I’m sure you’ve all heard about all of the awful tragedies that happened in Orlando this weekend. I will get to that part of the story later, but first, I need to tell you guys about something else that happened to me even before my favorite singer was shot and killed and before 53 innocent lives were stolen by a raging terrorist.
It all started Thursday afternoon, the second to last period before the school day was over. I was working on a group project in physics class with several other students, when one student decided to make a series of extremely hateful comments. I will not go into detail about what was said because if the student who made these comments reads this, he’ll know I’m talking about him. But regardless, they really upset me, so my parents encouraged me to take action. I woke up early Friday morning and spoke to my physics teacher about the whole situation, and my physics teacher contacted the science department head and the dean of students. Although the student who made hateful comments was pulled aside by the dean and talked to about the impact of his comments, the dean didn’t really do much about it and just said, “Teenage boys say things like that all the time and they don’t really know what they’re saying and how it will impact others.” Then, he made the student apologize to me, and I had to accept his apology. To the student’s credit, though, he was very apologetic. I’m not sure whether or not he was sincere; maybe he was just a good actor. The whole confrontation with the dean made me so physically exhausted that I could not go to yoga class, which is something I would normally never miss for the world. My father then wrote an email to the dean and said that it wasn’t right of him to wave off the response as another instance of “Boys will be boys,” but the dean never responded to the email. At that point, my family and I decided not to expend any more physical and mental energy on this situation, and just write the student off as a hateful bully.
The next morning, I found out that one of my favorite singers and biggest inspirations, Christina Grimmie, was shot and killed after her concert in Orlando. I was hoping to have a better day than the previous day, because speaking to the dean of students is never any fun, but this completely ruined it. Christina inspired me a lot because all she wanted to do with her life was to use music as a vehicle to inspire others and make them happy. Her heart was always filled with love and joy. Bryana Salaz, one of my other favorite singers and one of Grimmie’s best friends, said that Christina was the type of person who was hilarious and could make anything into the most fun time ever, but she was also the first person that Bryana always called when she was upset because Christina always listened to her and made her feel better. Also, did I mention what a ridiculously, amazingly talented musician she was?!?!? Because she was unreal. I miss her more and more with each passing day.
Then, a matter of HOURS after Christina died, the whole nightclub shooting also happened, in Orlando. Fifty-three LGBTQ+ American citizens were brutally murdered, and several more were injured. It was an unspeakably awful injustice against everything that this country is supposed to stand for. The abhorrent acts of the murderer only proved that he had a lot of intolerance and hate in his heart. I really don’t have much to say about this event because I feel like everything has already been said. What happened was just plain WRONG. There is no argument that could possibly begin to validate this violent tragedy.
But just imagine, if we had gun control laws, we wouldn’t have to worry about more people dying every single day. The lives that need to stay on this earth would stay on this earth. After this weekend, I am more motivated than I have ever been before to continue to advocate for gun control laws and speak out for the equal rights and treatment of every human being on this earth. I am going to continue to fight on behalf of Christina Grimmie and the 53 innocent lives that were robbed from us this past weekend, and I will always support the LGBTQ+ community and their fundamental human rights.