As most of the world know, the biggest massacre since 9/11 occurred on June 12, 2016. While this did not impact me in the sense that I lost a loved one in this massacre, I do feel a sense of loss for my community. 50 of my brothers and sisters, many under the age of 30, were gunned down while they were trying to just have a good time on a Saturday night. The nightclub, Pulse, was one that I have frequented in the past and holds many fond memories for me. My heart is heavy at the loss of life. Lights dimmed and voices shut down forever. So many mixed emotions such as fear of going into a nightclub and anger for better gun control. However, the answer is really love.

A Course In Miracles says that only love is real. What I have seen in just 24 hours after this horrific and heinous crime has been an outpouring of love, not only from members of the LGBT community but from allies as well. Allies, I thank you for loving my community the way that you do. Lin Manuel Miranda said it best in his acceptance speech for the Tony Awards last night, "love is love is love is love." This is the answer to effectively manage the feelings that are being stirred by this event; LOVE.

I remember not knowing where to turn to because I was so scared to tell anyone that I was gay. Suicidal thoughts ran rampant in my mind. Later, I discovered drugs and alcohol as a way to manage my fears and feel a part of something. For the past several years, I have made a commitment to serve my community in a professional capacity; to be that catalyst for others that I did not have when I was struggling with my sexual orientation. do this through my private psychological and coaching practice. I do this through my writing, both here and for www.popcultureuncovered.com. My biggest desire is to promote love not only for our community but within the community as well. Too often we are caught up in the labels of fats and femmes and poz that we lose site that we are all in this together; we are all one. We are not portrayed in a positive light in the media; something that needs to change so that other individuals such as the gunman on Sunday don't see us as abominations that need to be shot down.

By loving ourselves and each other, we can make a change in the way we are perceived by society at large. The LGBT community has made major strides in my lifetime but we have so much more to go. I have been guilty many many times (and may continue to do so) of not promoting love within my community. However, in light of the tragedy in Orlando this past weekend, join me in making a concerted effort to love ourselves and love each other more fully. Let us take a moment to embrace equality as well as diversity. Together, with love, we can make a difference. As Gandhi is remembered saying, "Be the change you want to see in the world." Namaste.

Tags: orlando, lgbt, pulse nightclub, a course in miracles,