On Saturday, I was celebrating Pride with my beloved LGBTQ community. From the moment I attended my first Pride celebration over ten years ago, I was awash with the feelings of genuine love, acceptance, and beauty I found there. For someone who spent a lifetime never knowing where I belonged, it was overwhelming to be in a place that felt so completely like home. Whenever and wherever I am with my community, I am at peace.

That peace was shattered on Sunday, when I awoke to the horrific news of a shooting at a gay club in Orlando. That evening, my partner and I attended a vigil to be surrounded by friends, family, and the community.

A day later, I am still reeling.

I wanted to take a moment out from my usual range of topics here to express my sorrow, and to remember that we all come from so many walks of life, religions, cultures, experiences, and identities. Our differences are what make life a richer and more beautiful experience. For up to date information, Equality Florida will keep you informed. If you would like to make a contribution, blood donations are very much needed (if you live in Florida, you can find out more at OneBlood.org) and there is also an official GoFundMe page set up by Equality Florida.