This guest commentary written by Jonathan Winn for Q Notes was published on July 1, 2016:
I was in Orlando at Gay Days the weekend before the shooting at Pulse. There, I met Eddie Sotomayor who was one of the sweetest, brightest souls I met all weekend. Waking up to the news of the slaughter on June 12, and later learning of Eddie’s death, absolutely devastated me.
My own emotions have moved from deep sadness to fury to anger to solemness to a sense of determination. A fire that I have never felt before has been lit within me. I see this same fire within our community and in the hearts of so many others who were touched by what happened in Orlando.
As a life coach and healer who has a deep spiritual connection, I see there’s no coincidence that our community was targeted at this time of deep divisiveness in our world. It has mobilized us to levels I have never witnessed. It’s an awakening of sorts, and my hope is that the tragedy leads to more healing, building bridges, facilitating dialogue and loving each other more. In fact, it’s the only way to truly honor the lives of those we lost.
Many of us are asking ourselves, “what can I do to help?” I want to suggest a few ways to contribute and offer you a spiritual perspective around what humanity is facing on a global scale and how the LGBTQ plays a vital role right now.