There were lives lost while people crouched in bathroom stalls,
What could come next.
They could only text their mothers
While a gunman tested the nation.
We've seen it before.
We were—and are—waiting while
That violence has been knocking, knocking at our stall door.
Now we are divided.
The targets of this hatred—countrymen who do not adhere to sexual norms—
Are not recognized by the media and beyond
As it's not a hate crime, and such experts, with a degree in communication,
Can't be wrong.
They did not grow
How they would die.
They did not go
How they would be eulogized.
These were people who danced, celebrated, and watched the sky.
These were people who seemed, as children, much like you and I.
These were people who only made the mistake of partying at a club
Where they found acceptance—now, there's the rub.
But where else should they have gone that night
To live as vibrantly as they had before?
Where would they finally be free from the hatred that ensued on that morning
As it has since the birth of this nation?
We have watched these people's lives taken before.
They've suffered from our nation's own
Rage against their existence.
In the past, we have folded our arms
And walked away when it was our countrymen beating, torturing, and killing
People like the Orlando victims.
Because the acronym LGBTQ is not what people hate.
Each letter is ingrained with the victims of that morning;
A group that some cannot understand.
So the ignorant settled for animosity.
This shooting was the product.
But to ignore the hypocrisy of preaching against a community
And then condemn the massacre
Is the same as
Crouching in a bathroom stall, hoping that the enemy might not come across you.
Our safety comes from unity, at the very least.
Otherwise, we accept defeat
And the violence that is to come.
These weapons the terrorists have... hostility and brutality...
Well, we all
No, what will—