Reflections on the Day


DJ has a girlfriend.

They have been dating over a year now.

It is not something I speak about – her sexuality – because it is her sexuality – not mine.  I am just happy to give her the words to help her identify herself.  She is a “pan who didn’t come out of the closet but the cupboard” as she says.  Her girlfriend is a lesbian, so she spends a lot of time explaining to people that she is not a lesbian -but her girlfriend is.

Today has been a rough day as a parent of someone who is not straight.  Seeing the news, reading the words of the parents – my heart breaks for them.

In about 2008, G found a team to teach him to play rugby.  It was the gay team in town.  He went to the first meeting at a popular gay bar that had gay porn on the TVs, and felt the need to pull a player aside and out himself as straight.  “Is that okay? I don’t want to intrude?”  They laughed and welcomed him onto the team – then introduced him to the other straight guys.  They were the minority but they were there.

Many of these guys became extensions of our family.  The lesbian coach remodeled our kitchen with her lesbian assistant.  One guy talked to me about photography a lot over the years.  When one guy posted something about his living situation becoming possibly violent due to his roommate bringing a homophobic psychopath into the house, we drove to his place and moved him out immediately.  We joked we were adopting an older brother for our girls.  When the team dissolved, many of the connections did not.  G officiated the wedding of one of the guys to his partner after gay marriage became legal in Washington.  The connections kept going.  And when someone expressed interest in restarting the team, G was there to help.

When I see the news, I can’t also see my friends – these brothers of G – in the faces of the victim photos.  And my heart breaks some more.

The politicians and the media and social media are all going to try to find something to blame.  Politicians are going to blame ISIS and terrorism and guns.  The media is going to do the same, plus add into it religion.  Social media is going to do all of the above.

The little info we have about the gunman is that he was Muslim, he was a licensed security person, he legally owned his fire arms, and he had an anger issue.  Oh, and he recently flipped out after seeing two men kiss… public.  His past includes 2 investigations by the FBI – both were closed due to no-evidence – inconclusive if he was involved with terrorism.

This issue isn’t about his religion.   It’s not about his profession.  It’s not about the past investigations.  It’s not about his ability to get fire arms.

It was about hate.

It was about someone who hated gay people and killed 50 of them because of that hate – and injured 53 other people.  Hate did this.

Guns do not love or hate.

Religions actually preach more love than hate (extremists excluded).

Professions like security are all about, well, uhm, security.

And his past? Well, innocent until proven guilty — and they couldn’t prove him guilty so they closed the investigations.  And honestly, it means the system worked as intended. Trust me, we want it to work this way instead of  letting fear try to change it to the advantage of the government.

Even his family came forward and apologized for what he did – they wanted it clear it was his hate that did this – not his religion.

I hope people focus on that hate.

Hate is too easy these days.  In social media, I look at what people rant and wonder if they really would say that to someone’s face.  Answer? They wouldn’t.  The problem is people are not seen as human anymore.  We don’t value life because we don’t always see them as human — more easily viewed as an avatar.

I don’t know the solution.  I know I teach my children not to judge people.  And when they do, well, I ride their asses because it’s easy to get angry or judge someone as “bad” instead of looking for good.  Maybe Pollyanna will solve it – look for the good – search for common ground instead of fixating on the bad that the differences.

All I know is that we need to grieve. We need to support.  We need to donate blood – and hug those affected.  And say this has got to stop.  And not let our politicians and media and others try to convince us there is a silver bullet – by banning Muslims and guns and building walls.

We need to extend hands – know our neighbors – respect each other and our differences.

You can’t fight hate with hate and anger… can only do it with love.

Because I don’t want to think about my daughter and my friends dying because of the hate.


What do you think?

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