Orlando, I Love You

I haven’t known what to say the past few days except for repeating, I love you.

I love you. I love you. I love you.

Someone once told me that to say nothing is the worst. Silence can grip us, stifle us, and make us surrender faster than any words one can hurl at another human being. Words can fly, while silence stop any movement forward. Silence freezes you and we cannot be frozen.

I am not a politician. No one is waiting for what “Kristin will have to say” about what has happened to our brothers and sisters in Orlando, Florida. And honestly, this might not even make a difference to anyone but me. And when has that stopped me? Never.

So I want to share some words that have been spinning around my head the past few days. Words that I cannot shake off or calm with prayer.

I have not known peril from falling in love with someone. I have not feared for my life for who I choose to kiss. That’s because no one should. In the recent days I came across this quote and it has stayed with me, resonated with me, in a sense that is not direct nor less meaningful;

If you can’t wrap your head around a bar or club as a sanctuary, you’ve probably never been afraid to hold someone’s hand in public,” said Jeramy Kraatz following the attack on Orlando.

I remember following 9/11 that everyone became a New Yorker. The country stood on the same side of the street and came together. We held hands with one another and we took a stand against anyone who would try to weaken what it means to be an American. We stood up against those who may question the bravery of what it takes to run, with your heart in your throat, into a collapsing building.

And we remembered with respect, prayer, and so much love those who we had lost that day.

Orlando is no different.

I want to wear it on my face that every day I stand with the victims of Orlando, Florida. I support the LGBTQI community.

For every person out there who feels alone and scared, please know, you are not alone. We are holding your hand from miles away. America is going to stand by you.

I once wrote an article about mental illness. I mentioned that if one wanted to see the bravest people to simply walk into a mental health waiting room. There you have your warriors.

And I’d like to retract that statement.

Any person walking through hell, no matter the circumstance, please know I look at you with respect because you are the bravest. You are a warrior and I love you.

I don’t need to know your name, who you sleep next to, or where you pray.

I’m with you.

They say the worst quality to have is to not challenge the status quo.

I will personally challenge every status quo that makes reason out of murder.

I will publicly argue every status quo that says people who love are going to hell.

And I will personally do whatever I can to let you know that you, warriors of this country, will never walk alone.

On 6/12 everyone became Orlando.

I love you. I love you. I love you. TC mark

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