New Jersey 101.5’s Joe Votruba talks to Jeff Deminski about how it felt reading the news about the deadly Orlando shooting as an openly gay man.
Votruba also penned an essay for the station’s website, which reads in part:
It’s easier to be gay in America in 2016 than at any point in history. Slowly but surely, homophobia and bigotry against the LGBTQ community are being silenced by pride, love and support. That being said, it’s still not enough.
Sunday was a very difficult day. Before the death count in the Orlando massacre was final, it was being politicized from both sides of the aisle. This is how these tragedies get forgotten.
When it finally hit me that not only were 49 of my fellow Americans gunned down in an act of terror, but were also targeted for being members or allies of the LGBTQ community, all I could do for most of the day was sit and reflect in silence. I spent most of that windy day on my back deck thinking about how it it could have been Georgies or Paradise in Asbury Park, or the Stonewall Inn in New York City.
Word was going around about several vigils taking place at various gay bars in New Jersey that night, so I made my way down to Georgies in Asbury Park to pay my respects. There were so many tears and prayers, and it is truly an experience I will remember for the rest of my life.