You do not know me. Hopefully, at three years old, you are too young to know fully every little thing that has just happened in your life.
I am a gay man. I think about the LGBT neighborhood my household. Among the 50 people who died in Orlando this weekend, 49 of them were what I contemplate my queer brothers and sisters. One particular of them was your father.
The news tells me that your father said, right after seeing two guys kissing, that you must never ever see one thing like that.
I write hoping that you will develop up in a planet where you will see that—and exactly where that basic act won’t bring forth devastation.
Let me explain. By the time you’re my age, gray will streak my hair. My joints will ache more. I won’t be able to go days and nights without sleep, as I’ve done this week in Orlando, sharing the stories of the men and women we lost.
I write to you now to say, of all issues, that I’m sorry. In the current anger and turmoil rocking my loved ones, I’m confident couple of would say that. But I am sorry.
I’m sorry my world is a location where two men kissing, two females kissing, could somehow lead to devastation.
I’m sorry we could not supply a planet where your father could have known the joy and adore of my individuals, the LGBT people, the men and women who take as their proud standard the luminous rainbows that you will likely draw oneself with preschool crayons.
I’m sorry we could not provide a planet exactly where the faith of your father was secure from malicious pretenders who ravage all nations, who kill with impunity.
I’m sorry we could not offer a nation that keeps terrible weapons out of the hands of the troubled, the wayward, and the malcontent.
I’m sorry that, if current reports are true, your father could not have identified a residence amongst my household. Our enjoy is deep and wealthy, even now, and has been cured by decades of tragedies both little and large.
In a various planet, your father, Omar Mateen, could have been a various man. But that is not the world we gave you. And that is not the man he became.
At your age, the globe you will inherit is the world my generation will build for you, now, this really moment. In that planet, two males will kiss. Two women will kiss. In that globe, we do not turn children’s eyes away from love. We teach adore, we express love, and we hope that enjoy shines amongst the darkly swirling foundations of a globe racked by conflict.
Your father did a terrible factor. He took lives. He took adore from this planet. But a son losing a father is not a thing to take lightly. As you develop to know the man he was, know too the males and women he took from us.
Their stories ought to inform you that the simple sight of two men kissing—what your father attempted to hide from you—is only the tiniest spark of what joy it signifies to be LGBT. The victims’ stories radiate with a really like that turns all hearts to it as flowers adhere to the arcing sun.
A single day, you will know us on your personal terms. I hope the world we leave you is greater than the one particular that spawned this horror. I hope you come to know us as people searching for love and shelter in other folks, just as you will. You do not have to be your father, or your grandfather.
You will develop to be your own individual. This loss cannot define you or condemn you, no more than it can the families of the victims or the LGBT neighborhood. We guarantee you and your generation a much better world. Pray that we succeed.