I write this running on maybe two or so hours of sleep, so if I have any typos, bear with me. My plan before everything was to write a post for Kevin’s birthday so, sorry Kevin and happy birthday. But this needed to be written, I’ve had a lot of emotions running through me today for obvious reasons.
I debated not writing this today – mainly because I’m exhausted and I’m feeling very raw and very emotional. But it sort of hit me that maybe now is the best time to write this. Tomorrow I’ll be calmer and more centered and the words just won’t come out the same way as they do now. What I’m writing now isn’t about fandom, but it does come from the heart.
As many of you know I’ve grown up almost my entire life in Las Vegas, Nevada. The thing about Vegas is that it’s a big city that feels like a small town. It’s a weird little quirk but everyone seems to know everyone or has some Six Degrees connection going on. When I learned what had happened Sunday night after I got off work I was rightfully horrified. I found out because I was getting texts and messages on various social media asking me if I was okay.
Music has always been a safe space for me. In my darkest and hardest moments I’ve always turned to music to help see me throughout it. Music connects us to something better and something lighter. Because of that I adore festivals like the Route 91 Country Festival – though country music isn’t my thing. I love music so much I’d go to something like that for friends even if I didn’t dig the style. Because music makes strangers feel like a community. You’re all there for the same reason, and there’s no judgment. There’s only joy. I’ve made some of the best friends of my life because of music.
Someone stealing that purest joy away in an instant by shooting 22,000 people, murdering 58 and injuring over 500 makes me sick. Concerts should ALWAYS be that safe space. Fear should have no place in music. And that sort of thing is so destructive and makes you feel that darkness will win – even if you’re like me and lucky, blessed enough to have had no family or friends hurt in that domestic terrorist act.
But today my city rallied together – in blood donations, volunteering, giving rides, connecting people, vigils. Vegas didn’t feel like a city, it felt like a giant family and I’ve never been prouder. Because that means the evil monster who did this didn’t win. And that’s important.
Because I know it’s easy to be scared after this. I know it makes you wonder if you should sell your #BSBVegas residency ticket. It feels safer to stay inside and away from public gatherings and celebrations. But you know what happens then? The worlds changes, the light dims. And we can’t let that happen. The best thing I’ve seen is how much kindness has enveloped the world and this fandom. I’ve had more people reach out to me to make sure I was okay than I ever could’ve expected. It reminded me that despite all the dysfunction this fandom really is a family.
So speaking as a Vegas local – thank you for your donations, your thoughts and your prayers. Thank you for your support. I know this senseless tragedy makes it easy to drown in your sorrow. My heart is breaking for the many people I know who had family and friends who were victims. But at the same time I have to focus on the light. Humanity isn’t lost. There is still good in the world, there’s still that bright spark even in what seems like a sea of darkness.
As long as we focus on that… it’ll be okay.