And yet, words are catalysts to action, and so remaining silent isn't an option. Instead, I'm writing to the rest of us - allies who find ourselves overwhelmed with impotent fury and unsure how to move forward.

Over the next day and weeks, others will analyze this and try to piece together why and how it happened. I will leave that dissection to others who have more time and interest and aptitude for such things. Instead, I want to use this space, really briefly, to suggest some practical actions that we can take as LGBTQ* allies and generally decent citizens.

As you may be aware, there is currently a filibuster happening on the floor of the Senate in Washington, D.C. The goal of this filibuster is to get some common sense gun legislation through congress. Here is the contact information of every Senator in the current congress. Please take a moment to call or write to your Senator in support of action on this filibuster.

For that matter, contact them in support of any action at all on guns. A short list includes:

  • Background checks for all gun owners
  • A buy-back program for military-grade weapons
  • Funding to enforce gun ownership restrictions already in place
  • Allow the CDC to study gun violence as a health issue by over-turning a 20-year ban such research.

And while you're there, check out this article. It has a list of all the Senators who voted for - and against - a bill that would have at least started to address many of these issues. If your Senator blocked this legislation and is up for re-election this November, please get involved and work to get someone else elected.

Last, but certainly not least, please remember that at it's heart this was a hate crime. The only way to remedy that is to stand with those targeted. Wikipedia offers the only nice and concise listing I can find of LGBTQ* organizations in each of the 50 states. It being Wikipedia, I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information, though at the time of this posting it seemed good.. If you'd rather trust an organization, check out Center Link, and particularly their Stand With Orlando action. Wherever and however you are able, please get involved.

And in case none of that suits you, here are a few more thoughts.