Daily Tea: Open Forum MASS SHOOTING IN ORLANDO! :(

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Tim Teeman of The Daily Beast wrote a brilliant piece on the mass murder of LGBT people today:

What needs to be repeated over and over again, and interrogated, is that the largest mass shooting in American history was an attack on gay people, LGBT people—politicians and lawmakers must say that, confront that, call it by its terrible, rightful name.

On social media, there is not just grief but also anger on the part of LGBT people, not just at the terrible loss of life, but of the erasure of LGBT people from a narrative that is centered on them, that has been visited upon LGBTs during Pride month. Those marches—in recent times, customized as “celebration”—will become far more moving and indelibly political, and rightly so.

Only President Obama, in his moving and concise remarks at the White House, recognized this for what LGBTs feel in the marrow of their bones—that this was an attack on them, as well as an act of terror.

 

 

LGBT

 

Vigils were held all over the world today to grieve the mass murder of so many members and friends of the LGBT community.  One such vigil was attended by a dear friend of mine in the historic Stonewall Inn in NYC.

The riots at the Stonewall in in 1969  spawned from a bar raid became a literal example of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and trans people fighting back, and a symbolic call to arms for many people. The riots marked a significant turning point in gay and lesbian culture entering into the mainstream.

The murders at Pulse, were a harsh reminder that as far as the LGBT community has come, we still live in a world we share with hateful homophobes.

140 Comments

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140 responses to “Daily Tea: Open Forum MASS SHOOTING IN ORLANDO! :(

  1. Swapples

    I’m reporting in from Orlando..sad morning here after some psychopath shot up a gay club..50 dead, 53 injured..reports also were flying that he went to our local Level I Trauma center which was 0.2 miles away..My friends were working last night and I was panicked, but everyone seems to be ok..It just shocks me about how many ignorant people there are. I’ve seen so many people say “they deserved it because they’re gay and were in the club,” and that “it’s just death, it happens everyday..” No. Mass shootings DON’T happen everyday. This is the BIGGEST mass shooting in the HISTORY OF THE US. I have just given up on society, I’m ready to just give up. Please send your thoughts and prayers to Orlando for the next few days, we really need it.

    • tamaratattles

      OMG! I had not watched or read any news today. This is awful.

      • Swapples

        It started around 2am..I didn’t go to sleep until 6. It’s just awful that people are like this..

      • Swapples

        There was 2 back to back shootings. One on Friday regarding Christina, and now this..And in LA a guy was arrested carrying arsenal to the LGBT pride parade..

    • Brittany

      It is the saddest thing. I just can’t understand why people are so bothered by the way other people live their lives. Its ridiculous. I’m not saying everyone has to agree, but everyone should respect other people’s choices. Breaks my heart.

      • Swapples

        ..Thank you! I was coming home last night bringing my boyfriend home from work and there were literally 30+ police cars passing me. They said the shooter had a bomb strapped to his chest. I was listening to the fire dispatch radio and they dispatched bomb squads. I was just shocked. I bank with Wells Fargo, and on that you get to choose your card background if you want one, and I have the pride flag..I’m thinking about ordering a new one now, like it’s just crazy..it’s scary how we can’t go outside without possibly being assaulted or harassed..

      • Erica

        Brittany – I know you aren’t a hater, but I just have to say – today of all days – it isn’t a choice. I didn’t choose to bestraight, and my gay friends didn’t choose to be gay. Said with love.

      • Brittany

        @Erica Yes, you’re right. Choices wasn’t the right word to use. I should have just left it at “everyone should respect other people”.

    • DarkThoughts

      Swapples, those that act like that live in hell. Don’t give up. People do care. I care. I prayed for those hurt and murdered the second I heard.

      • Swapples

        I’m only 18, like this is not a world I want to live in. I’ve basically seen it all. We’ve bullied and slut shamed girls to death, we’ve bullied suicidal people to death, we’ve shot innocent black people, hated, assaulted and now shot up an LGBT club..Like what else is there? Nothing shocks me anymore. “Oh my gosh, there was a shooting in Orlando!” “oh, yeah, it’s no big deal, happens all the time.” < That is what I'm coming down too..It's just too much and it's not fair. We're literally killing ourselves. We have a racist xenophobic Republican facist trying to become our president..if any of you saw what he said on Twitter, he said it like he's reporting it. Just straight forward, no sending prayers, no condolences, like come on man. I'm just giving up on society, I mean I've seen everything. What else can happen?

      • CoolMama

        Don’t give up on everyone! There are good people left to fight the good fight. This is a time for action, not surrender.

    • Prayers from New Jersey for all those personally affected and/or traumatized by news of the mass murder of young people. Just awful.

    • Cat

      Swapples…I am at a loss for words. I am angry and upset, and worried, because I have friends there who love going to Pulse. When I moved out of Orlando, we lost touch. Now, I don’t know how to contact my friend, to see if he and his partner are OK.

      I keep checking the victim list…and it makes me sick. Pulse is a place of solidarity…where people could celebrate their lives freely. Safely. And now….

      I’m angry at the media for focusing on the coward who did this. When will the media learn that they are giving these cowards what they want? Stop posting pictures of the killers. Stop mentioning their names. Stop making these cowards famous.

      Focus on the victims, and survivors. And the love and diversity in the community. The LGBT community does not deserve this. No one does.

      Love one another. Live and let live. Stop the hate.

