Can we talk about Pulse?
Can we talk about the Pulse shooting? I mean, today is the 1 year anniversary.
I heard about Pulse when I was out of the country, in India. I was home alone- My aunt had gone to work and our housekeeper had just left, and was looking at the news on CNN when I heard.
Immediately afterward, I found people taking to Twitter and Tumblr, and Instagram, posting prayers and updates and condolences. I also found people who were angry at the fact that it had been labeled the largest American mass shooting in history, stating that POC were shot in larger numbers in the past. To those people, as a WOC, I have to say, there is a time and place, and that was not the time to start.
In complete honesty, I started crying, and the more I thought about it, the harder I cried, which at the time, seemed absurd- why would a teenage girl with no family or friends in Florida cry? It didn’t affect me, right?
Well, in the days following it, I began to understand. A community I am a part of was specifically targeted. And despite the fact that 49 people were killed, there were still people who would say that we deserved it, or that we had it coming because of who we are. That made me feel completely and totally alone. It launched me into a pit of self-loathing- how bad were we if people wouldn’t stand with us, even after that many people had died?
It’s been a year, and I’m still learning how to accept myself, but I have learned one thing. As a community, we are strong. We are loving. We will stick together. And we will support each other as much as we can.
Our hearts may be broken, but our pulse is strong.