Jun 13, 2016


10 months ago, I moved to Washington, DC to start a new life with my Sir. 10 months ago, I lived with a loving family. 10 months ago, I lived in Orlando.

In fact, I was born and raised in Orlando. Aside from a few years in Tampa for school, Orlando was the only home I knew. As you are already well aware, this past Saturday played host to a terrible tragedy in Orlando that saw the pointless deaths of 49 LGBT humans. This is something that I never expected to see from the relatively small city of Orlando; known almost solely for its tourist industry. I know none of the victims, but that hasn’t made this event any easier. I have never struggled with my emotions the way I have these past couple days.

This same weekend was Capitol Pride here in DC. Saturday went off without a hitch. We marched in the parade with the DC Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence; Sir making a statement in his heels, and myself testing the waters as Pup Kuff. We didn’t care what people thought, and strutted with pride down the streets. At one point, the parade ahead and behind us grew in distance. Hundreds of feet separated the entire parade from my Sir and three pups. The roar of the applause remained just as loud. We shared the crowds attention with no other group in the parade, but the community was still as loud as it was when it was cheering for the entire visible parade. That moment stuck with me the next day. That moment proves the acceptance that our community has for its members. That moment helped get me through the next day, as we again donned our pup hoods and walked the Pride Festival. As the sun set, we attended vigils at both the Capitol Building and the White House. These are moments that I will never forget. Here is a candid picture of myself (red) and Pup Nano (blue) during a moment of reflection in front of the Capitol Building as the chorus sings.

I’m reminded of that age old nursery rhyme; “Sticks and stones may break my bones, by words will never hurt me”. We may be hurt. We may be in pain. But we will never be broken. We will never fade from existence. We sure as hell will fight for ourselves, as well as the ones that we love and the ones we have lost. This tragedy has left us battered, but I truly believe that we will come out of this stronger than we have ever been. We are proud of who we are, and that is something that those who stand against us don’t even understand the meaning of.

That is why we will win.

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