  2. Marciwabbit

    I have been reading here for years but never comment. I enjoy reading TT’s blogs and all the comments but nothing could take the dark cloud of the last two nights away today. I am sickened and saddened by the loss of life. I am scared. I’ve been frightened for a long time, but with back to back shootings and this current presidential election I now find myself utterly terrified.

    • Calipatti

      As I see it, No reason to fear for yourself.
      It is happening more often but the odds of you being anywhere near the next shooting is slim to none.

      He was a natural born citizen with the legal right to carry, but not carry a AR-15.
      Same gun used in Colorado theater and Newtown school killings.
      AR-15 only purpose is to kill people, nothing else.
      NRA calls AR-15 Americas favorite gun.
      As long as people want the right to own a automatic weapons built ONLY to kill people, there will be mass killings every few years.
      Home grown crazy not from outside our boarders.

      The Men who wrote the 2nd Amendment could not foresee automatic weapons,
      they were using muzzle loaders.

      Personally Im tired of people being horrified at these killings.
      Enough killing of our innocent citizens has happened for every single person to understand AUTOMATIC Weapons.

      Vote people in that will help fix this,
      Join groups that fight for no automatic weapons –
      “EveryTown was formed after Newtown school killings.
      Do something – Vote for a person this is important to.

      Or don’t but stop being horrified.
      Killings are becoming our choice, sll of us.
      Just my opinion yes we are a gun owning and using family going back generation. My 1st rifle 11 1/2.

      • tamaratattles

        This is a ridiculously offensive comment.

        This is a HORRIFIC situation and preaching about the politics of it while telling people not to be horrified is obscene.

      • Calipatti

        TT I agree.

        I don’t care what political party does it.
        Everyone can be horrified, sad, sick but that doesn’t help.

        If we the people do nothing then we are now partially responsible.

        That is all
        Hope you all are ok, I’m going hiking.

      • AR-15’s are not Automatic! Get your facts correct before spreading incorrect information. You must possess a certain license in order to purchase or own an AUTOMATIC WEAPON. With that said, any killing even in a war is horrific!

      • Calipatti

        Yo Bonnie,
        I do know rifles, it is a Semi-Automatic. Yes I know the difference.

        It is very easy to convert a semi to straight automatic. People have been doing this for years.
        YouTube and Google.
        Magazines vary from holding under 10 — holding a ?? Ive heard of magazines close to 100.

        Dad was Marine Corp Drill Sargent in charge of the firing range. His skills were known up the west coast. Then he owned a gun shop for years.

      • tamaratattles

        I was looking forward to you going on a nice long hike. Perhaps Sue would like to join you?

      • #PrayersForOrlando

        I could not be more insulted by what you have to say. When you go out for a cocktail with 3 friends and by the end of the night 1 is on the floor dead and the other 2 are fighting for their lives in a hospital and you drive home alone, you come tell me your not horrified!

        When you go out with your Husband after a long week to relax and have a date night and he is shot in the head and killed in front of you and you drag him outside to try to plead for help, you come tell me you are not horrified!

        These are just the people I knew that this happened to last night, which is exactly what many other people had to realize today happened to those in their lives. Orlando is like a second home for me and the community is in shock and shattered and yes even horrified!

        When you have to sit and make 50 phone calls to everyone you know to try to check and make sure they’re alive because you know they frequent this place, you can tell me you’re not horrified by the end of the conversations and sadness.

        Nearly twenty-four hours ago the lives of these people in my world changed forever in a senseless horrible tragedy that was not necessary and preventable and I am absolutely horrified at the thought of my friends pleading for their lives.

      • calipatti, your comment: “personally, I’m tired of people being horrified at these killings”. I can only surmise you didn’t mean this comment to come across as it did. We should be HORRIFIED that these types of killings occur, and our reaction doesn’t really have anything to do with who owns/shoots guns or who knows the difference between automatic vs. semi-automatic weapons. The pertinent point is that it is HORRIFIC that innocent Americans are mowed down while performing their daily activities. It’s even more HORRIFIC to acknowledge that a particular group was targeted in this instance. How we decide to act to address the horror is up to each individual.

  3. Today all my friends are calling/texting each other just to say “hello friend, I love you…”

    • Sosueme

      TT hikin? Talkin bout me? Too sickened & sad to get out of bed. 2 Fl friends are traveling to give blood and calling as they drive.

  4. Today’s date 6.12.16 is a palindrome for all you nerds that like to know that kind of stuff.

    • Calipatti

      U F,
      I am sorry for you and all your friends this shooting effects. It must be difficult to just walk out your door some days.
      Sincerely feel sad for you and others.

      I am sadden that the hate and fear of, control so many others.

  5. all morning..I have been so emotional about the Orlando shooting..so many lives affected..

  6. Brittany

    It’s crazy hot here too and I’m unwilling to move out of the chair. I always feel like I should get up and do something, but the laziness has a hold on me.
    I have been waiting for an open thread to ask everyone if they are watching Arranged or Teenage Newlyweds. I just happened to catch a show and they are both pretty good.
    The cool part about Arranged is seeing the different marriage customs. Also, there is a verrrrry dominating woman and it’s just entertaining.

  7. Belinda

    Beautiful quiet day here in upstate NY. No noise…the smell of grilled food…and a feeling of gratitude and contentment.

    • Lindsay

      Finding the wind where I am upstate to be quite refreshing after the humidity the last few days…
      Thoughts are with everyone who is affected by YET ANOTHER senseless shooting.

  8. tamaratattles

    OMG I am going to throw up. I had no idea about this shooting until I read here. This is awful. I’m crying and physically ill.

