49 lives. 49 queer lives. 49 queer lives at a Latinx night.
As an American concerned about our obsession with guns, the Pulse shooting hurt. As a not-yet-out gay man, it hurt even more. In some ways, I've been envious in the past of how others in the community can be so free to be themselves publicly. And Pulse was a reminder that there is a part of this world that still wants us hidden, ostracized, or worse yet dead.
Yet as we remember these individuals today, I'm reminded of the strength of the queer community. I'm reminded of the power we create in spaces we are afforded (and in spaces we make). I count myself blessed to be surrounded by people that accept me for who I am. The theatre community has been a haven for me to be who I truly am. Part of these blessings require that I fight for the chance for others to feel that same acceptance. To not live in fear of being persecuted and ostracized because of who they love or how they identify.
I leave you with a quote from a musical that has been sitting with me for a while. I love y'all with all I have and I'm damn proud to be a part of this community.