I just finished reading a blog post by John Peart on the Orlando shootings http://johnpeart.org/2016/06/14/to-my-heterosexual-friends-orlando-shootings and I completely agree. I know this too well and I know the fear. My closest friends punched in the face for being gay. Times I feared holding my partner’s hand in public. A time my principal told me to not talk to any female classmates because I’m lesbian, while she decided if I was going to be expelled with the excuse others were uncomfortable with me. A time when they rushed my wife to the back of the hospital and refused to give me any information leaving me in the waiting room like some stranger. Times when out with my wife and daughter people made horrible comments looks and behavior in discuss towards us because we are a rainbow family and worse in front of my child. I know this too well. This could have happened to any of my best friends… This could have happened to me and my wife.. yet pastors and politicians would praise my murderer? Only a fraction of the world would show compassion while the remaining stay quiet and sit back while listening to comments like you reap what you sow? Congratulating my killer for fewer people like me? Yes, I am hurt and yes I am greatly affected. And while I continue to see the hateful comments in social media regarding this horrific tragedy. I must say that I’m also moved by the support and love that has been shown. And it’s that love that I receive that will always speak louder than hate. Showing your compassion and love will always give light in the dark. While I mourned with the rest of our LGBTQ community I was given love and understanding from allies, straight friends, acquaintances and people of faith. I was told how much I’m loved and how beautiful my family is. I had people apologizing for the ignorant ones who try to hurt and discriminate any LGBTQ people. And the most powerful comment I received was from my 6-year-old friends’ parents, telling me they have enjoyed getting to know me and my family. And how happy they are that our girls became friends, that it was a great opportunity to explain to their kids why Simone has two moms and how it opened the door to allow conversation. She continued to let me know that although there will be those who are rude and scared of it, there are many who appreciate my family and me for the opportunity to teach their children they can befriend and love without judgment. And even as I relay this message here in this blog it still moves me to tears. It’s love like that, that heals the wounded heart. It’s love like that, that will break the hate. It is love that will always win. And for my LGBTQ community, we will not replace our Pride with fear. Love is love and love will win.