    • Swapples

      The Queen of England, President of France has reached out and offered their condolences. Hostage situation, shooter, and a bomb. The shooter was shot dead, and all of the bodies are still in the club. Everyone is starting to have to make appointments to donate blood now..but here’s the kicker. LGBT CAN’T because of the FDA guidelines..like are you kidding? Finding an LGBT with an STD is very low in percentage, like, stop being fucking homophobic. Straight people have just the same chance of having an STD..

      • Typically, blood donations would not exclude all LGBT. Blood donors with “high risk” lifestyles such as men who have sex with men or women who have sex with men who also have sex with other men would be excluded. Not like that is an excuse but that’s how it works.

      • Cat

        I agree, Swapples! I was outraged when I heard of this guideline. The LGBT community there has suffered great loss…senseless loss. And now, they are being victimized further by being turned away? Disgusting.

  9. People in the U.S. are not safe in elementary schools, high schools, churches, theaters, malls, hospitals, dance clubs, or the work place but the Second Amendment is safe everybody!

    • Calipatti

      This ⬆️⬆️ 💙

      • Sosueme

        Calipatti, you are absolutely right to tell folks to put outrage to work to fixit. Maybe people will hear this message better tomorrow or the days following. Today, we are shocked and saddened for the victims, their families and friends; their community. You are right and I appreciate the sentiment.

  10. naa

    not doing well today

  11. Sosueme

    Woke up to news of the carnage. When the President spoke, he seemed resigned as well as saddened. Although I feel a political rant coming on, am feeling so disheartened, I can’t manage to rant, just sad.

  12. I saw my first cucumber growing and nearly shed a tear. My high didn’t last long when I read about the massacre in Orlando. Heaven help us…

  13. Jen

    :( Figured that your not posting was because you were processing the tragedy.
    Be safe and well.

  14. Beyond horrible. I am just sick. This was a terror attack and as such is was not about anything other than terrifying people in the US. The only thing we can do is unite. Prayers to all. We will not be afraid.

  15. tamaratattles

    I don’t think this is something that can be processed. I have thrown up. I can’t stop crying. I am sitting here alone in the dark.

    I wish I could give (and get) a hug from all of you. Especially Swapples.

    I have no words. Only tears.

    • Swapples

      Tamara, it’s just what the world has come down to. I used to volunteer at the hospital, but since I’ve left there’s not much I can do. I’m trying to reach out to LGBT groups to be a liaison for this. I’ve dealt with trauma families multiple times and that’s just the only way I feel like I can help at this point..Just keep breathing and pray everything else works out. We’re all safe, and that’s all that we can ask for right now.

    • #PrayersForOrlando

      It is horrible, i totally know where you are at. I still have not processed that this happened somewhere i love and to such great people. I told my staff i would be gone for the week and im flying out tomorrow to be with my friends. Their comforting safe place where you leave your troubles behind has been shattered, the LGBTQ community there is devastated. I would give anything to be able to unring this terrible bell and give them the lives they had less than 24 hrs ago….

  16. Jo13

    http://www.cityoforlando.net\victims for anyone who has loved ones there. The Second Amendment was established to allow citizens to create a militia so they (we) could always stand against a corrupt government. Today, that means almost anyone can have access to an assault rifle. Such a sad, sad day for all of us.

    • Matzah60

      At the very least, assault rifles should be banned for sale to any citizen. I don’t believe the second amendment implied that any citizen should have the right to possess a firearm. It was intended to provide and create a militia for the US to protect them in times of war.

      Almost every week there is a mass killing somewhere in the US and certainly abroad in the last five years. Congress refuses to sign a bill restricting gun purchases and waiting periods. My own father was shot in the head with a teenager carrying a gun back in 1963. Even a sane, balanced person can snap and use a gun they own for ‘protection’ to shoot someone in a state of rage.

      Tamara, I understand your grief and have compassion for your pain. I pray for everyone’s safety here on this blog and where you live. You are all in my prayers!

  17. tamaratattles

    I also feel bad that the Muslim community always has to condemn these attacks. But I am glad that they do.

    • Brittany

      Agree with this as well.

    • Matzah60

      Me too, TT. My son has been dating a Muslim for two years now. She actively participates in rallies with other Muslims in the US (she was born in Pakistan) condemning Muslim terrorists and tries to help spread the message that she, her family, and the many refugees fleeing to this country are running from the same terrorists as we are.

  18. jen

    Yes I lived in Orlando for many years. This is very sad. Very scary to think people I care about came that close to death. I feel so sorry for the families of lost ones.

    • DJFL

      I lived in Orlando for 35 years, and my house was only a mile from where that club is. I also used to go to movies at the theater where Christina Grimmie was killed. It was the first theater in Orlando that had two screens, and it was called the Plaza Rocking Chair Theater. I moved out of Orlando 16 years ago to get away from the increasing crime there.

      • Cat

        Same here. I lived just down the street from Pulse. I agree about the crime in Orlando. I really want to rant about it….but I won’t. This is not the time or place for politics.

        This is the time and place to band together, gay AND straight. Time to hug and love our fellow man on this planet. Love, love, love. That is what matters.

  19. There is a go fund me account for donations to support victim & families. The goal was $1million. In a matter of hours almost $500,000 has been donated. Thank you America! If someone wants the link to donate go to my twitter home page. @Urethra_F

  20. Swapples

    And now bombs have dropped over Lebanon..#PrayforLebanon #PrayforOrlando #PrayforHumanity ..

