On the night of June 11, 2016, I spent a humid summer night in Orlando at The Woodshed. After a good night with friends, I headed home to Tampa just before 2am. When I woke on the morning of the 12th my phone was exploding with messages. I called my mom who had left many frantic messages and that’s when I learned of what happened only a few miles away from where I had been. I was in shock. I had friends at Pulse that night. I had been many to Pulse myself many times and could have easily swing by before heading home. After reassuring her and my niece that I was alright I did what so many others were doing at the same time: desperately trying to check on friends and loved ones while holding back tears and trying to grasp what had happened.
In the days that followed, the Central Florida community and the nation seemed to come together. We held each other while crying, stood silently honoring those whose lives were lost and those who were injured, and said we’d fight. As time has passed though, it seems the memory of that night and the words that followed have faded for many. I want to remind those people though, this fight is still raging and our need to resist grows stronger. It is a fight for our rights, for our love, and for our lives.
I will be not silent.
I will not forget.
I will never stop fighting.