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It felt wrong at first, wrong to be celebrating when not 24 hours ago almost 50 of our LGBT brothers and sisters had been killed, 53 more wounded. Amidst the excitement of the awards and Jane Krakowski winking at me, I felt numb.

Then, during producer Jeffrey Seller’s acceptance speech for Hamilton: Best Musical, he quoted the song “The Schuyler Sisters”: “Look around, look around, how lucky we are to be alive right now.” And I felt hope.

I know my column is about sex and dating, so I must seem one part sexually deviant and one part desperate for romance. But there’s so much more to me, and I started to think about everything the LGBT community has done to help me get to where I am.

When I wanted to move to New York, an LGBT writer flew me here. An LGBT couple let me stay with them while I found a job and a place to stay. When my computer broke in 2013 and I was making $10 an hour, an LGBT painter bought me a new computer, saying, “A writer has to write.” When I needed to move out of a bad situation, an LGBT photographer paid for my moving van. An LGBT columnist recommended me to Get Out! magazine, and said LGBT magazine offered me my first professional writing gig.

I was so deeply impacted by what happened in Orlando because it happened to MY community, the community that made me who I am today; but what a fantastic fucking community it is. We love each other. We take care of each other. We want to see each other happy, and we want to see each other succeed.

I’ve gotten to know so many wonderful members of my community the last four years in this city: writers, poets, clothing designers, producers, lawyers, artists, all of them wonderful, all of them a part of OUR community. And it isn’t just about us: While our community is strong, our allies make us even stronger.

This weekend is New York City Pride. This month is Pride month. But for me—for all of us—every month is Pride month. Every day. I am so proud of our community, for who we are, for what we’ve been through, and for what we are working toward for the future.

We will remember those we lost forever. If we keep working, if we keep fighting, we will prevail.

After a little too much to drink at the after party, my boyfriend and I took a cab back to his apartment, thoughts of sorrow and newfound pride swimming around in my head. When I woke up the next morning, he had turned over in his sleep and was resting his head on my shoulder.

And I thought, look around, look around, how lucky we are to be alive right now.

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