The proud patriotic veterans and service members of Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) share the nation’s horror and outrage that our sacred national freedom was violated by an individual who killed and injured over 100 LGBT Americans in Orlando this past weekend.
What we LGBT people can say is “We are Americans!” This was an attack on us as a nation. As transgender American veterans, who have proudly and patriotically volunteered to serve in our nation’s armed forces, we feel that assault doubly on our identity, on who we are. This past weekend, President Obama said simply and properly that “this was an assault on all of us.”
TAVA’s President, Major Evan Young, US Army retired, said, “We stand with HRC and our fellow Americans in our belief that love will conquer hate in response to the senseless act of terrorism during our pride month celebration. Our brothers, sisters, family, and allies were targeted and our freedom and resolve tested. As veterans, we are keenly aware of that price for freedom, and I personally call on each and everyone to step up their situational awareness, administer self-care, and be safe out there.”
Some resources to help our community cope with this atrocity and assist are:
GLBT Community Center of Central Florida Crisis Counseling
GoFundMe for Orlando Victims
While the investigation into this act of hatred is ongoing, we know this: hate begets more hate. As victims of ignorant bigotry, we are well aware that it is all too easy to cast blame on others who are different from ourselves, and try to exclude or harm them. That is how this atrocity happened. Thus, what we can learn is that we must rededicate ourselves to inclusion and to insist on inclusion. You do not have to love everyone, but hate begets hate.
Evan Young, TAVA President 516-828-2911; email@example.com
Denny Meyer, TAVA Public Affairs, 718-849-5665; firstname.lastname@example.org