I am a straight white male from Alabama. I have zero personal connection to any victim of the Orlando shooting, but these are still my people. They are Americans. Deeper than that, they are humans! People who assumed they were safe in a place with their friends. But they weren’t safe, and now I am grieving the tremendous loss, along with so many others.
Many of my straight friends have texted or called me, asking what they can do for me and how they can be there for other queer people who are suffering. The answer is very simple:
Mourn with us. Sit with us. Hold us when we need holding. Be the shoulder for us to cry on. Listen to us process what we are feeling. Pray with us and for us. But, most importantly, don’t make it about you.
At least 50 people are dead and at least 53 others are injured. Fifty something families are wondering if their loved ones will survive a merciless gunshot wound and 50 other families are walking into unnecessary and unexpected grief. Because of fear, mothers and fathers will be burying daughters and sons who were out with friends…and now are dead.