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Letter: What can we do?
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Dear Editor,

Is there anything we can do?

In the aftermath of the massacre in Orlando, Florida last weekend so many well-intentioned folks are not only appalled by the tragedy that unfolded there, but they want to know what can be done for similar victims? Throughout this country many of us ordinary citizens are truly grieving for those innocent victims and their families.

As has been stated by some, for every victim there are scores of family, relatives, friends, co-workers and neighbors, who share the pain imposed by a single gunman.

While many of us have been encouraged and elated by the swift action of many local Orlando agencies such as police and fire departments, medical, military and others, we, at a safe distance from that horrific scene, puzzle over what steps we can take to prevent such barbaric acts in the future and in our own communities.

At a time like this, it is most encouraging to note that the Atlanta area and our country are not without important resources who will surely be anxious to describe their important programs and services to our local communities.

One such organization serving the Rockdale, Newton and neighboring counties is “Out in the Country”. This group is a private, non-profit, support group for the LGBT community, family members, loved ones and friends.

It may be that some parents, siblings and concerned relatives and friends of the Orlando victims are privately reviewing their relationship with those young folks. They may be asking themselves why they were not more understanding of their gay son/daughter. They may regret now what they didn’t do then. Instead of years of denial, perhaps some parent may be thinking, “How hard would it have been for me to put my arm around Ken’s shoulder an assure him of my unconditional love? Why did I refuse to invite him to many pleasurable experiences because I was embarrassed by how he may act or what he might say? I love him so deeply and now he has been taken out of my life.

There is something we can do now, and if not now, then when? Perhaps there is a gay friend or relative in your life who would love to hear some positive, supportive message from you. He or she may be wondering if that will ever happen.
Show them that love now; please don’t wait in this time of national grief and uncertain future.

Out in the Country members meet monthly in an informal, welcoming and confidential setting. More detailed information is available on the web at or by phone at 770-544-9888.

John McBride