14 June 2016

We are Orlando.

I live in Orlando. The Pulse is only about a ten-minute drive from my home. And though my wife and I are not clubbers, we know people who are.

We are fortunate that we were home. That we didn't lose anyone. (Our neighbor lost four people Sunday morning.)

At the same time, we have lost them, too. They were are our brothers and sisters. They are me.

I am heartbroken in so many ways and for so many reasons because of this. And while it's important to talk about the big-picture issues that have been brought into the stark spotlight (homophobia, discrimination, gun control, religion, racism, etc.), it is imperative that we don't let other important things be pushed to the shadows because of the big-picture discussions.

Every single one of those involved in the massacre on Sunday morning is important. They deserve to have voices. Those who have survived can use their own voices to take up space, but there are 49 people who must rely on us to speak for them.

Say their names. Remember them. Speak for them.

"To actively do nothing is a decision, as well." --President Barack Obama, 6.12.16

Stanley Almodovar III (23 years old)
Amanda Alvear (25 years old)
Oscar A. Aracena-Montero (26 years old)
Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala (33 years old)
Antonio Davon Brown (29 years old)
Darryl Roman Burt II (29 years old)
Angel L. Candelario-Padro (28 years old)
Juan Chavez-Martinez (25 years old)
Luis Daniel Conde (39 years old)
Cory James Connell (21 years old)
Tevin Eugene Crosby (25 years old)
Deonka Deidra Drayton (32 years old)
Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez (31 years old)
Leroy Valentin Fernandez (25 years old)
Mercedez Marisol Flores (26 years old)
Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz (22 years old)
Juan Ramon Guerrero (22 years old)
Paul Terrell Henry (41 years old)
Frank Hernandez (27 years old)
Miguel Angel Honorato (30 years old)
Javier Jorge-Reyes (40 years old)
Jason Benjamin Josaphat (19 years old)
Eddie Jamoldroy Justice (30 years old)
Anthony Luis Laureanodisla (25 years old)
Christopher Andrew Leinonen (32 years old)
Alejandro Barrios Martinez (21 years old)
Brenda Lee Marquez McCool (49 years old)
Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez (25 years old)
Kimberly Morris (37 years old)
Akyra Monet Murray (18 years old)
Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo (20 years old)
Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez (25 years old)
Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera (36 years old)
Joel Rayon Paniagua (32 years old)
Jean Carlos Mendez Perez (35 years old)
Enrique L. Rios, Jr. (25 years old)
Jean C. Nives Rodriguez (27 years old)
Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado (35 years old)
Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz (24 years old)
Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan (24 years old)
Edward Sotomayor, Jr. (34 years old)
Shane Evan Tomlinson (33 years old)
Martin Benitez Torres (33 years old)
Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega (24 years old)
Juan P. Rivera Velazquez (37 years old)
Luis S. Vielma (22 years old)
Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez (50 years old)
Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon (37 years old)
Jerald Arthur Wright (31 years old)

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