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My heart is so heavy with everything in the news this past week...

First, the story to the Stanford rape and "sentence" of Brock Turner. Articles, memes, and comments flooded my Facebook for days following. It not only angered me that this man could receive such a light sentence for such a crime as to not impact his future...the downplay of his actions by his father...the victim blaming. Also, it caused an incident that happened to me in college to play on a loop in my head for several days. In the grand scheme of things that happened to me in my life, I would rate it towards the minor end. But it was a situation where I had way too much to drink and ended up in a situation with a guy who decided my body was his to do with as he pleased when I fell asleep on a couch. Thankfully, someone walked in or who knows how far he would have went. With this news story, I am able to find some good...I admire the courage of the victim, her impact statement was so powerful and reached so many. I'm thankful for the two guys who stopped and intervened in the situation when they could have told themselves it wasn't their concerns and kept riding. I'm thankful for the conversations regarding consent that resurged due to this incident.

Then, the senseless loss of life in Orlando at the club Saturday night/Sunday morning. Such hatred...such loss... I have a hard time wrapping my brain around it. Even with all the gains the LGBT community has made, it is a reminder that there is still a long way to go. It has hard to sift through the news stories, the comments on the issue, those who do not want to acknowledge that this was a crime of hate directed towards LGBT people, those who want to use the incident to further their own agendas, those who say those who were shot got what they deserved because they were gay and therefore less than. As a member of the LGBT community, it shakes my already fragile, almost non-existent sense of safety as I navigate the world. It makes me want to hide away. But, I will continue to engage the world, I will continue to be me, I will continue to show love because love must win. I am only one person, with no power, no platform but I will do my part to affect the world around me. If we give up, if we hide away in fear, hate will not be challenged, progress cannot be made. 

So I hold the victim in the Stanford case, her family; the families, friends of those killed in the Orlando shooting, the injured, those first responders and investigators involved, the city of Orlando, those in the LGBT community whose sense of safety has been further shattered close to my heavy heart. 

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