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The Rage of a New Day

I cried after the Pulse shooting, and this is what poured out of my heart 4 days later.

Let us sing the song of our brothers and sisters. Those whose souls float off into the ether, even as their bodies are laid low to the ground. Our war has been waged for decades and we all bear the scars. Loss and degradation have hardened us, have softened us just as beatings have been known to bruise. It is our brightly colored skin that has stood in the paths of fists and has collected the flying flecks of spittle cast from the lips of hate filled rhetoric.

We march, we drink, and we celebrate the things we hold most dear in life, because isn't that what you do when you're at war? But our war isn't like others. Our war is against the past, and our war is against an ideology of hatred and fear. We have been named anathema for merely existing. For EXISTING. We bear the wounds caused by toxic masculinity on a daily basis. We bleed and we heal, and we bleed some more. And people still don't know what we are fighting for, people still don't know what we are fighting against. Prejudice, homophobia, and hate; they stem from a fear of being seen as weak. They flow from the fountain of public opinion and the pressures of society to fit in, to not be less in the eyes of your peers. It's about over-compensation and false entitlement. But what people don't understand is that the only thing you are responsible for is respect; the only thing you are owed in return is respect. You don't have to like, and you will never always agree, but you do have to learn to stop fostering the fear of differences. With the absence of fear, hate will lose its power in the void between...

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