chapter thirty five

I've been sitting in my hotel room wondering how to start my blog off this week.

Staring at the computer blankly, trying to organize the millions of feelings I have swarming in my head.

There’s so much I want to say, but not enough I can.

Words on a page can only convey so much without people jumping to conclusions, getting defensive, or being aggressive about their own opinions.

When my heart sinks heavily enough, I scroll through some more news sites of all the shootings this week, of ISIS, of our less than pleasant presidential candidates and their blatant stupidity. Their corrupt nature. Their dismal desire to be so “politically correct” that they’ll say anything in front of the people just to secure votes and then turn around to a different group and say something else. Or just something blatantly ridiculous.

The last few days have been fine for me but my head is still aching over trying to really process all of this. Trying to form an opinion and gather facts as opposed to jump to angry conclusions.

I feel heavy. Defeated. Burdened and not proud of a country I love saying that I am a part of.

I feel uneasy as I try to educate myself more about what is really happening in the world.

Knowledge is power, believe me. Because if you don’t know anything or won’t take the time to educate yourself on what is going on, you have no right to be upset when something goes wrong. You have denied yourself the power you have to take control and stand your ground on your thoughts.

I have stood by many different situations as I grew up pretending they did not exist. Pretending they were not as bad as they seemed, or that I was being a dramatic girl and they weren’t hurting my heart so.

I took myself out of the mix. And by doing so, shame on me for all the things that happened to me, for everything that went wrong.

As more and more people are getting killed every day in our home I realize that I am doing it again. That I cringe every time I see Hillary Clinton on social media, asking that we all call her “our abuela.” 

I shake my head every time I hear Donald Trump take it a step too far countless times.

I mourn the loss of so many of the LGBT community in Orlando and of such a beautiful young light that was taken far before her time.

And my heart sinks the most to read responses of my friends, peers, and allies talk about what is going on currently in the world. To see them turn on each other.

I don’t know where to start. I don’t know.

Do I start with the news of Christina Grimmie’s passing? Someone I remember seeing in high school and being very inspired by.

I remember how beautiful I thought she was, inside and out. I loved her punky jet black hair, her quirky attitude, her ability to change up songs flawlessly.

I felt inspired by her, and to be honest I thought she was the same age or older than I was. She was so poised. She was so talented.

I thought…maybe I can be so brave to put my own work on YouTube one day.

It scares me.

That someone just decided to walk up and kill her.

It saddens me.

That she was there for her FANS. That she was there because she cared about her music and the people that were listening to it.

It makes me so fucking mad.

That someone would kill something so beautiful.

Should I move on to the next tragic night in Orlando? Where so many innocents were killed in their safe place? On LATIN night, no doubt?! 

I mean, that sounds really fun. And if it was in Los Angeles? How many cherished friends would I have potentially lost?

How many people had to suffer because of this one homophobic, ISIS-pledging evil man?

I saw a video clip from April of this year of a Muslim scholar, speaking at an Islamic center in ORLANDO, saying that killing gays was the right thing to do, the compassionate thing to do. There was no other way…death was the sentence for them.

He admits the Islamic death sentence applies only in certain circumstances and would never fly under U.S. law.

Well no shit, Sherlock.

 Now I ask.

How?

HOW was this man brought over from Iran and asked to speak his trash here?? WHY!?

How in the world were people so naïve to not think this would incite violence against the LGBT community, especially if people had initial distaste for them anyway?!?!

“We have to have compassion for people. With homosexuals it’s the same. Out of compassion let’s get rid of them now.”

Disgusting. Painful.

I wonder. Is this how they feel about any inferior group to their liking?

Is this why numbers of Christians are being beheaded for not converting?

Why they’re mercilessly killing innocents on tape?

What inferior group will they come after next?

Yes, this was the worst hate crime to the LGBT community that has ever happened in our times. It hurts even more because we’ve made such incredible strides forward for their rights, happiness, and safety.

It disgusts me that I am old enough to see it for what it is.

And it terrifies me that I am old enough to know that this is not the last attack on anyone.I 

It terrifies me that there is a group out there willing to commit these crimes. Who are willing to kill so many innocents and then kill themselves for a cause they feel so strongly about.

I think to myself…these were completely innocent people. People at random.

Who could be the next random ones? What inferior group of people they don’t deem worthy to live in this world?

I fear this self-proclaimed group of hatred, but I do not condemn the entire religion –which is why it was so upsetting to watch that video and have the man speak on behalf of his entire religion. Like every person thinks just like him. 

I will be honest. I was raised Catholic. There are many things I find trouble devoting myself to about Catholicism and all its rules.

I turn to God instead and pray one day I’ll find my way and my place in devotion to Him.

Every rule of Catholicism, heck, any rule derived from religion is not all that defines me as a person. I am so much more. I have my own views of the world. 

Same with Muslims. You have to understand that.

Here’s the thing. There are bad PEOPLE in the world.

These people are not just pledging to ISIS. These people are not all Muslim/Islam affiliated.

These people are not all straight white males. Or people that own guns.

These people are absolutely not all in the LGBTQ community.

They are not all Mexicans, Asians, African-American, ANYTHING.

There are some absurdly sick people in this world. But if you categorize them all in to one category you are being hypocritical of what they are doing to you.

I have personally known and witnessed heterosexuals who have done some horrible things.

My own friends have been drugged by homosexuals, at PRIDE events no less, which is criminal, disgusting… and scary.

I have known of so many different people of different backgrounds committing horrible crimes.

And I have known many from similar backgrounds doing a whole lot of good.

So before you start condemning other people and blocking them out, remember that in this time of chaos we need to stand together. We need to embrace each other for our differences and lift each other up.

Not everyone is bad. Not everyone is out to get you. But many are.

Many people will always try to tear us apart. Always.

Let’s not let them.

We stand for so much more. AMERICA stands for so much more.

I look at older Americans that lived in a “great” America, where everyone was striving for something. They worked hard. They didn’t feel entitled to anything.

Was it perfect?

ABSOLUTELY not.

But I miss the patriotism.

I believe we can have it again.

We just have to remember.

United States of America.

 United.

Spread love. Not hate.

Love, Kirstin

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