  21. tamaratattles

    Beirut was bombed today as well. Lots of damage to cars and building but no human casualties.

  22. tamaratattles

    Here is the link for the Go Fund me page.

    https://www.gofundme.com/2942a444

  23. joanne

    An hour or so ago, the FBI admitted they had investigated and interviewed the American-born shooter in ’13 & ’15 and concluded there wasn’t evidence to pursue any charges. So, we know he was on their radar. He was licensed by my state of Florida to be a security officer (for a global security firm) and to carry a firearm. He purchased a handgun and AK-15, as well as 30-round magazines and ammunition, LAST WEEK! LEGALLY! THANK YOU FLORIDA GUN LAWS! But, why the fuck wasn’t he on some list that would have flagged his purchase? WTF is the FBI and Homeland Security doing? This was a horrific hate crime as well as terrorism.

    Of course the orange-haired baboon will make fodder of this tragedy: ‘If only some of those good-looking homosexuals were armed! As you know, I love my Gays!’. I don’t know if I can stomach what we’ll hear in the days to come. My heart is broken and I feel a little less secure. But I would certainly have more fear if the baboon was president. He would probably recommend carpet bombing Port St. Lucie, since, you know, two of the American-born domestic terrorists called that home.

    The longer I live, I am continuously shocked by the horrors I’ve seen in this world. I could carry on endlessly, but I need a refill – in one of Dorinda’s wine-bottle capacity glasses.

    Take care Tamara and all. I know your collective hearts are breaking too.

    • Dee

      I’m heartbroken. This man was on their radar? I’m so sorry.

      • He was an American. He was born in New York. This was a hate crime committed by someone who happens to be Muslim. His father said his son was not religious. He wasn’t even observing Ramadan which is now. His ex-wife said he wasn’t religious either. She divorced him for beating her up everyday. This man was violent & unstable and he was ALLOWED UNDER LAW TO BUY GUNS one week ago. This was motivated by hate after the shooter’s father said his son became enraged after seeing two men kiss in Miami. Hate crime hate crime hate crime. It’s a fucking hate crime, and I will keep reminding y’all of that.

      • DJFL

        @Urethra Franklin -“Orlando nightclub gunman called 911 before attack, pledged allegiance to Islamic State.”

      • DJFL I’m gonna wait till the 911 tape is released for me to believe that. Who calls 911 right before they shoot up a bar with over 300 people in it?

      • tamaratattles

        UF, the newspeople seemed to have incomplete info on this yesterday. Now what I am hearing is that he shot up most of the people who didn’t get out and then it became a hostage situation with two groups of people in two bathrooms. The larger bathroom had a dozen of so people in it. The smaller bathroom had five or six people hiding in it.

        Some contact occurred for hostage negotiations. It may not be that he called 911 at all. That may be misreporting. (or not, but like you this doesn’t seem like the most likely way phone contact was made) It is more likely that they had a hostage negotiating agent on the site. That is when the deranged person said something about ISIS, allegedly.

        They busted down the wall to the larger bathroom and the hostages ran out and the confrontation with he deranged man took place.

        Based on everything I have heard about the murder, I have decided that he had a mental illness (probably not bipolar,he was never diagnosed with anything). I have read about him right after high school graduation where he worked in the mall at a GNC and at lunch at the Ruby Tuesday a lot. Apparently a lot of the employees at RT both male and female were gay. The murderer knew this and would hang out there with them frequently. He seemed like a nice enough guy. He was about 19.

        When it comes to serious mental illness, it often develops in one’s early to mid twenties. Something goes wrong in the mind.

        In my opinion this was a mentally ill person who committed a hate crime purposefully and deliberately on the gay community. The ISIS thing was some tangential sort of afterthought to justify his insanity in the moment. ISIS and the murderer had never had any contact. It was just some mentally disturbed person who felt like ISIS’s flavor of mental illness and hatred suied his purposes.

      • tamaratattles

        I had not read the latest updates when I wrote that comment. It sounds like he initiated the 911 call, and called twice with the hostage negotiator returning calls.

        Also he claimed to be ISIS, Al Queda, and Hezbollah. Three groups who hate each other.

  24. tamaratattles

    In other news, it’s Gay Pride Day in LA. A man was apprehended with explosive devices and weapons who was headed to the Gay Pride parade to carry out an attack.

  25. Robert

    I’m about 30 minutes away from PULSE. I’m incrediby sad. It’s always a shock to see things like #prayforparis or #prayforsanbernardino but to see #prayfororlando is just horrible for me. Those poor people.

    • The worst thing about the Orlando massacre is that this would have been forgotten if it didn’t surpass the largest body count in America’s history. No body cares if a gay or two get killed, and I think the death count now exceeds 50. Over 100 people were shot, wounded, or killed…

      • Robert

        I think it’s currently at 59 people dead. The worst part is that the media and politicians are already erasing the lgbt factor. They will be forgotten soon and all anyone will talk about is the fact that (supposedly) ISIS was involved.

        I would like to give props to the local tv and radio personalities. Usually the big names take the weekends off but they have been on this all day. They seem to being making sure that this is seen as just as much an lgbt issue as a terrorism issue.

      • Robert it was so disgusting today to read all the statements by Cruz, Rubio, Huckabee, and other countless political assholes expressing sorrow and support to the the victims while they mercilessly campaigned to restrict the rights of LGBTQ by banning marriage, adoption, regulate bathrooms, etc. I hope they all choke on their words. They FUELED this hatred in America. They have blood on their hands too.

