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Love Always Wins

Like every American I felt especially helpless in the wake of the Orlando shooting. Orlando, a town near and dear to my heart. No stranger to the Orlando night life, many crazy stories started at bars and clubs there. With Pride events all over the country planned in memory of the Stonewall riots. This year, less than a month from the shooting, it was especially important to show support. Important to support love, and give love. No stranger to the local gay bars, friends and I often have “girls night out’ here to escape the judgment, glaring eyes and disrespect that is all too common of the straight guys in straight bars. A place we can simply dance, have fun and not be judged. This night police presence was especially apparent and spirits were at an all time high. The bestie and I dressed in matching “love” tee shirts and rainbow tights. As we stood lined up along a one mile parade barricade with everyone else, we felt no fear, only love. I felt proud to support peace, love and happiness. As the parade went by I collected beads, pride bracelets and more condoms than I could ever use. Though the bestie and I “looked” like a couple it must have been blatantly obvious we were not, by the handfuls of condoms I received. graciously taking them as good luck charms. The next day while shopping at Target, a girl of about ten years old, passing the Pride shirts asked her mother if she could get one. Her mom responded with “yes as long as you know what it means”. As the girl was explaining to her mother what Pride means to her, the mother glances over at my rainbow bracelets and smiles. I had completely forgotten I was still wearing them. I glanced back at her and smiled, feeling no need to correct her assumption. Her daughter also wanted to do her part to spread love over hate and show support. I quickly ran off to another isle in the store as tears filled my eyes. Right then and there I realized we are going to be okay. LOVE will always win.

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