I don’t talk to my kids about every mass shooting that happens. I wrote about that here. But I did talk to them about Orlando. I talked to them because I want them to understand why their mom is so adamant about LGBT rights . . . why I take them to pride parades. Why I went bezerk when I heard that their classmates were using “gay” as a slur. Why I pulled us out of a church that they like because it doesn’t allow gay people to serve in children’s ministry.

My kids are living in a bubble in some sorts. We have gay friends and gay relatives. It’s not weird to them that a school friend has two moms, or two dads, or that their male cousin has a boyfriend. We’ve raised them in such a way that none of this is a big deal. 

But they need to understand that our family and our experience does not reflect the world at large. They need to understand that LGBT people are at risk, in both big and small ways, every day. They need to understand that hate starts with micro-aggressions, and that it’s all interconnected. They need to know this so that they grow up to be allies. In the same way that I don’t want them to be “colorblind” in a way that ignores systemic racism, I also don’t want them to be blind to the real discrimination and hate that the LGBT community must endure.

So last night. I talked to my kids about Orlando, and I made these connections for them. And we cried and prayed and renewed our resolve to try our best to stand up for the LGBT community, at school and in our community.