      • Robert

        You’re absolutely right, Urethra. It’s been more than w4 hours and the only 2 politicians that I’ve seen address it are Barack and Hillary.

        Here is part of her statement:
        “This was also an act of hate. The gunman attacked an LGBT nightclub during Pride Month. To the LGBT community: please know that you have millions of allies across our country. I am one of them. We will keep fighting for your right to live freely, openly and without fear. Hate has absolutely no place in America.”

  26. Shyla

    This is the kind of thing that happens when we spend months building fear. All those bathroom laws, everyone is going to be raped and murdered. Fundamentalist crazies don’t see any distinction berween trans and gay and an attack was bound to happen soon. It’s so terribly sad that we are supposed to hate everyone who is different. The cycle of anger and hate continues. Hate trans, hate Muslim, hate America, hate Israel, hate Middle East, hate poor people, hate rich people. Very sad.

  27. marc

    At work & miserable Have a great weekend friends ! P.s love reading these posts !

  28. Sam

    He’s connected to ISIS. The FBI and ISIS have apparently both confirmed that.

    • Iprefermyteaunsweetend

      Just heard his ex wife said he used to beat her for tribal things like dishes being unwashed. Isis or not, this man was obviously mentally ill. Mental illness is real! What else would make one commit such an atrocity. And yes, I think hatred of one group or another is a form of mental illness. I keep asking myself why things like this happen, and this is the answer I come up with. I pray for humanity. Regard for human life has become diminished ☹️😢

    • I might a know a mafia person or three, but it doesn’t mean I am in the mafia.

      Sure he might have been in the social circle of some ISIS terrorists, but it doesn’t mean that this was an ISIS directed attack. Anyway Isis would take credit for anything just to keep the fear mongering going on whether they were directly involved or not in this incident. So far I have not seen ONE quote or statement from any government official that has said there is a direct connection to ISIS. I’ve only heard that is ISIS inspired whatever the heck that means. If you know otherwise please tell me where I can read this. Please don’t tell me CNN because CNN is trash.

      Also I am sure the NRA would LOVE for us all to think that this hate crime was ISIS directed. It would redirect the heat off of them & the greedy politicians who have blood on their hands by accepting money & expenditures to vote NO on anything that would ban/restrict automatic weapons. The NRA and the long list of politicians that support the NRA have just as much blood on their hands as the shooter and ISIS. Even if this was an ISIS mission to kill, the shooter would have killed far less had he only had a hand gun or two and possibly could have been vulnerable to being taken down by Samaritans. It’s kinda hard to get near a guy with an automatic rifle that fires out bullets non stop without reloading.

      At this time I still believe the motive was a true hate crime against gays even though there are indeed other influences in this man’s life.

      • Matzah60

        I agree. Trump has been the only douchebag getting on Twitter and saying this is why we need to close our borders and refuse any refugees into our country. He is inciting fear, xenophobia, hate, racism to actually gain political leverage from this heinous mass killing.

        Go back to your history books and you will see that Hitler did the very same thing. Initially, Jews had to wear patches with the Jewish star on their person. Trump is asking for the very same thing to identify Muslims in this country. Trump is spreading the fear and the hate.

        I am so tired of hearing that every Muslim that commits a crime is a terrorist. I am not a Muslim, but I fear for Muslims everywhere who will also be secondary victims in this hate spree. As Urethra said above, this is a hate crime, plain and simple.

  29. Sending BIG LOVE from Australia. Reading about this horrendous event has left me with tears in my eyes – for the victims, for the families, for the LBGT community, for you guys. I’ve read this morning that this is the 998th mass shooting in America in 912 days – my heart breaks for you. xx

  30. I woke to news of the shooting. Horrified & angry. Confused. Shocked. And then I saw the names of the deceased… My friend was the first name listed. How can this be true? Eddy was charming & sweet. One of the kindest people I’ve ever met. And the only guy who could pull off a top hat without looking like a douche. So many lives snuffed out by hate. This insanity must end.

    • Ellie

      Oh sweetie I am so sorry for the loss of your friend. Prayers for you and and the friends and family of the victims.

    • Jim

      My deepest sympathy Lady Cocotte.

    • tamaratattles

      I am so very sorry for your loss, Lady C. So many people grieving today. It’s just so very sad.

    • More Tea Please!

      Lady Cocotte,
      I am so sorry that this horrific act was so personal for you. This homophobia is utterly disgusting. To take it another step to a massacre is unthinkable.

    • Matzah60

      So sorry for your pain, Lady! I hope the good times and memories you shared will help you through this tragic loss.

    • Lady Cocotte that is terribly heartbreaking. Here’s a big cyber hug from me.

      • It’s gut wrenching, that the worst mass shooting in the U.S. would be against those of us that search for so long for a safe space inside the walls of gay bars/clubs…. Years ago during my party days I thought that I’d be happy to die of a heart attack while dancing with shirtless men under a mirror ball. I once told my BFF that when I die I want my ashes to be scattered on the dance floor of my favorite club so that I can be at the party forever.

      • Much love to you UF & everyone who’s safe haven has been violated.

