Sunday, June 12, 2016


I  woke up at 6:30AM to see a news report on my twitter feed from a peep that a man had entered a dance club in Orlando with Guns and shot patrons and took hostages. What followed was a tale of horror, hatred and death. If it had not be for the quick thinking of Police officers who had been hired to guard the club and the well trained Orlando SWAT team more lives of the 350 or so that were in the club that early morning  would have died. So far 50 deaths have been documented and still others wounded.  The other key factor in saving lives was social media in which victims trapped inside tweeted out to people they needed help and warned others to run away and stay away,

I can't tell you how heavy is my heart for the tragic loss of life. I have been quite frankly so overwhelmed by grief over these souls that now can not have the fullness of time and love .

It has been clear that this misguided man's actions may have it's roots in mental illness possibly brought on by steroid use known for causing abnormal aggressive behavior as was suggested by a former wife of 4 months. It has been suggested by the man's father that he did not like individuals that were of the LGBT community and this most probably may also been a part of his intentions for this shooting.

His local Mosque can not figure out why the shooter would do something like this.

I believe God will not be mocked.  He is the author of each individuals lifespan and when men try to be God and go out killing his children before their time I venture to say his life will be sacrificed. And sadly this troubled, misguided man was shot and killed by Orlando's SWAT as they broke through a wall in the club to rescue trapped patrons.

And still I am grieved beyond what I can bear for the lives lost in the state I call home.  I have worked in broadcasting for many years and some of the time I worked in Orlando. Orlando which had been a tiny town before Walt Disney came is a big city now. But in many ways like a lot of big towns in Florida it still has that small town feel and when something like this happens every resident in Florida feels the loss.  Many come from someplace else and we cling together to comfort one another and try to make sense why something like this could happen in our state.

The comments I hear from visitors to our state for the first time is how friendly and helpful everyone is and it is true.  I remember many times out and about having some difficulty or another and dozens would offer to help.  I still experience this all the time.  So when something like this happens I can hardly handle the grief I feel. 

My family ran a full service gas station in a tiny little town then in Tampa Bay. My father and grandfather who had experienced various forms of discrimination in their home town were determined to operate a business that was open to all and no one would be treated any different than anyone else. And no one was.  We were known as the place to come.  We also had a large and loyal LGBT client base as a result of our business practices. Every customer became a member of our family.  When I grew older and pursued work outside the family business I had a culture shock that the world was not like the world my family had created. It has been something I to this day have trouble accepting this reality and it has been my lifelong mission to make the world I live in like the world I grew up in under the roof of that corner full service gas station where love abound and hugs were free.

I want to extend my personal sympathy to all who lost loved ones to this tragedy and I pray God will give you comfort and peace. Please know that so many fellow Americans share your grief and praying for you as I write. Much Love and Peace. FRG

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