Pride 2016 – Orlando United 

This past Saturday was Orlando’s Come Out With Pride, the first Pride event since the horrific events at Pulse in June. Although I planned to go since the new date was announced (the event was postponed due to Hurricane Matthew), I decided the day prior I wouldn’t attend the festivities downtown. After the election results were announced, I had an overwhelming feeling of uncertainty about pretty much everything; as I’m sure many of you have also felt. I made a decision to just rent a Juice bike and ride around to clear my mind. However, around 2pm I felt spontaneous and hopped on the SunRail and headed downtown just to see some of the booths and walk around a bit. I intended to leave before the parade was to start but as I was leaving fate had other plans. I ran smack into the starting point of the parade, and was face to face with the Pulse float. I don’t believe this was a coincidence. This year has been rough for Orlandoans; Pride was held 5 months to the day of what happened at Pulse. I think a part of me didn’t want to attend Pride out of fear it would be too emotional. As a city we are still healing and although seeing the angels bearing the names of all the victims was extremely heartbreaking, the love and unity that was displayed Saturday was something I think we all needed. On the very front of the Pulse float was a sign reading “WE WILL NOT BE DEFEATED”, perfectly describing the strength and resilience our city has shown. So thank you Orlando, for continuously showing me we have to keep on going, no matter what.

 

 

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