Also.Also.Also: Our Hearts Are with Orlando and Other Stories for Your Monday

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How are you doing today, friends? My heart is still heavy thinking about the victims and loved ones of the victims of the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL. When I woke up yesterday morning and saw the news, I was in disbelief. As more and more mainstream news outlets glossed over the fact that Pulse is a gay club and it was Latin Night and focused instead on the religious beliefs and nationality of the shooter, I found myself getting angry. I was so grateful for Yvonne’s smart and sincere words on the tragedy.

I spent some of the day connecting with my queer family and much of it trying to make sense of it all. I engaged in some self-care by allowing myself to stay home and watch the Tony’s instead of going into the streets. I wasn’t ready to grieve publicly.

Today, I have to go to work and pretend it’s a normal day. Orlando will definitely be in my thoughts. Mainly, I’m focusing on standing in solidarity with Latinx queer and trans folks, who lost their family and who deserve to be centered in this mess of grief. I’m also keeping Muslim queer and trans folks, who are stuck in the impossible place where homophobia and transphobia meet Islamophobia, close to my heart. I’m thinking of you all.

I hope you are doing what you need to do today to be OK. Take care of yourselves and each other.

You Should Go or Do or Give

+ Equality Florida has set up a GoFundMe for the victims of the Orlando shooting and you can find vigils and actions and ways to help in your area here.

Queer as in F*ck You

+ How the Orlando Shooting Shattered LGBTQ Safe Spaces by our own Audrey White

+ Blood, faith unite Muslims, LGBT and others after rampage

+ Why Non-Binary Gamers Need Better Representation

+ Logo TV to Raise Awareness of Anti-LGBT Issues by Censoring Itself

+ Finding Dory’s Lesbian Couple and How Disney Keeps Failing Its LGBT Fans

+ “Nonbinary” is Now a Legal Gender, Oregon Court Rules

Doll Parts

+ This Duo Wants to Turn the Most Reliable Voters—Black Women—Into Candidates

+ Photos of Forbidden Female Catholic Priests and Feminist Spirituality

+ Let’s Get Physical: How Women’s Sport Can Conquer Body Image

+ Here’s the Real Reason Women Smile at Men Who Sexually Harass Us

Saw This, Thought of You

+ Jamila Woods Salutes Assata Shakur, Rosa Parks and #BlackGirlMagic in Powerful “Blk Girl Soldier” Video

+ Hamilton took home 11 Tony awards last night and actors of color won all four musical acting categories for the first time and Lin-Manuel Miranda gave this really heartfelt speech that made me tear up.

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KaeLyn is a 40-year-old hard femme bisexual dino mom. You can typically find her binge-watching TV, standing somewhere with a mic or a sign in her hand, over-caffeinating herself, or just generally doing too many things at once. She lives in Upstate NY with her spouse, a baby T. rex, a scaredy cat, an elderly betta fish, and two rascally rabbits. You can buy her debut book, Girls Resist! A Guide to Activism, Leadership, and Starting a Revolution if you want to, if you feel like it, if that's a thing that interests you or whatever.

KaeLyn has written 230 articles for us.


  1. I dare anyone to watch Lin-Manuel Miranda’s acceptance speech and not tear up…

    It was perfect.

    • The last time I felt this sad was Newtown. In both cases I stood in front of my television in shock until finally breaking down into tears.

      I don’t think I’m going to feel normal for a while.

      • I felt this way after Michael Brown’s murder, just heavy and sad and unable to “rally” or debate the politics of it all. It’s all too much.

    • Same…when he started with ‘love is love is love is…’ I broke down..I had been holding it in all day

  2. Got to admit, I’m a little freaked out for Columbus Pride now. We’re one of the biggest (the biggest maybe?) Pride fest in the Midwest, and the organizers are already coming out saying they’re gonna be looking extra hard at security.

    On the other hand you know it’s gonna be INTENSE this year, so in a way I’m excited in a “therapeutic gonna scream and shout to let off the grief and energy” kind of way

    • THIS. I’m debating whether or not to go to Columbus Pride. But honestly, your last paragraph may have persuaded me. As scary as it is, I think it’s so important that people know we will not be silenced by hatred that we can’t control.

