mourning the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, and one that was directed at the LGBTQ community—my community.
There’s nothing I can say that will make this better, make it any less horrible, but maybe that’s not the point. STYLE is not a political magazine, but we are human. And let us say: we’re here, and we’re grieving too. Considering the violence and fractures our own city has recently lived through, I would think we, especially, can empathize with Orlando. Stay strong, Orlando. Baltimore’s with you, and love will prevail.