While the terrorist/white supremacist attacks were taking place in my home town of Charlottesville, VA yesterday I was enjoying a peaceful day in Richmond, VA of homemade waffles and cleaning the apartment with my girlfriend.
As the news of what was happening in Charlottesville blew up Facebook and my phone with notifications from NPR news, I was devastated to say the least. I cried then and I have cried today. I cannot imagine what Heather Heyer’s loved ones are experiencing right now. And I am sure that everyone who was injured, beaten or who witnessed what happened now has some form of PTSD to deal with.
I cannot speak a lot about what happened Saturday August 12th because I wasn’t there. I will never really know what it was like. And honestly, what can I say about bigoted terrorist that hasn’t already been said?
However, I am certain of a few things:
- My family and friends in Charlottesville and Ruckersville, where I lived for the past 16 years before relocating to Richmond, are the most loving and accepting people that I have ever known.
- Yes this was a terrorist attack. People do not beat up or kill other people when they are exercising their right as an American to protest.
- THIS ATTACK HAPPENED BECAUSE OF OUTSIDERS THAT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH CHARLOTTESVILLE OR LOCAL POLITICS. Their terrorist actions do not reflect what is in the hearts of any of my loved ones or Charlottesville as a whole.
This is not who we are. It never was.
I have one more thing I would like to share with you.
I called my Mom to make sure she didn’t venture into Charlottesville on an errand yesterday. After these violent attacks that were based on hate occurred, I received the most beautiful gift from my Mother. During our conversation, she said: “You seem so happy and I really like Jo Ann. You’re doing so good something about it just seems so, right.” My Mother, who just found out I’m gay after knowing me my entire life, gave me the gift of acceptance.
This gives me hope. And it proves to me that love will always win.
Love is who we really are.