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I'm Angry about the Orlando Massacre and I'm Going to Use It

I'm Angry about the Orlando Massacre and I'm Going to Use It

I'm Angry about the Orlando Massacre and I'm Going to Use It

When all the fear has subsided, and only anger remains, let it build inside you. Harness it, and use it as a tool for change. 

ZacharyZane_

At the same time that I was dancing shirtless, in the middle of hundreds other gay and bisexual men, dozens of men were being shot in gay club 1,100 miles south of me, in Orlando Florida.

I was lying in bed with my boyfriend when I saw the news. My boyfriend was still fast asleep. I pulled him in tightly, and after wiping the tears from my eyes, I woke him up.

“Read this.”

After reaching for his glasses, his face immediately dropped. “Jesus Christ.”

Massacres like these are becoming so commonplace in the United States. It’s difficult not to treat these men like another statistic. Another 50 heads to add to the count of innocent victims in the US who have died from unnecessary, gun violence.

But from a completely self-centered and egotistical standpoint, this shooting hit me much harder than all the previous mass shootings in my lifetime. This time, it could have been me.

It could have easily been me.

I was making out with my boyfriend at the House of Blues in Boston, at the time of the massacre. Epic, the event I attended at the House of Blues, is the largest gay club event in the Northeast, especially on the day of Boston Pride. There, they didn’t check my bag when I entered. Anyone could have easily carried a concealed weapon. 

The day of the massacre, I thought I was in a safe space, surrounded by queer folk of all genders and sexualities. I screamed at the top of my lungs when I saw fellow activists march with the Bisexual Resource Center (BRC). I let myself drink more than I should, and I grabbed my boyfriend’s ass in public more than I ever have. Why? Because I thought I was safe.

I now realize I wasn’t safe. I was just lucky. I will never be safe. I will never be safe until sensible gun laws are passed. And to be honest, at this point, I couldn’t care less about your goddamn second amendment. This is absolutely out of hand. It has been for the past decade, and it only seems to be getting worse. Shootings are becoming more and more frequent—more commonplace.

I feel hopeless. I feel lost. But most of all, I’m angry. I’m angry that everybody seems to care, yet no one seems to be able to help. I’m angry that I will never feel safe when I’m out with my boyfriend. I’m angry that the next time I go to a gay club, I will be eyeing everyone—searching for any potential threats. I’m angry because I’ll never be able to hold hands with my boyfriend on the street without having my pulse spike. I’m angry because I'll continue surreptitiously checking my surroundings after I steal a kiss from my boyfriend because I constantly fear I may get jumped.

Anger is exhausting when misplaced. It can be all-consuming and overwhelming. Which is why, instead of stewing in my anger, I’ve decided to harness it. To turn it into a powerful tool with which I will take action.

I refuse to be afraid. I refuse to silence my love. I refuse to let these terrorists—these bullies—because at the core that’s what they are, instill a terror in me. I refuse to let someone take away my right to love, happiness, and safety. I refuse to be silent, and let this be another statistic in vain.

I will be angry, and I will use that anger to motivate me. Because at the end of the day, if you want a job done well, you have to do it yourself. I will write, I will speak, I will lobby, I will march, and I will protest. I will do everything I can, everything my privilege has allowed me, to ensure that not only will sensible gun laws be passed, but that LGBTQ+ people don’t have to live in fear.

If you are angry too, don’t shy away from it. Don’t suppress it. Embrace it. Do something.  

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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Zachary Zane

Zachary Zane is a writer, YouTube influencer, and activist whose work focuses on (bi)sexuality, gender, dating, relationships, and identity politics. Check out his YouTube channel here.

Zachary Zane is a writer, YouTube influencer, and activist whose work focuses on (bi)sexuality, gender, dating, relationships, and identity politics. Check out his YouTube channel here.