“I will not allow my anger and outrage over this attack to overshadow our need to honor those who are grieving.”– Lady Gaga earlier this week.

In the Aftermath of Orlando

On Sunday I arrived in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston.  The city’s Pride Festival celebration had just been held there the day before.  The neighborhood was still draped in rainbow flags.  There were visitors from all over and spirits were light and celebratory. That night as my husband and I walked around the neighborhood on our way out to dinner, there were several LGBT couples doing the exact same thing that we were doing – holding hands as they walked down the sidewalk, chatting, and exploring the city while they followed the navigation on their iPhones to their restaurant of choice. After witnessing so many friends and clients fight so hard and so long for their civil liberties, there was something so right about that moment – seeing my LGBT brothers and sisters having access to the some of the same public expressions of self and of love that I have access to every day. We awoke the next morning to learn of the horrific shooting in Orlando… After blogging for Flourish for 11 years, I find myself struggling to form coherent sentences on this subject.  My heart is full of grief at the loss of life.  I’m haunted that shootings have become a frequent occurrence.  I’m nauseous that a hate crime claimed the lives of so many LGBT and Latinos, that so many young people were struck down in the prime of their lives. And, honestly, I am f***ing furious. – I find myself enraged at how little we’ve done to prevent senseless violence.  Meanwhile, school children including mine come home talking about how they now practice “mass shooting” drills at school, disturbing this Mama Bear to my very core. Many of you are experiencing your own range of strong emotions.  Mass shootings are traumatic to our entire civilization.  There are those who are impacted directly – their lives forever altered or destroyed.  But additionally there are millions of us who are secondary victims, left feeling disturbed, sad, angry, anxious and afraid.  On our next post you’ll find 5 simple things that you can do to help yourself cope.

We’re Sending Our Love and Support

On behalf of the Flourish team and myself, we’re sending enormous amounts of love to all of those impacted by Orlando, to all of the loved ones of the victims, to the first-responders who’ve endured grizzly work, and to our colleagues in the Orlando area who will face the heavy task of supporting the victims in the coming months. As Colorado enters into its Pride Festival celebration this weekend, we are sending love, light, and peace to all of our LGBT friends/clients/loved ones.  We’re honored to do anything we can to support you through this dark chapter in history. Our love and peace goes out to our Muslim and Middle Eastern Americans brothers and sisters as well.  May we all remain conscious that the behavior of a very small number of individuals is never representative of an entire people.