Orlando: Healing Through Learning, Demanding Change

After the horrific, anti-LGBT terrorist attack in Orlando, Florida, millions of people around the globe offered their thoughts, their prayers, and held candlelight vigils to mourn for the victims. While I understand their usefulness to others, I am not a religious person and prefer to express my solidarity with the victims and outrage towards the massacre through words and action. Nothing I can do or write will bring back those lives lost at the Orlando nightclub. Nevertheless, if we are able to learn from their tragedy, it will not have been in vain. In the spirit of healing through learning and reform, I offer these observations.

Donald Trump's Biggest Scam

Donald Trump has been called many things during this presidential election season: racist, sexist, bigot, hothead, narcissist, philanderer, and a loser. You can add "scam artist" to that list as well. Back in 2000, Trump told Fortune Magazine: "It’s very possible that I could be the first presidential candidate to run and make money on it." If he had that mentality with his failed 2000 campaign, what would prevent him from adopting that same attitude with his current presidential bid?

Arguing Against Anti-Transgender Conservatives

Today, Republican congressman Steve King told CNN that allowing transgender persons to use the restroom with which they identify will "change the social order" of our entire American "civilization." The conservative congressman displayed a not-so-shocking lack of understanding with respect to the issue at hand. But that didn't stop him from staunchly expressing his opposition to pro-transgender laws. Clearly, this issue is one that requires expanding people's education on the subject.

Gay-on-Gay Bullying: Such a Shame

I've made bullying prevention one of my top priorities, including cyber-bullying and anti-LGBT bullying. In all my advocacy and research, I seem to have missed another important subset of bullying: gay men bullying other gay men ("gay-shaming" or "gay-on-gay" bullying). It never occurred to me that LGBT persons, who have been victims of bullying themselves for many years, would then turn to bullying members of their own community. That is until I was the target of such bullying.

Scrubbing These "Bathroom Bills"

Today, the state of North Carolina and the United States government launched a hotly contested legal battle over who can use certain bathrooms, giving new meaning to the phrase "frivolous lawsuit." North Carolina argues that the federal government should basically "mind its own business" and let the state do as it pleases. The United States Government, on the other hand, says that North Carolina's anti-transgender legislation constitutes illegal discrimination that "provides no benefits to society and all it does is harm innocent Americans." What's all the fuss about anyway?

Republicans Forced to "Choose the Lesser Evil" Supreme Court Nominee

Now that Trump has become the presumptive Republican presidential nominee (flabbergasting as that may be), all focus is shifting to a Trump-versus-Clinton showdown. Almost every metric for predicting the results of the general election indicate that Hillary Clinton would win in a landslide. Even at the outset, states that are polling in Clinton's favor already secure her victory over Trump, garnering 30 more electoral votes than the 270 needed to win the Presidency. Polling also shows Clinton defeats Trump 47% to 40% in terms of overall popular votes.