    • PiaPill

      TT, Lady Cocotte and all,

      I literally just found out … I came on TT’s to read and noticed the comment on WWHL so then I immediately went to a news site. I am still in shock and sick to my stomach! Reading the reports are horrific enough but to hear about the specific events and reports from the loved ones regarding the text messages “mid-massacre” are just to much for me to bear. Reading the list of names and ages doesn’t help …

      I am crying as I write …. I can not add anything more to what has already been said. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone. They say there is strength in numbers so hopefully our combined prayers will give strength and comfort to all involved as we again, process these senseless hate-mongering killings and when is enough enough already to get an assault weapon ban passed in Congress!!! I agree with the comment above about those who have “blood on their hands” because they WOULD NOT yield to the NRA LOBBYING FUNDS WE ALL KNOW THESE JERKS MUST GET to vote down these types of bans.

      Lady Cocotte, I am so sorry for the senseless loss of your dear friend. It hurts to hear news like this anyway but to hear from someone that it directly impacts makes the horror that much deeper and painful. I send you hugs and special regards.

      Sorry if this was too long, I rarely comment but read here nightly.

      Sincerely,
      Pia

    • Cat

      Omg, Lady C…I am so sorry for your loss!

    • Dee

      Lady C, I’m so very sorry. I’m at a loss, can’t think, my thoughts are with everyone.

  31. Theresa

    This is my home. I lost at least 1 coworker today and have 2 others Mia. They are painfully slow updating the victims. I work with a tremendous number of gay and Muslim people. None of whom deserve the hate this is bringing. This man was not a true muslim.

    This morning I overslept and was late for work. My house phone ringer was turned off for some reason. Since I never miss work,lol and certainly never ignore a call, it was assumed I was at Pulse. Some cried when I walked in. I had absolutely no idea what was going on.

    Even after working 15 days without a day off and many of those days over 10 hours, I can’t sleep. I can’t turn off my mind or my tears. The increased security presence at work is disturbing. The loss of a loved one is heartbreaking. The fear for the missing is never ending.

    Love is so much greater than hate. Orlando is an amazing community. We will persevere and rise up with love and fidelity.

  32. It’s my second weekend being all alone and all this tragic stuff going on in the world. I’m sick to my stomach. I really don’t think I can handle this. I have no one to talk to.

    • Dee

      Thoughts and prayers are with you Mary. I’m really sorry.

    • Cara

      Please, please call the mental health hotline in your community. It’s there for people who are feeling just the way you are right now. There are wonderful people at the other end of the phone who understand what you’re feeling, will listen to you, and will give you some ideas to move forward. You’re worth it.

    • tamaratattles

      Hope you feel a tiny bit better today, Mary. You have us to talk too anytime.

      • Thanks Tamara. I didn’t know sadness could be this profound and I had no idea lonliness could become so all consuming. I even work alone in my office so there is simply no one in my life.

      • tamaratattles

        I’m in the same boat, Mary. I hope that once some of the initial aching pain subsides after your tremendous loss you will find some things about being alone are quiet lovely. I can only imagine how lonely it must be when someone you have loved and lived with just leaves you. That must be such a terrible place to find yourself. I have always been alone and have learned to embrace it for the most part. But when scary things happen in the world from thunderstorms to terrorist attacks it is much scarier on your own.

        Many people find comfort in church activities if that is something you would be open to. It really is important to have something that requires you to do something with a regular group of people. This is sort of a do as I say not as I do bit of advice. :)

        Also, if you are in compliance with the mandatory tomato plant growing rule here, try to go outside and splash some water on it each day. Let that be a reminder to water yourself as well.

        I think you will find a lot of good advice her with people with may more knowledge in the marriage and divorce area than I. Just keep talking to us.

      • Tamara – I am very grateful to you and your blog.

      • tamaratattles

        I’m grateful for you, my friend. I don’t feel so alone about being alone when you are here. For that matter, when all of you are here. There are a lot of us who are alone. You will find a whole new world, when you are ready.

        There are many people whose life doesn’t go the way they planned, but if you are open to the new life, it can be spectacular. I’ve done a lot of international travel alone, and have found that to be very fulfilling. I think you should try and find a way to get to a beach, alone, ASAP and just drink umbrella drinks if you’d like, or treat yourself to a fancy meal. If you have family then let them or a close friend know where you are going. Take the very finest vacation you can afford it’s better to take a short fancy one than a long sparse on at this point. Unless absolutely necessary leave your cell phone at home. The world can survive without you for a few days and you need some sun, sand and a hot waiter to fetch you things. xo

        You have lost a long relationship. Perhaps it was not always fun. But you have gained the opportunity to do ANYTHING YOU WANT WHENEVER YOU WANT. Be brave. FInd your island. Sit at the bar sometime. People will chat you up. You can spill your guts and leave and never seem again. Or perhaps make a friend. Or have a fling.

        YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO SIT THERE WONDERING WHAT YOU DID WRONG.

        You didn’t do anything wrong. You stayed. He left. It’s time to do you.

        xo

        tt

    • Mary: as someone who has traveled extensively solo, I must echo what TT says below – find your island (wherever that may be), soak up some sun and local culture, drink umbrella drinks and eat good food. You are worth it and can do it on your own. If you are willing to take the chance, you will find it renewing as your forage your new path. In addition, you never know who you will meet on the way. Best of luck to you! :-)

    • T D

      Although deprived of expressing how to reach out to you when you first commented, just thought you should know, you’re extraordinary Mary.

  33. Erica

    Literally did not turn on the TV all day, until Shahs (the 10 PM showing). Read the news on Facebook, and couldn’t face the TV. Got a splitting headache and thanked the higher powers for Tylenol with Codeine. (It didn’t make it any easier that I got some drama from my mama, who hung up on me when I wasn’t even sure what the issue was..)

