I kissed my baby sister a little bit harder today, because it made my heart hurt knowing that she’ll be growing up in a world full of such hate and cruelty. I made sure to hug my mom before I left, because I couldn’t bare the thought of the parents who have to bury their own children. I held my head a little lower today, becaue of the sorrow I felt inside my soul for the innocent lives that were brutally taken from too soon due to someone else’s selfish act of violence in the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida.

I started my Sunday off on a wrong track to begin with. My boyfriend and I had an “argument”, but I like to call it more of a disagreement. He left and we didn’t speak all day. I hate not being able to communicate my feelings, and as a self-proclaimed Empath I carry things inside much deeper than others may. I can’t continue on with a day that starts on a bad note.

I soon realized that I had a much greater reason to bow my head in sadness and pain.

I had seen something briefly on Facbeook about a shooting at a gay night club in Orlando, Florida. I looked deeper. I watched more videos. 50 lives lost, over 50 severely injured. What really caught me up was a video of text messages between a mother and her son. He told her he was hiding in the bathroom. “Mommy I love you”, “I’m gonna die” he texted to his mother, scared, frightened and more than traumatized at those very moments. I later read he was killed by the shooter.

When I see or hear about these horrific things, I try to put a blind sight up. I’m normally not one to get involved in politics or express my opinion other than sympathy with these things, usually because I don’t believe that I am educated on the matters enough. Not to say that I don’t awknowledge them, but I feel things so deeply that it’s often best for me to try and avoid touching upon those feelings.

Except, yesterday was different. I touched upon them. I dug into those feelings. I let them free to roam my thoughts and my soul. I let them get the better of me, because it hit so close to my heart. I cannot say that I feel a loss, I cannot say that I knew any of those people in that night club and I cannot say that I am a part of the LGBT community. However, my coworkers whom I love and some of my best and closest friends live their lives every day in fear because of acts of violence such as the one that happened to Orlando. That is close enough to hit deep.

What saddens me most is that the heartless, violent people that commit these crimes are so selfish that they believe they have the right to take away these people’s lives. Think about that. They take someone’s chance to live. For what? Hatred. Pure hatred. How fucking dare they.

Rhode Island Pride takes place this upcoming weekend, exactly a week after the Orlando shooting took place. During this time last year, my company launched a campagin called “GAY IS OK” in hopes to raise acceptance of gay marriage all over the world. During this time last year, gay marriage was legalized in all 50 states. During this time last year my friends, coworkers and customers of the LGBT community rejoiced and celebrated among each other. It was an overall sense of enlightenment and hope of change for the future.

This year, Pride will be different.

Pride will never be the same. Orlando will never be the same. Gay night clubs will never be the same. We will forever mourn in remembrance, pray, and hold these victims in our thoughts every time Pride comes back around.

I don’t know what it’s going to take. Maybe love, maybe kindness, maybe acceptance. We don’t need to understand each other, as long as we make the effort to accept.

I watched videos of hundreds of people in line at blood centers donating to the victims in need. I saw countless posts from people I know, expressing their devastation. I saw the Pulse Night Club expressing gratitude and sharing pictures from dozens of countries all over the world. They soared their rainbow flags and assembled their lights, honoring their LGBT brothers and sisters, from seas and lands far away.

That is love.

This is what it’s going to take. I am too optimistic to belive we are doomed. I believe in a change. I believe in a revolution. I believe it will be the generation of the hippies again soon enough. I believe we can spread enough love, peace and well-being to overcome ANY obstacle. Love has won, love will continue to win, and love will always perservere.

I send the deepest of my condolences to the families living without their loved ones that were lost in this attack and I hold those innocent people in the purest part of my heart.

May peace be with each and every one of you. Don’t forget to spread it.