A Gay Yoga Teacher’s Response to the Orlando Shootings

Alba Avella
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The day after the Orlando shootings, I had no words. I felt so heavy, so weighted, so tired. Not from my shock. And no, not from my surprise either. No . . . it was from my numbness. From my lack of shock. From the overwhelming sadness I felt for how NOT surprised I was.
 
ANOTHER mass tragedy. One that affects me directly. As it should. It should AFFECT EVERYONE DIRECTLY. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE SENSELESS FUCKING SHOOTINGS.
 
That could have very easily been MY nightclub, that I WORK at. Where MY FAMILY RESIDES. And again, I will not be surprised to find out that through some degree of separation, we all knew someone in that nightclub, experiencing that terror.
 
And then the aftermath of it all . . . Sometimes I wonder what could be worse than hate being spewed in the form of bullets. The hate being spewed as we scroll our newsfeed feels so unbearable.
 
I want to look these people in the eyes. The ones that call me a pervert.
 
bad-orlando-shooting-tweet
 
I want to look these people in the eyes. The ones that say MY life, and the lives of the people I LOVE are not worthy and we deserve to die.
 
I want to look these people in the eyes. The ones that think I am disgusting. And tweet just how disgusting they think I am.
 

I want to look these people in the eyes. The ones that praise this murderer for “killing off” the sinners.

 
I want to look these people in the eyes. The ones that say my love isn’t equal.
 
I want to look these people in the eyes. The ones that couldn’t wait to vomit hate, and type evil for all of us to feel.
 
I want to look these people in the eyes. These cowards.
 
I want to look these people in the eyes, and tell them “I’m sorry.” Because their personal hell is far beyond anything I could ever comprehend. Living with such poison in your hearts. You will not win. YOU WILL NOT WIN.
 
I am GAY. I always have been. I always will be. It took too long for me to be proud of who I am to be silenced. It took years of me hiding, shaming, and guilting my way through life. It took WAY too long, for me to finally be comfortable in my skin.
 

It took too long for me to be proud of who I am to be silenced.

 
It took too long for me to realize that being gay is not what I worry about when describing myself to someone. In fact, it’s probably the last way I would describe myself, right beside “I am female,” and “I have brown hair.”
 
Yes, I am proud of who I am and who I love, but I am much more proud of my compassion. My empathy. My resilience. My heart. My CHOICE TO BE A GOOD PERSON.
 

I didn’t CHOOSE to be gay. I just got lucky with that one.

 
I CHOOSE to live my truth, despite the repercussions that come along with it. The stares, and their discomfort when seeing me kiss another woman. The side eyes, and the misunderstandings. The misjudgments that are placed on us every single day.
 
NO. I CHOOSE to ignore that. I CHOOSE to RISE above all that fear.
 
I CHOOSE to be a decent human being.
 
I CHOOSE LOVE. ‪#‎lovewins‬
 

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Alba Avella

Alba is a mover in every sense of the word, never limiting her movement to one expression. She has taught all over the world including Paris, Costa Rica, Mexico, and the US. She believes in the power of movement to heal, strengthen, and empower us from the inside out.

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