    I’m not a crier – but literally just burst into tears with Andy Cohen’s speech at the beginning of the show. It doesn’t help that I also just read that the crime scene investigators have been having to hear the cell phones ringing constantly in the club – where they still had the bodies of those slain – knowing it was probably loved ones trying to reach the deceased to find out if they are ok. That image is going to haunt me for a while.

    I’m so scared for my friends now – our Pride is next weekend, and last year one of my friends got confronted by some “open carry” folk, so there was already going to be a bigger police force presence.

  34. Spaghetti Kitten

    TT blog has never been this easy and instant to access from my phone! Love the format.

  35. wirelessmom

    It was an attack on the gay community because Islamic terrorists dispise gay people. If anyone had been reading news accounts of what the Islamic terrorists in the Middle East are doing to gays, they’d know how much hate they have. This is a horrible thing to have happened to Americans. That’s what they were, decent law abiding Americans who didn’t deserve this horror.

  36. misti wilde

    His ex wife should have filed charges for domestic abuse. Then he would have at least been harder pressed to get the guns. And maybe he would have learned a lesson about violence. I’m sure she just wanted to get away from him though and I commend her for that. So many women stay and suffer and even die. I am learning the older I get that it doesn’t pay to let people get away with things. Even your own kids. Always comes back to bite you. Or bite someone else.

    • Erica

      This wouldn’t have mattered, especially in Florida. Please don’t blame one of his other victims (his ex wife).

      George Zimmerman can still buy and sell guns, and his ex filed charges for domestic abuse.

      I believe in the right to own a gun, but these AK-15s are really weapons of mass destruction… designed to rapidly kill multitudes of people in a short period of time. They need to be off the market.

      But if they didn’t ban them when one (that was also legally purchased) was used to kill 1st graders, this won’t change anything either. They also didn’t make it more difficult to get a gun license, or work on closing loopholes, etc.

  37. Crazydoesit

    I couldn’t even write on this blog yesterday but feel I have to support others that are affected. I too live about three miles from Pulse. I am on a board of a clinic for LGBT here locally. The Center has coordinated help for all those affected with the agency I’m on the board of and many others. Any locals in need of any support, please reach out to The Center. Please do not participate in local vigils as there have been copy cat threats made. I have lost causal acquaintances but most of all my friends lost their close friends and the security/safety they felt. This gunman called local gay clubs to find out how many people would be attending events at another club that friends of mine promote. My local peeps, please be aware of the copycats. I do not want anyone else hurt. I’m doing my part in donating blood and manning the crisis phone lines with other therapist friends. Hugs to everyone affected. I personally want my friends (who are family) to feel safe and secure again, where currently they feel they can’t leave the house. I’m just sick by this. Orlando is a great, close knit community that will stand together.

    • tamaratattles

      Thanks for checking in. Know that many are grieving with you. I don’t understand the vigils thing. I’d assume a lot of people will be holding vigils there?

      • Crazydoesit

        People are trying to grieve, organizing events. Orlando Police are asking them not to because they don’t have the manpower (so many of them are still processing the scene). It’s scary for my friends and the gay community as a whole right now. They don’t feel safe grieving. It’s so difficult, for them.

    • Thoughts and prayers to all. Now that the victims have been identified and families notified, I hope all involved have someone in their lives to check on their homes (especially those that live alone) to ensure any children and/or pets are cared for.

      • tamaratattles

        I worried about the pets too, Toots. I saw something on the Internet lately about having plans for your pet if you die. I have no idea what would happen to Banjo. Must outlive him.

      • Theresa

        To share – a group of my coworkers have organized a pet care drive. They are collecting supplies and ascertaining what the needs are and setting up foster families. I’ve never been more proud of my city.

    • tamaratattles

      CrazyDoesIt, thanks for verifying who you are. I am so sorry for the misunderstanding. Thanks for all you are doing in Orlando.

  38. TT: you have so many people who love you. Just like you’ve made plans for your finances after you leave this earth, please make sure you include Banjo and any future pets. None of us know how much time we have left on this earth. And as the Orlando situation has reminded us, anything can happen anywhere.

  39. tamaratattles

    I went to Publix today because it is SOFA KING hot in this house and a kind soul suggested replacing my air filter, which totally needed to be done. It didn’t seem to have an immediate effect but maybe tomorrow.

    Anyway, I found myself feeling angry at all the happy people. The very young chipper young male employee who asked how my day was going in particular. He was very genuine actually. I tried to muddle through the pleasantries. I guess I expected the world to be sad. and angry. and mad at the God I don’t believe in. Things seemed just like every other time I was ever at the store. How is that possible?

    On twitter, I have people doing the same old trolling. Really? People trying to convince me that this or that housewife is a cunt. You know what? Maybe they are. But IS THIS REALLY WHAT YOU ARE DOING TODAY?

    I even had a few horrid people trying to say bad things in this forum.

    It’s just a lot to process.

    I tend to be highly emotional in certain situations, but also the one everyone else relies on in a crisis in my family

    I feel maybe I am making this too much “about me.”

    I think that is because this feels worse to me personally than even the school shootings. I feel like a terrible person for thinking that.

    If there is a defense to that statement, this is what I have to offer. I’ve been sexually abused many times in my life since I was a young girl. As much as I wanted a relationship with a great guy, my ability to make good choices about who I allowed to get close to me was…. well I had no ability in that area at all.

