Im Not Afraid to be Gay: An Open letter about the effects of the Orlando Mass Shooting

Subject: Im Not Afraid to be Gay: An Open letter about the effects of the Orlando Mass Shooting
From: Tea
Date: 18 Jun 2016

I am not afraid to say that I'm Gay. This past weekend there was a shooting at a gay club in Orlando, I'm sure you have already heard about it. Declared the biggest mass shooting in United States History.

This Shooting has done more than just damage my pride. This has damaged and even made me question my sense of security. Where am I safe? as a 17 year old female I am questioning where I am safe. I shouldn't have to, but i do. I do this because as a teenager that has access to internet in 2016 I have seen so much media coverage and news reports on shootings, terrorist attacks, and just people being murdered in general. This is what makes me feel so unsafe, unfortunately most of the time in places that are made to be safe.

Of course, I live in a town in America where these things are very unlikely to happen, I can't help but think "what if that was me?" or even my sister, or mother, or father, or anyone i am close to or love. these things are real. Even though they may not be happening near or around us. They are real and they cannot be ignored. So many innocent people were killed in the Pulse Shooting.

Although this does not make me afraid to say that I'm gay, I cant help but think about anyone who is still in the closet. We all seen this happen. We may not have been witnesses to the event but we certainly saw the aftermath and the turmoil that it had caused. Its tragic, really. It makes me upset to think there are LGBT members that are younger or even older than me who are now terrified to come out,terrified to say they're gay or lesbian. They are Terrified to be themselves. TERRIFIED. We should not have to be. This shouldn't have happened, but it did, ad we will have to move on eventually. We will mourn for a long time. We will never forget this event, or at least i know i wont.

I am Gay. I am not afraid to say it. My Pride has dwindled, but it is not lost. I am Proud to be Gay. I am not scared to be Gay. I know who I am and I know we will overcome together. My condolences go to anyone and everyone who was effected by any shooting in general.