    • My friend and I were just talking about how to be extra safe when we go to Columbus Pride this weekend, but I am also getting the “I need this to feel good and vent” excitement. Its nice to know that the organizers are working to ease everyones fears. IT’S GONNA BE GREAT!!!

  3. sending some major love to all y’all who have to be at work right now. this one was close to home and i am not dealing well with it being water cooler talk.

  4. I’m so grateful for AutoStraddle right now (and always). I feel so numb and gut-punched and I know it’s so much worse for those who were directly impacted. I don’t think I’ve cried over the news since 9/11, but I sobbed my heart out yesterday.

    I couldn’t face leaving the house yesterday (instead I watched Scarlett Johannson kick butt on netflix) but I think I may go to a vigil tonight. I need to be with other people who are as upset or more.

  5. Yesterday was hard. I am sending so much <3 and care to all of you, everywhere. Take care of each other, keep each other safe.

    OK now what do we do about the guns? How do we mobilize around this issue (those of us so-inclined)? I don't know any of the resources I should start with. I want to do something that feels real, even if it's a drop in the bucket. How do we ban assault rifles, for starters? Are there smart straddlers out there who can guide me towards some resources of this sort?

    • This is a harsh thing to say, but if the government doesn’t draw the line at the mass shooting of school children in Sandy Hook, I’m not very convinced they’ll draw the line with the gay community

        • Ed: I know that amazing people across the country have already started this fight, I mean, where do us newbies start/jump in

        • Writing in and convincing our officials is the best thing I can think of. The NRA has strong ties to officials anyway so unless we ALL simultaneously rally for change, we won’t make much impact

        • I’ve been feeling the same way and thinking about your question for the past week. I think maybe start where we are?

          I don’t know what your personality or skills or circumstances most suit you for, but I think whatever you feel moved to do is going to be for the good.

          If that means something small like making a call or sending a letter to someone (either to support them or to ask them to take an action), do that. If it means joining an activist organization and going to meetings, do that. If it means giving money or blood do that. Organize a gathering? Reach out to your neighbor? Whatever you can think of, and anything that feels right and good.

          The more I look around me, the less I see any quick, simple, easy path to change. But the more I also see that everything does add up, and sometimes you don’t see it coming that your little gesture will be the final piece that puts something over the top, or makes the day of someone who was giving up. You just don’t know.

          I never thought we’d see marriage be legal in 50 states. So maybe other things I don’t see coming are just around the corner.

          I also know that sometimes the smallest moments stick with me the longest and make a huge difference in my life. So never feel like whatever you can think of to do is not worth doing or not significant. Just poke around and see what’s in your heart to do, try a few things until you find something or multiple things that feels good, and just do it and put the ripples of yourself into the world.

          Also, please remind me of this when I start giving up and feeling useless, because it’s much easier to keep going when I don’t have to maintain morale and stoke my own optimism all alone….

          • Of course :) this is all very true, every little action we do matters because you never know if just one tiny little push can tell others just how much something means to people.

  6. I’m surprised Disney never even confirmed the lesbian couple yet, everyone knows they’re gay why not just simply confirm it??

  7. PRIDE LA was intense yesterday, and security was on high alert. I am sure all upcoming events will be like that for the rest of PRIDE month (let’s hope!) All I can share today while feeling very sad and heavy energy is we can let this silence us. Be out, be proud and be safe out there!

    • Sorry in my previous comment I meant to say “we CAN’T let this silence us. Be out, be proud, and be safe out there! Sending love and peace to you all!!

  8. Sorry in my previous comment I meant to say “we CAN’T let this silence us. Be out, be proud, and be safe out there! Sending love and peace to you all!!

  9. As we work our way through grief, a lot of us turn to praying. But prayers alone cannot stop this tragedy from happening again. I feel that LGBT* community should lead the way for organizing mass demonstrations calling, no, demanding gun control. Because in a world where homophobia (biphobia, trasphobia…) still exists, no LGBT* person can be safe with weapons being freely distributed as they are in the US.

  10. I’ve just taken to saying “queerphobia” since it’s more encompassing. It wasn’t just gay men that died in Orlando either. I’m just… alternating between being numb and depressed, angry, generally overwhelmed.

  11. What makes angry is that everything is so politicized. Can’t we just mourn for the victims of this senseless crime. We need to focus on the VICTIMS and their partners and families, NOT politics. I can’t stand either side right now.

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