For more than 365 days, I struggled with the gripping reality that a block away from my high school, now Alma mater, 49 innocent lives were mercilessly taken.
The sad thing about living so close to tragedy is the instinctual human impulse to numb the pain. To move on and try to forget. Remembering hurts too much.
In these tough and trying times, we, the people of Orlando, defied human nature.
No, we did not wallow in our sorrows.
No, we did not forget our pain.
But yes, we did let our collective strength, joy and pride engulf our city.
#OrlandoUnited, #OrlandoStrong, our battle cry lives on!
When I look around my city, I couldn't feel anymore proud. Through art, song, word and dance, we found a way to come together. We came together not only to heal our scars, but also to spread the importance and necessity of tolerance and acceptance.
Pride Month in Orlando continues to burst with joy and celebration. Rainbow banners, flyers and flags decorate our streets, malls and stores.
We all have different beliefs, opinions and customs, but at the end of the day we are all human. Thus, we should treat each other with humanity.
So for the rest of the month, as well as for the rest of our lives, let's celebrate each other's diversity with PRIDE!