In Memory of the Pulse Nightclub Victims

I wrote this on June 13, 2016, the day after the tragic shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, which killed 49 people and wounded dozens more. Yesterday, this popped up as a memory (a very sad one) on my Facebook account:

Mikey's Rainbow for Daddy
Mikey’s Rainbow for Daddy

To my LGBT family and friends…I love you. I’ve always loved and respected you, but in light of the tragic event in Orlando yesterday, I felt I should make it loud and clear.

As a straight man, I know I can’t understand what you’ve gone through in your lives and what yesterday’s horrific murders mean to you. But I want you to know that I feel intense sadness and a deep hurt in knowing that such evil could be done based on who someone chooses to love and be intimate with.

Yesterday’s killings brought to light, again, how dangerous it can be in our world to be different. For most of us, human differences are things we notice, but they are not inspirations to evil actions as perpetrated by this deranged, homophobic killer from Florida. And when these differences are those that are portrayed as bad or sinful based on some ancient, misguided beliefs, well, it makes me feel even sicker to my stomach than I already do.

People have been posting images of rainbows since the mass killing yesterday. I’ve always loved rainbows and they’ve become part of my daily life since they are also used in relation to autism awareness. I’m posting a rainbow drawing that my autistic son, Mikey, made for me last Father’s Day. Please accept the love with which this was drawn, and the love with which it is cherished by me, as an expression of my love to you and to those who perished on that sad, sad Sunday.

They say there’s a pot of gold, a fulfillment of dreams, at the end of the rainbow. I hope that, someday, the dream of total acceptance of all of our differences, whether it be sexual orientation, special needs, nationality, etc. becomes a reality. Until that day, I’ll keep searching for the end of the rainbow. Meet you on the other side.

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