It is wonderful to celebrate Pride with my LGBTQ community and allies. However, this year’s celebration had a cloud hanging over it. Our nation was hit with horrific homophobic violence this month in Orlando. It is a stark reminder, despite all the recent progress, how strong of a hold hate has in certain corners and its potentially tragic consequences. And that is why we must continue the work — both to crack down on gun violence and to heal hate.
I have been subjected to harassment and assault for my sexual orientation starting when I was 16. In the wake of the mass murder in Orlando, I am aware that part of why I am alive today is because none of my attackers had guns. While many hurled nasty words and some hurled rocks or beer bottles, none of the people harassing me had in their hands on a weapon that turns hate into vengeful murder.
In my life, I have been involved in many efforts to help change hearts and minds, and help people overcome prejudice and learn to treat people of all orientations, backgrounds, races, and religions with respect. The love I’ve witnessed and the transformations I’ve been a part of continue to inspire me and give me hope for the future.
As I embark on the next phase of my effort to bring greater equality and dignity to all people, I hope you’ll take the time to support my re-election campaign. If you can, please donate by the next campaign filing deadline, June 30th. A strong campaign war chest is the clearest signal that you support what I stand for and the most likely thing to dissuade any of my potential opponents.
To support our important work and my re-election campaign:
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