On Sunday, I got up early with my wife and my lover to wash their motorcycles to ride with dykes on bikes but we didn't look at the news. We found out about Orlando when we arrived to an LA Pride peppered with homemade Orlando signs and T-Shirts and the guys at the registration desk filled us in about the tragedy. Around the same time, I got a text from my mom informing me that the LAPD had apprehended a man will a car full of explosives who had been headed for the parade. We were shocked and saddened It's easy to think that gay rights are a settled issue, especially living in Los Angeles. Gay marriage is the law of the land, LGBT characters are all over TV, and it's been years since I've personally encountered anti-gay sentiment stronger than "are you sure you haven't had the right dick yet?" I live in a bit of lesbian bubble. This attack reminded me that there is still so much intolerance in the world, and that there are people who wish us dead just for being queer.
This year's Pride was bittersweet. I was touched by the expressions of solidarity that we saw all over West Hollywood. I waved and blew kisses to a huge crowd lined up along the parade route as we rode our motorcycles down Santa Monica Blvd, feeling proud to be a part of this community and determined not to let hate stop us from expressing our love for each other. My heart goes out the victims and their loved ones, and my best wishes are with the wounded still recovering in the hospital.