After Orlando, LGBT community will ‘continue to stand together, speak out and advance a loving movement’

A participant in the gay pride parade Sunday in West Hollywood holds a sign expressing support for the Orlando shooting victims.
(Richard Vogel / AP)

To the editor: I am part of the LGBT community; which of those letters I associate with does not matter. Sunday morning’s massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando opened my now watery eyes to a few things.

After the shooting, I realized the magnitude to which our community’s members are so lovingly intertwined. The “that could’ve been me, a close friend or family member” thought would not seem to pass. The hurt I felt, however, proved those victims are family.

On Sunday I bought a rainbow flag to fly for the first time as the smallest of gestures for those whose lives were taken. I’ve never felt such pride in being a part of this community.


On Sunday I was given a new level of appreciation to our loving allies. They, in many ways, are just as much a part of the movement to widespread equality. Thank you.

On Sunday we cried. On Sunday we mourned. On Sunday we were angry.

Today and tomorrow, we will continue to stand together, speak out and advance a loving movement that no amount of hate can ever tear down.

Daniel Cowell, Monrovia


To the editor: This tragic massacre is an act of domestic terrorism, not Islamic terrorism as we are hearing ad nauseum this week. It was a uniquely American act – a mass murder by an American citizen, a man born and educated in America.

It will be said that it was Islamic State-inspired because the killer, a single individual, pledged allegiance to the terrorist group. He could have just as easily been inspired by any number of America’s religious or political organizations that espouse the same bigoted fear and hatred of “others.”

America cultivates discrimination very well on its own without outside help. Blaming this horrific tragedy on Islamic State is a convenient excuse that they will be only too happy to accept. But the sad truth is, there are many individuals who share those same intolerant views, own the lethal weaponry and possess the hatred in their heart to commit this act.

We need to look inward, not outward.

Janet Haislip, Redlands


To the editor: Sunday morning’s news was pretty much the same old normal stuff: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the U.S. soccer team wins, the Dodgers lose, and Orlando shooting leaves at least 50 dead.

Good to wake up in the greatest country in the world safe and sound.

Ken Johnson, Pinon Hills


To the editor: The tragedy of the Orlando massacre is made worse by the reality that our nation seemingly has no will to do anything about it. There is no lack of ignorant, mentally unstable people in this world and there is no lack of armaments. We must address both to bring an end to this madness.

We too often demonize those who are different from us. Ignorance, hate and mental illness know no boundaries. People who are easily influenced by extremist ideologies are more numerous than we care to admit and exist in every nation, religion, political persuasion, gender, race and sexual orientation.

We need parents and leaders not only to condemn the violence but also to challenge the underlying ideologies that promote hate. We also need common-sense gun control.

But don’t count on members of Congress putting aside their own ideological differences to do anything. It’s up to us to change hearts and minds.

Stephen Newcomer, West Hollywood

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion and Facebook