In the broadest sense

By now, most of you will have heard about the tragic deaths at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, and by now, most of us have heard that this attack was directed at the GLBTQ community.

Tonight I’ll attend a vigil for the victims here in Toronto and stand with my friends, making the one small gesture I can, a gesture to say that I like them the way they are, that there’s not a single thing wrong with the way they were made, and to say that in the face of an act of hatred and intolerance, I am there to be love and acceptance.

Worldwide, more than 50 000 women are killed each year,  all for nothing more than their gender, and for me, that makes supporting them so easy. They would show up for me, saying that who I am doesn’t make me ever worthy of being hurt… so, there I will be, hoping they hear that message in my presence. Nobody, even people you don’t like, deserves to be killed for it.

If you are so inclined, and while the People With AIDS Foundation certainly serves more than just the GLBTQ community, a very nice way to say that you stand with them in the face of this awfulness would be a small donation. Show them this was what it is – the act of a violent man, desperately alone in the minority. You can direct your love though any member of our team.






86 thoughts on “In the broadest sense

  1. Thank you, Stephanie. Our hearts go out to the family and loved ones of those who died and were wounded in this hateful and horrible act. I appreciate your post very much.

  2. Thank you. Whatever one may believe is the correct way to lead one’s life, there must be space for others with differing ideas.

  3. Thank you for posting this. As it turns out my daughter was at Pride Detroit this weekend. My heart goes out to everyone who was touched by this senseless violence.

  4. Today, out of all the days I have spent with this blog, I am proud to stand with like minded people who abhor violence for any reason. We are all one, we are all the same.

  5. I cried this morning when I heard the news. Thank you, Stephanie, for giving me a way to respond to this horror in a positive, concrete way.

  6. Welll said Steph!!!! Why hate people for being different? We are each and every one different. All this hatred needs to stop worldwide. Will send a donation this week and dig into the stash for some special thinks to donate.

  7. What’s so funny bout peace, love and understanding? These lyrics went through my head every time I thought about the murders in Orlando today. I’m so damn tired of all this hate but I won’t give up hope that we shall overcome some day.
    Thank you, Stephanie, for this post.

  8. Thank you, Stephanie, for this post.

    Having many friends and family members in the GLBTQ community, I’ve never fully understood the anger that some people have towards them.

    I love that there were people who came out the next day to donate blood for those that survived the attack and needed it. For those who can make this sort of contribution (even though we’re far and donations from here likely won’t go there) it may be also equally appreciated. Just a thought too.

    Peace, love & knitting, keeping those we’ve lost in our hearts.

    • From Orlando: Yesterday was awful. Today is only a bit better. But, my community responded in such numbers that the local blood bank had to ask us to come back throughout the week. We gathered in places of worship and places of community and tried to hold one another up. Our therapists responded immediately and unconditionally to any locale prepared to host them. My Facebook feed was filled with discussions about what we could *do* to help, anything we could do. Many, many, many voiced concern that our peaceful local Islamic community not experience a backlash. That is my community. Those are the helpers. That’s where I’m training my attention this week.

      And Donald Trump and others who tried to make this something else, anything other than a horrific tragedy perpetrated by a hate-filled individual and a community that has responded with love, can bite it.

      • I had to touch the camera, the impersonal eye that looks at all of us without judgement. I, too, worry that the Islamic communities in America will suffer for one man’s deeds. Some of my beloveds are members of the LGBTQ family and are too far away to hug. My arms ache for all of the lost and grieving.

      • Well said, and I agree wholeheartedly. I always feel so helpless when things like this happen. We all need to be love, in action to everyone we come in contact with. Maybe, just maybe, that will be enough.

      • What a shame to add your politics to your wonderful remarks. Hilary Clinton injected herself and her gun control ideas into this but you only called out Trump. This is not about politics it’s about Radical Islamic Terrorists who hate the LGBTQ community among other groups and who will murder to prove it.

  9. Radical Islamic terrorism is a threat to everyone. I feel such deep sadness about this terrible attack. My prayers are with the families of victims and wounded.

    • “Radical Islamic terrorism is a threat to everyone.”
      Remove the word “Islamic” and I agree. Timothy McVeigh killed three times this many people in OK, City.
      Thanks, Steph!

        • total agreement with Diane. Root cause. Be prepared. Wishing is not a strategy. Solidarity in grief, and fight for what is good and noble.

      • Timothy McVeigh was not inspired by ISIS. He was a mass murderer filled with hate and evil. But there is a group called ISIS that is pure evil. They subjugate women and behead innocents. The murderer in the pulse nightclub called 911 three times and pledged allegiance to ISIS and shouted “allah Akbar ” while he shot and killed good people. He is a Radical Muslim Extremist. I am not against Islam or Muslims in any way. But I am against radicals who murder innocent people, just like the high jackets on 9/11. I am a knitter, I love yarn and I love this blog. If my opinion is not welcome here then that is your choice.

  10. In the words of Lin-Manuel Miranda:
    “When senseless acts of tragedy remind us
    That nothing here is promised, not one day
    This show is proof that history remembers
    We live through times when hate and fear seem stronger
    We rise and fall and light from dying embers
    Remembrances that hope and love lasts long
    And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love
    Cannot be killed or swept aside”

    • Today of all days, I got to touch the Light – how appropriate.

      My daughter and I watched the Tonys last night and were moved to tears beyond count by the expressions of sympathy and the many acknowledgements that inclusiveness benefits everyone.

      There is always more that binds us together in our humanity than divides us.

