Yes, we are in mourning, but we are also not giving up.
In the aftermath of what has been named the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, people are finding ways to cope.
Many went to candlelight vigils in their hometowns to mourn, talk, and comfort friends and strangers. Others donated money to various funds attempting to support the victims, their families, and organizations working to promote common sense gun control.
And, as has become the case with most tragedies that reach so wide, many more people have taken to posting messages of love, support, and empowerment using a very special hashtag: #LoveIsLove.
Appropriately, the #LoveIsLove hashtag has become a place for all people, LGBTQ and their straight allies alike, to come together and express love in all its forms.
It's hard not to feel helpless, angry, hurt, or defeated when something like this happens. The idea of someone gunning down over 100 innocent people is almost incomprehensible. Almost. Thanks to public outlets like Twitter, however, anyone who needs to can share what they're going through.
The profoundly beautiful thing about #LoveIsLove is that most of the messages are words of encouragement.
And yes, some have even found ways to bring lightness to an event that feels unmanageably heavy.
Perhaps the most moving tweets are the ones outlining personal stories of love in the face of adversity.
There have been far too many devastating events like this recently.
If you're still struggling to find rays of hope in all the darkness, spend a few minutes scrolling through the #LoveIsLove hashtag. Take in the countless stories of love, the photos of people of all ages, races, genders, and sexual orientations smiling in the face of hate over and over and over again.
The next generation is showing us they intend to stand up for equality, no matter where they fit in.
So, here's to a future where love is love is love is love.