Today, we continue to mourn the dozens of lives taken by hate in Orlando, but we also take action. Let's use this time when the country's attention is focused to demand reform. Change can come in many forms. Here are some easy ways you can help push this forward:
1. Have a conversation with someone you might normally ignore who says something ignorant. Help educate. Let them know that unknown or uncomfortable doesn’t mean wrong.
2. Call for the full repeal of HB2 in North Carolina. You can sign this petition: https://action.aclu.org/secure/NC-repeal-HB2. You can also call on your state legislators to stop pushing one of more than 100 anti-LGBT measures proposed in more than half the states (list of bills and states here): http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/lgbt-state-bills-discrimination_us_570ff4f2e4b0060ccda2a7a9
3. Call your members of Congress and tell them you demand a ban on assault rifles (the law is already written - Clinton signed it in 1994 and Bush let it expire in 2004). You can find your Congress members' contact info here: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials
4. Talk to your children about what happened and about the importance of loving our differences. Call on their educators to include LGBT civil rights in their curricula.
5. Call on the FDA to lift it's outdated and homophobic blood donation policy. You can contact them here: 800-332-1088. Gay men who survived the nightclub shooting were turned away from donating their blood to their brothers and sisters who desperately needed it when the hospitals were in short supply. It's clearer than ever that this law needs to change.
Every little step we take individually and together adds up to a world that's a little safer. Every conversation that changes a heart and a mind is another ally created that helps pay it forward and educate others. We've created the environment in which hate and violence are regular occurrences. We have the power to change that and create a world that operates on love and compassion.