It was a cruel summer for those who believe in the goodness of humanity. Hundreds killed internationally by terrorist attacks in Bangladesh, Belgium, France, Iraq, Somalia, Syria and the U.S.; Donald Trump imagining that walls and insults are effective barriers to violence; and American police who seem unable to unlearn a shoot-first mentality.
I was on a train on June 12 when I read the news that a gunman had opened fire in a gay nightclub in Orlando. It was the country’s deadliest mass shooting by a single shooter, the deadliest incident of violence against LGBT people in U.S. history, and the deadliest terrorist attack in the U.S. since the September 11 attacks in 2001 (Wikipedia). Like many others, I walked to Stonewall Inn, the site of the 1969 riot that radically accelerated the gay rights movement in the United States.
Weeks later, on Independence Day, I learned some good news about Stonewall, some news that made me proud to be an American. On June 24, Stonewall Inn was named the first U.S. National Monument dedicated to the LGBTQ-rights movement.