We Aren't Afraid Of You

People attend a vigil in West Hollywood, California, following the early morning shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Flor
People attend a vigil in West Hollywood, California, following the early morning shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, U.S. June 12, 2016. REUTERS/David McNew

To Omar Mateen and all others who plot violence against the LGBT community:

We aren't afraid of you.

We know real fear. For many of us who grew up lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, our greatest fear was never your automatic weapons, your fists or anything else born in your depraved heart.

Real fear was being unloved. By our parents, our siblings. By our extended families and dearest friends. By our schools, churches, workplaces and communities.

There's nothing you can ever do to us that scares us more than the thought of losing love. But once we revealed ourselves to others -- no matter the outcome -- our worst fear was forever behind us.

So if your aim was to leave us in terror, you lose.

We are wounded. But as we mourn, we'll honor those with the courage to celebrate their lives openly while you and your kind live in the dark like cockroaches.

We've seen much worse than you. We don't do fear anymore.

This post originally appeared on Medium.

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