'Hamilton' won a Tony Award and its creator gave so much love to Orlando.

On the morning of June 12, 2016, America woke up to heartbreak: the largest mass shooting in the country's history at an LGBTQ dance club in Orlando.

What happened is a hate crime, a terrorist attack, and a national tragedy. But on Broadway, as in life, the show must go on. And the Tony Awards, Broadway's annual celebration, filled the stage at the Beacon Theatre in New York City.

Both places, dance clubs and Broadway, have long been safe havens where LGBTQ people have been free to express themselves without judgement. And so while these two events could not be more different, tonight's show holds a special significance. It gives the artists of Broadway a chance to further honor the community that has been a part of them for so long, which was so cruelly targeted in Orlando.


At this year's Tony Awards, Lin-Manuel Miranda's phenomenon "Hamilton" is winning nearly every other award.

He's likely to give many speeches tonight, but his first speech, for best musical score, has already hit the right notes.

When Miranda won big at the Tony Awards in 2008 for "In the Heights," he freestyled his thank-you speech. But tonight demanded something different. So instead, he wrote a sonnet and somehow managed, in just 16 lines, to say everything we needed to hear.

He started by thanking his wife, Vanessa Nadal, but quickly turned his moment of thanks into a poetic tribute on the searing events of the past 24 hours, incorporating the #loveislove rallying cry that's been ricocheting around Twitter all evening in support of the LGBTQ community.

Read his words below:

"My wife’s the reason anything gets done.

She nudges me towards promise by degrees.

She is a perfect symphony of one,

our son is her most beautiful reprise.

We chase the melodies that seem to find us,

until they’re finished songs and start to play,

when senseless acts of tragedy remind us

that nothing here is promised — not one day.

This show is proof that history remembers

we live through times where hate and fear seem stronger.

We rise and fall, and light from dying embers:

remembrances that hope and love last longer.

And love is love is love is love is love

is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside.

I sing Vanessa’s symphony, Eliza tells her story.

Now fill the world with music, love, and pride."

Watch his emotional reading here:



Courtesy of Creative Commons
True

After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

Keep Reading Show less
via Noti Tolum / Facebook

A group of beachgoers in Mexico proved that when people join together and stand up for justice, you can triumph in even the direst of circumstances.

Municipal police in Tulum, Quintana Roo got received a tip that there were men allegedly committing "immoral acts" on the beach. So the officers, armed with AR-15 rifles, picked up two Canadian men.

"The officers approached a group of young foreigners," local politician Maritza Escalante Morales recounted in her video. "After about 20 minutes passed, a patrol car arrived and proceeded to arrest them with handcuffs."

Keep Reading Show less
Courtesy of Creative Commons
True

After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

Keep Reading Show less

This story was originally published on The Mighty.

Most people imagine depression equals “really sad,” and unless you’ve experienced depression yourself, you might not know it goes so much deeper than that. Depression expresses itself in many different ways, some more obvious than others. While some people have a hard time getting out of bed, others might get to work just fine — it’s different for everyone.

Keep Reading Show less
via @jharrisfour / Twitter

The 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) kicked off in Orlando, Florida on Friday. It's three days of panels and speakers with former President Donald Trump delivering the keynote speech on Sunday night.

It's believed that during the speech Trump will declare himself the Republican frontrunner for the 2024 nomination.

So far, the event has made headlines for a speech by Senator Ted Cruz of Texas who tried his hand at stand-up comedy. "I've got to say, Orlando is awesome," Cruz told the cheering crowd. "It's not as nice as Cancun. But it's nice."

Keep Reading Show less