By Luke Grayson
On Saturday downtown Spokane was covered in rainbows and full of happy sounds of people coming together to support each other and celebrate our identities, while remembering our past and how far we have come since the first year Spokane celebrated Pride.
An all ages dance party and fireworks show at 10 p.m marked the end of Spokane’s 25th pride celebration.
About the time that many Spokane Pride goers got home, a man walked into a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida and shot more than 100 people, killing 49 of them. People ran for safety from a place so many LGBT+ people find sanctuary in, a place that people could go and know that no one was going to judge them for holding hands with their lover or dancing with someone of their same gender.
For those without supportive families, those that may have not been out yet, or those that just need to be around people that are like them, gay clubs are a sanctuary. Nothing in the outside world matters, nothing that hurts can make it through all the happiness that comes with being surrounded by the love of your community.
Early Sunday morning, someone took that sanctuary away from not only those in Pulse nightclub, but from an entire community across the country. One man, took the lives of 49 innocent people. One man, changed how the LGBT+ community is going to react for the rest of Pride month and potentially irreversibly change how many LGBT+ people feel about being “out and proud.”
I for one, question whether being out is causing me more harm than good. If I’m afraid to walk into public, even spaces that are built for people like me, what am I accomplishing? If I can’t even go into a place of sanctuary without being afraid of someone coming in with a gun wanting to kill me for existing, how can I be an advocate in my community.
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