June 14, 2016
Without a doubt one of the best days of my life.
It was the summer before I would leave home to start my first year at the University of Kentucky. On this particular day, I was slightly sad and hurt due to the Orlando nightclub shooting that happened two days prior.
The Orlando nightclub shooting was the deadliest mass shooting by a single shooter at the time until the recent Las Vegas shooting occurred. It is also the deadliest incident of violence against LGBTQ people in the United States.
Social Media was flooded with different views on the incident. It seemed as if the attention was more focused on the fact that these victims were "gay" than people who suffered a terrible act of violence. Comments were made that truly hurt my heart. "It's what they deserved," "They had it coming," "If they weren't gay it wouldn't of happened" and the list continues.
The fact that people diminished other humans in regards to their differences really saddened me. To see people treated terribly, even in death, is crazy for me to comprehend. It emotionally affected me.
On June 14, two days after the shooting, I received a text from one of my best friends asking if I was available to spend time with her. I texted her back saying yes, and asked her what she had planned. She responded stating that it was a surprise.
My only directions were what to bring (flowers and some snacks) and the location to drive to.
When I arrived, I was surprised to find out we were having a picnic and making flower crowns to celebrate the lives of the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting. My friend told me that she could tell I was very upset about the shooting and that she wanted to do something for me that would cheer me up.
We ended the day by making a small tribute towards the victims at a nearby tree.
It was such a beautiful day, the weather was perfect and I felt so supported and loved. I had never had someone do something so genuine and kind for me before. It was such a thoughtful act and I will remember it forever.
Thank you for spending the time to make me feel so loved and appreciated. You always remain a very special friend to me. That day, you impacted my life in a very memorable way and I hope you are blessed with everything you do.