Pulse Orlando

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Years ago, friends and I would go dancing in Orlando’s gay clubs. A joyous man would weave through the swaying crowd, blessing us with sunflowers. Magic.

 

How beautiful those nights were, caught up in the lights and the music and the laughter, the friendship and the dancing. I remembered those bright Orlando evenings, even as the news filtered through of an act of hate against people who were celebrating life. The attack on the community at Pulse was a very public action, and I would like to say it was surprising. Sadly, it was not. This past year has seen a host of legislation initiated which discriminates and sets a percentage of our population aside as “other.” The attack at an Orlando club was very public and visible. Some of the many other attacks have been less public, less easily seen … and while they are less overtly bloody, they are still harmful to the core concepts of our civilization.

How does one counter such hate, the visible and the insidious? As individuals, our acts of support may seem small, but cumulatively, they are powerful. It’s time us to be more public in our statements of affirmation and love. R. A. MacAvoy, Bertie to her friends, agrees with me. So in addition to the celebration of difference that we try to live daily, and include in our writing, we have decided to make a public commitment. We, all of us standing on the side of love, need to be visible in our support, so hate will know it has no place among us.

Bertie and I are pledging the entirety of our author royalties from our e-book, Albatross, for the next 30 days, to the Orlando organizations providing support to the Pulse victims, survivors, and their families. Additionally, Bertie is donating a portion of her proceeds from sales of her previously published works.

We can’t say that the dollar amount of a donation will make a difference. But this attack has wounded us all. We want those most injured, and the larger world, to know that we believe that the power of love is stronger than the power of hate. We believe in the lights, and the music, and the dancing, and the joy, and a world where differences can be embraced. #StandWithOrlando

 

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