As we were coming into this latest issue, I had a lot of things that I wanted to rant about on this page, and Lord knows there is plenty to rant about.

I wanted to talk about the most recent round of Democratic presidential debates, which had Twitter all abuzz in support of author and “self-help guru to the stars” Marianne Williamson.

Williamson is someone who has a history of being an anti-vaxxer, saying that people should pray more instead of taking medications and is grossly under qualified to be president of the United States, but so is the current president so I guess political experience isn’t a big deal for some people anymore.

I wanted to rant about my shock in finding that a 16-year-old kid won $3 million last month for playing “Fortnite,” a wildly popular online video game.

I also wanted to rant about my disgust that, in honor of National Mustard Day, French’s put out a mustard-flavored ice cream and described it on their website by writing “One scoop and you’ll realize the tangy flavor of French’s Classic Yellow Mustard was always meant for ice cream.” If you are a sadist who wishes to try tangy mustard ice cream but are not fortunate enough to live in New York or Los Angeles, where French’s was distributing its concoction, there is a no-churn recipe on the company’s website. Enjoy!

I went into the weekend rolling my eyes about mustard-flavored Marianne Fortnite and by the time I came into work Monday morning, all of that crap didn’t seem to matter anymore as my television screen and social media feeds were yet again filled with the news of multiple deaths from mass shootings.

At least 22 people dead and more than two dozen wounded after a gunman walked into a Walmart in El Paso, Texas Saturday morning and opened fire. The gunman doing so because, according to his online manifesto, he wanted to stop the “Hispanic invasion of Texas.”

Less than 24 hours later, a gunman in a mask and bulletproof vest started shooting in downtown Dayton, Ohio killing nine people, including his own sister, and injuring nearly 30 others.

In both cases, semi-automatic rifles with high-capacity magazines were used. Situations like these are made even worse by the fact that we all know how to start fixing the problem, we just don’t do it. Restricting the types of guns someone can buy, background checks, getting the NRA out of legislating. Other countries have done it, we know how to do it and we just don’t. When we start to love our people more than we love our guns then change can happen. Until that happens we have to accept that this is the new normal.

With nearly 250 U.S. mass shootings in 2019 so far, there isn’t much that can be said that hasn’t been said already, but I’ll repeat it here: VOTE! Vote out those who care more about the Second Amendment than they do about your safety. Vote out those who give a voice to the NRA and not to the people in their state. We seem to say this about every election nowadays, but the 2020 election is a matter of life and death and unfortunately it’s seeming highly likely that that death will be by a gun.

While we try and regroup after this tragic weekend, we look forward and remember that there are reasons to celebrate. In this issue, we preview the upcoming GayDayS events. Not only looking at the mid-August celebration this year but also looking ahead as the organization makes its way back to June in 2020.

In Arts & Entertainment, we chat with “RuPaul’s Drag Race” alum Kameron Michaels ahead of her GayDayS performance at the Parliament House in Orlando. We also talk to “The Lavender Scare” author David Johnson about his new book, “Buying Gay.”

In Central Florida news, we check in the Come Out With Pride as they announce the events for its 2019 celebration this October and we talk to local LGBTQ groups as they prepare to ask Orange County to ban conversion therapy.

In Tampa Bay news, Tampa is hosting the 2019 NGLCC International Business & Leadership Conference and we look at Metro Inclusive Health as they join forces with the Matthew Shepard Foundation and MillerCoors to host hate crime training.

Be strong, be vigilant out there and remember, we will not let hate win.

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