  11. Thank you for expressing what we all feel….my heart and my prayers go out to the families of those affected by this senseless tragedy. Life is about diversity – if we were all the same, wouldn’t the world be a boring place….peace and love will one day prevail.

  12. Just made my donation. This year it seems even more important to say “I stand with you Steph – ride on!”

  13. i stand with you, with the entire lgbtq community, the aids community and with all humans that can be killed by guns. oh that’s all of us. ban all guns now.

    • I had to touch the chair. Perhaps a reminder to sit and think before I post. It is not my wish to offend. But logically speaking, if the right to own a gun is taken from Americans, the vast majority of whom are normal law abiding people, it will not stop those who are criminals or terrorists from getting them. One need look no further than the “ban” on cocaine. Does anyone have trouble getting cocaine? No. Taking guns from the good guys is always a bad idea. Having said that, I always hurt inside to hear that yet again someone has enough hate inside to abuse their rights (my rights, too) to wound or kill innocent people just trying to live their lives. And it angers me that people with no loyalty to America and the freedom we have represented cause, by their hateful actions, our own people to think that removing freedoms from our soil will somehow solve the problem. The only solutions are Respect and Love. And unfortunately we can’t force people to behave with love and respect, or ban hate.

      • To be more clear I should have written ” I always hurt inside to hear that yet again someone has abused their rights (my rights too) AND wound or kill innocent…” I in no way meant to imply we have a right to kill people. I do however believe I have a right to self defense. The police can’t be everywhere. If push came to shove and a terrorist or other bad guy was threatening your life or the life of someone you love, would you want an unarmed good guy next to you or an armed good guy? A question we should all ask before we jump on the ban guns bandwagon. And I have probably officially offended someone. Sorry.

  14. All acts of violence are senseless and it’s great to see this community responding to hate with love and generosity. I was stunned by Steph’s statistic that 50k people are killed each year for sexual identity reasons. I was even more stunned to find that 100k Christians are killed each year for their faith. Clearly there’s a lot of hate to be overcome in every quarter.

    • It seems almost everyone is hated by someone. Perhaps it’s not hate directed toward a particular group, but hate in general, that we struggle against. Thanks for that reminder.

  15. I was thinking about this as part of why we ride. Even just seeing the Pride flags and the support we get in some of the small towns on the ride shows that it makes a difference

    • Jeanette, in all reality the majority of Americans don’t care if you are gay,straight, black, white , pink, purple or polka dotted! Our media and politicians should be ashamed of themselves. Our entertainment industry represents the “average ” American so poorly it’s a disgrace.

  16. A far wiser man than I had words for this I found comforting yesterday:

    “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

    • If only we could ALL share his dream. There are so many who don’t that sometimes it feels like such a struggle to keep the light shining and the love flowing.

      But we keep trying and one day . . .

      Chris S in Canada

  17. I’m certainly getting the quote wrong but whenever something like this happens, I remember, “Whatever little good I may do, let me do it now, for I may not pass this way again.” Just sent a small donation Pato’s way because he’s a good egg. 🙂 Thank you for offering us a moment of peace in this crazy life.

  18. Thanks for letting people know you stand with those of us who are glbtq. It helps to know there are straight supporters in this crazy world.

    • There are many straight supporters! I hope you were able to connect with some that you didn’t know before Sunday and that you are able to stay strong through this troubling time.

      Chris S in Canada

  19. As a resident of FL and one who spends a good deal of time in the Orlando area I was sickened by the reports of this viscous attack. Donated to your exceptional cause in memory of those who lost lives.

  20. Hatred knows no culture, no country, no gender, no religion.-only a driving need to control others.
    Love knows no culture, country,gender or religion-only a driving need to serve others.
    I stand with you in service.

    • Go Kate! What a powerful way to say an important truth. Thank you.

      Steph, thanks, as ever, for promoting rights, tolerance, peace and compassion. I stand with you in that response to this and every challenge.

      LGBTI friends, much love and support and strength to you. You have people from all over the world who live, interact and vote with you interests as a priority.

  21. Standing with you, Stephanie, and sending love and prayers to all the wounded and all the families and friends. Love in the face of hate.

  22. I don’t often comment though I have been a faithful follower of your blog for years. But today, I’m coming forward to say “thank you…” for your kind words, your efforts to support others through the bike rally and in many other ways, and for always providing us with a safe place here. As a member of the LGBTQ community in the USA, I am very scared and sad…it’s my community, including our many allies (you!), who give me hope. Again, thank you!

  23. Thank you for reminding us that we can make a difference. When big bad things happen we often feel there is no hope because we, individually, are so small. But we can all take one moment to love, one moment to donate, one moment to show that what has happened is not who we are. One by one we grow stronger and more powerful. Thank you for showing us all how we can do one thing-be the change you wish to see in the world.

  24. I’m also from Orlando, and although I do not pretend to speak for the entire city, thank you. As I type this, it’s been less than 48 hours since the whole thing began, but it already feels like weeks. I don’t know who we’re going to be on the other side, but knowing that we are supported all around makes it a little easier.

  25. Happy birthday to my birthday twin! I’m having a lemon cupcake. If you were here, you could have one too! (And there’s just no good digital way to send one!)

  26. Donation done. Here in Boston thousands came out in vigil last night honor and support our LGBTQ friends. We won’t let one hate filled man destroy our solidarity. Love is love is love is love. Amen.

  27. I was appreciating this post so much until it felt like you clumsily stuck your fundraising into it. :/ A more appropriate place to send money would be to the fund being built up for the families of the victims and those in hospital. Yes, AIDS and HIV is still a problem for our community, but those weren’t part of this situation.

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