John Oliver - Orlando Shooting

This is exactly how I felt today. I'm a crier, so I always get a little teary whenever I see something like this happened, whenever I watch the news and see people hurt or who have lost loved ones.

But today I really, truly cried, like I had lost 50 people I knew. Although I live in a relatively LGBT friendly city and can feel safer than most, as a member of the LGBT community I still always have that niggling feeling. That niggling feeling that someone could bash me up. That niggling feeling that at an LGBT related gathering or venue, myself or someone I know could experience police brutality, be hurt, be shot, be blown up. That niggling feeling that I shouldn't announce myself too much in, well, a lot of places or situations in case it will impact how an employer, doctor, co-worker etc treats me. Then there's that knowing feeling when you walk down the street and someone decides that you are LGBT and they give you 'that look' - that look of disapproval or disgust. That knowing feeling when, yet again, there is someone on the tv talking about how we shouldn't have kids or this or that.

Yet sometimes you feel lulled into a false sense of security in this day and age, because things are changing so quickly and so positively for us. You kind of forget that not that long ago thousands of LGBT people were murdered in the Holocaust, and to this day some people don't realise that. You kind of forget that only forty or so years ago people fought and fought at Stonewall for the right to simply exist. You kind of forget that when the AIDS crisis happened a lot of gay people were left to die, the community was demonised and left to fend for itself.

And then something like this happens and it feels like its happened to all of us. You know there are people out there who don't like you, for whatever ridiculous reason, but you forget how many of us have died before, you realise that suddenly we are dying again. It makes me so sad to think of how all of those in the situation would have felt that night - free, loved, happy, self assured, safe?

But our community has fought a lot and for a long time. What always brings a smile to my face is how quickly and strongly the LGBT community comes together when threatened. Whoever comes for us is facing a formidable opponent who has never lost.

Thank you to all of those who donated blood today, by the way.

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