Monday, June 13, 2016

A note on Orlando

  • Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old
  • Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old
  • Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 years old
  • Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old
  • Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old
  • Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 years old
  • Luis S. Vielma, 22 years old
  • Kimberly Morris, 37 years old
  • Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old
  • Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old
  • Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old
  • Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old
  • Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25 years old
  • Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old
  • Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 years old
  • Amanda Alvear, 25 years old
  • Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old
  • Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old
  • Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old
  • Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 years old
  • Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 years old
  • Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 years old
  • Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26 years old
  • Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old
  • Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old
  • Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 years old
  • Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old
  • Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old
  • Cory James Connell, 21 years old
  • Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 years old
  • Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old
  • Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old
  • Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25 years old

These are the dead so far; our dead.

Although I have been walking around in a daze of disbelief since Sunday morning, I keep having one clear and persistent thought: I could’ve easily been one of them.

Without knowing anything else but their names and ages, it’s clear that the majority of the victims were young, Hispanic, and gay. They were out on a Saturday night, likely celebrating birthdays, or promotions, or Pride. They were doing what our community has always done— commune in the safe space of a dance floor.

As I think about the similarities between us, the countless times I have been in Orlando with my friends doing exactly what they were doing, I am gobsmacked by the proximity and the savagery of what happened. I’m haunted by the pain and suffering that has struck a community so close to my own.

I could’ve been one of them.

By nature, I’m not an overtly emotional person. I am not a crier (except of course when the final episode of the Golden Girls comes on). But the events of this weekend have rocked me to the core. I feel like I’ve lost something in all this… I feel like I’ve lost my confidence.

I could’ve been one of them.

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