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Since the Pulse Stopped

Since 'the Pulse stopped,' I've been thinking a few things. 

(SNN) The other day 49 human beings were murdered, and 53 more were injured in an attempt to murder them, simply for being in a "Gay" nightclub called "Pulse." The nightclub caters to people who are LesbianGayBisexual, Transsexual, and Questioning. The Pulse also welcomes Straight people. That day, a straight mother, who was dancing with her gay son, died. He lived. I'm glad at least her son lived. And I'm sorry for his, and his family's, loss. It was an horrific act by a sick, fear and hate-filled person using an extremist's warped ideology of the Islamic faith as an excuse, and terrorist tactics as a methodology. 

It seemed America's collective heart stopped beating. Our pulse could no longer be felt. Whether by pain, or hate, or fear, or compassion the best and the worst was brought out in us.

It brought out many other sick, fear and hate-filled people, using radical Christianity as an excuse to troll on Facebook. When I posted items and checked on friends this week, I didn't stay on to read the hate posts. I heard about them from others. It made me think. Is this going to be what happens? More hate? More fear? More young people staying in the closet and living cramped and fearful lives? More beatings? More public shaming just because ignorant and arrogant people think someone looks like they might be gay or lesbian? More armchair theologians forcing their half-understood version of their preferred but barely practiced religion down the throats of everyone else? More deaths?

On the other hand it brought out many people who stood in lines for hours to donate blood, people who donated money to bury the dead and help the wounded, people who are fighting against gun violence--especially against semi-automatic weapon ownership. Whether you agree with them or not, they are taking a stance out of compassion for all victims of gun violence.

There is something else it can bring out. It can bring more of us out of our closets.

If more of us come out, perhaps it will give others the courage to come out. And if enough of us come out, maybe people will begin to realize that almost everyone loves (or at least likes) someone who is gay, or lesbian, or bisexual, or transsexual. Maybe it will make it harder to hate. And that will make it harder to murder, especially for something as life affirming as love.

So here I am, telling you I am bisexual. Normally I would say my sexuality is no one's business. But because of the deaths of these innocent brothers and sisters, I'm splashing my business in public. 

I'm a little fearful. I don't know what you're going to do with this knowledge. Maybe I'll lose some friends. Maybe I'll get some hate shade. Maybe some crazy person will try to kill me. I don't know. But if one young person can again hope that they'll be okay, that despite what happened the other day there is a future where they can be who they are and love whom they love, and live, and work, and pay taxes, and grow old like everyone else in this country, then it's worth the risk. 

Gradually, healing, we will feel our collective heart beating again, our pulse strong. And hopefully, someday, love will fill our world, instead of fear, and hate, and violence. 

Maye Ralston is a freelance writer, feminist, biker, and US Air Force Veteran. 
Although now openly bisexual, she is currently living in a monogamous relationship.
Photo: Some rights reserved. Image from Barta IV flickr photostream. Original image can be found here.
DISCLAIMER: The above article is OPINION.The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the authors of The Sage Opinion and forum participants on this web site do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the The Sage News Network or the official policies of the The Sage News.
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