Geek Girl in Hollywood: On Orlando and the importance of speaking out – Metro US

Geek Girl in Hollywood: On Orlando and the importance of speaking out

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I’ve been staring at a blank page for an hour now.

E3 is going on. There are a zillion video game announcements, something I usually eat with a ladle, not a spoon. The Tony Awards were last night and I could write about the “Hamilton” juggernaut and how I’m the only person in the world who hasn’t listened to the soundtrack yet. I got to hang out with a bunch of awesome geeky ladies this weekend, and I could talk about how important community is. I could write about the “Moana” trailer or the weekend box office, whether or not video game movies can work for anyone but diehard fans. And yet, here I sit, dumbfounded about the mass shooting in Orlando.

Everything I’ve been trying to write sounds trite. How we should be kind to each other. How tolerance matters. All of it sounds like shouting into the abyss. Any argument I make for gun control will be met with arguments. Today, people tried to tell me that assault rifles “aren’t weapons unless they’re used as weapons,” even after I revealed that I myself was held up at gunpoint many years ago. Believe me, after that, speaking out against gun violence and talking about the importance of gun control seem futile.

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And yet, I will talk about it, here, on social media — everywhere. I will continue to speak because it mattered when we stood up for marriage equality. It passed. It mattered when we talked about representation of girls and women in the media. We’re starting to hear producers and directors talk about it being important to show heroes (and villains) of every type. It mattered when Caitlyn Jenner spoke up. People I knew who were uncomfortable with it at first now don’t blink when we talk about it, and defend the rights of trans people to use the same bathroom as they do. It mattered when we talked about Gamergate and online harassment. Laws are starting to change.

We’ll never erase evil from the world. We’ll never stop violence and war. We will never stop hate. But damnit, we can keep on trying. One person destroyed a lot of lives this weekend. What if we change one person’s mind by speaking out? What if we change two? How many lives will be saved if we do?

Follow Jenna Busch on Twitter @jennabusch and visit her site, Legion of Leia