    Wherever I went, spinning all my plates in the air, whenever they got kinda wobbly, a gay guy would show up spin them for me. In college, there was a lesbian run women’s gyn center who was very helpful. In nearly every shitty teaching job I ever had, there was a gay guy that I was fast friends with. I also had a lesbian couple who was very close to me at one long term teaching job. Ten or so years ago a gay man came in my life who has blessed me beyond belief. All of these people have carried me. They showed me love and compassion when no one else was. I was always skeptical at first. I tend to push people away. They kept being kind, and generous and they cared for me when at times I was not even caring for myself. They KEPT ON CARING ABOUT ME when I did stupid shit or hurt their feelings. They invited me to their homes. The invite me out to dinner.

    I honestly do not think I would be alive without the gay community. In my darkest time, a gay man I have never met hired a new therapist for me because he could see the last one was not helpful. He paid for it. I could have gone every day if I wanted to his card was on file.

    I am so fucking angry. This is the worst possible group of people to murder. I can’t comprehend the level of hate that exists for the LGBT community in the hearts of some. In any group there are a few bad apples but in this one, I’ve met very few.

    I went into the world today, and nothing had changed. It was just like any other day. Only they were out of Ben & Jerry’s Pistachio Pistachio and the very happy young man went to the back without me asking and brought out some more.

    I’ve had a hard time understanding love. I’ve certainly been damaged too much for a healthy relationship.

    But, I must say it took me a while, I recall having a frank discussion with the gay man who many years later paid for some therapy for me, about gay marriage. It was 10 or 13 or I dunno how many years ago and I was still looking for hope in the Bible. And I said something like I reckon if you don’t call it marriage and had a civil union for all the legal stuff, but the Bible says….

    That man has continued to stick by me all these many years, and teach me so much, and bless me so much with his friendship. And he’s married. To a man. (and in my heart also to me.)

    • TT: you have been so blessed in your life with people who love you and support you, especially your gay husband and other friends who has been there for you for so many years. It’s so difficult to experience tragedy of this magnitude and wonder how the world can go on as if nothing had happened. But you know what? That’s what makes the human race so formidable. The ability to mourn the tragedy, but go on and deal with life as it comes without curling up in a fetal position. Many of us have tragedy in our lives, and we should all be thankful for the folks who have been there for us (gay or straight), those who lift us up and support us no matter what. Let’s all give thanks for our lived ones and do our best to pay it forward.

      Hugs to you and Banjo.

    • Theresa

      I understand this all too well. My coworkers and friends are either mostly gay males or Muslims with the odd handful of everything else. All are wonderful people. We are grieving as one unit. I work for 2 entertainment giants and both have lost employees. We had a vigil at the one already and a vigil is planned Saturday at the other after closing. There are vigils every day somewhere and they are all most welcome. There is so much love and support happening with our grief. Security has been insane at work and I am so thankful for that as we were and have always been a huge target. Valid threats were made just a few months ago at all entertainment locations in Central Florida prompting increased security.

      Going into work and smiling and acting like nothing has happened has been incredibly challenging when every single person working there has been affected personally. A friend lost 8 friends! This was his hang out place. I never thought I would count my blessings that I only know 1 casualty. For a million plus people, we are one very small town.

    • TT, if it feels as if it’s “too much about me,” it may be because every loss brings the feelings and grief we’ve felt over every loss in our lives to the surface. We love you, and we grieve with you. We have all lost once again. Love and hugs.

    • Thanks for writing this Tamara. I’ve had a hard time expressing my feelings about this tragedy, even to myself. Your words rang so true to me. My heart aches for all of the victims and their loved ones. We have to stop the hatred.

    • Erica

      It is ok to make it about you… certain tragic events do resonate with us… and THAT IS OK.

      I just went OFF on a bitch who questioned Andy attending a vigil at Stonewall – who asked if he attended vigils for 9/11 or Sandy Hook. Then tried to imply shame on those who made this about the LGBT community, and that this was an attack on EVERYONE because there were people of all colors who died and we shouldn’t pin labels on any of these incidences.

      Im sure Andy was impacted by 9/11 (especially as a New Yorker) and felt badly about Sandy Hook – but this was an attack on his community… an attack on who he is. The cunt satchel who argued with me tried to say that the gunman also was checing out “Disneyland” (I assume she meant Disney World)… but even if he did – it is Pride month, so I bet he was investigating Gay Days.

  40. I’m so sad for everyone – Urethra, TT, Lady Cocette, Theresa, Justanothermary, Swapple – sad for everyone. I wish I could give each of you a big old South Carolina mama hug. I grieve the loss of bright, funny, creative, kind, sweet souls – whether it’s one or 49 – fathers and sons, brothers, mothers and daughters, sisters, cousins, best friends, colleagues, neighbors. My beautiful, wounded Charleston – from the Circular Congregational Church:
    “A little over a year ago, we were sent a thousand cranes. We were grieving as a city, crying openly in the streets. The cranes were sent to us by another city that had suffered a massacre. We decided we would keep the cranes for one year and then send them on to next city that was suffering. Today after church we stood in the sanctuary. Everyone knew where the cranes should go. We enter the week of Charleston’s anniversary with tears on our faces. For Orlando.”

  41. T D

    For those with a voice, a heart, let’s march for those who no longer can and find strenght in our united grief. No more senseless hurt.

  42. Dee

    The more I hear about the Orlando shooting the more sad I feel. Those poor people, just out for the night, laughing, having fun. Then their entire world blew up. I can’t stop crying for all the children who were lost that night. I am more sorry than I can express. Thank you Tamara for giving us a place to come together.

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