Here is what Hank wrote:
I've spent vast portions of my life in bars. Punk bars, venues, the places I do trivia, dive bars, the places my dad played as a kid. I enjoy bars. I feel safe in bars. A whole fucking lot of the places where I took refuge or met friends or just hung out and played pool were gay bars and clubs. I was at Brothers the night they opened because some of us queer teens heard we were getting a new gay bar and they weren't carding yet. When I lived in Tampa, I was in Ybor every weekend at the drag bars, sweating my ass off and figuring out how to navigate co-ed bathrooms. My mom took me to my first gay bar - the Lighted Tree in St. Pete Beach. I'll never forget the shock of seeing people like me just hanging out, casually. Kissing. Flirting. I drank a coke and tried not to hyperventilate. No matter where I have gone, I've known that if I could find a gay club or bar, at least I had a safe place to have a drink, maybe meet some locals, and not be a fucking freak just for who I like to fuck or what gender's clothes I wore.
It is no coincidence that the modern queer rights movement started at the Stonewall Inn, a sketchy little club that made a place for drag queens, bulldaggers, and the homeless gay kids living in a nearby park. For many of us, bars and clubs were the only public queer spaces available. The only places to meet people like us. If you were in the closet and had to hide yourself, that Saturday night at Cliques or My Sister's Room or Club Park Avenue or whatever you local dive may have been was your one chance to pull down your walls for a little bit and just be.
This isn't the first time that someone has invaded that space to kill queer people because they find us disgusting or perverted or frightening or just a little too attractive, maybe. The media used to make a joke out of it. Police didn't bother to investigate. Churches sure as fuck didn't say anything against it. Now we get to watch Republican politicians try to walk a balance between acknowledging the fact that over 50 people were slaughtered and the fact that they've been part of this problem. Now we get to watch our neighbors and sometimes family or friends use our deaths to further their own hatred of religions or cultures (because their own religions are certainly squeaky clean when it comes to attacks on queers, eh?). Every step we take forward, we are chained to all that hatred and violence behind us. It slows our progress and sometimes it comes into our clubs and guns us down.
If you have ever called yourself an ally or claimed to be a friend of the queer community or put up a rainbow pic on your FB feed when a pro-gay law passed, suit deed to word. Now is the time. Get your fuck ass up this week and do something useful for the queer community, while our people mourn. Go help some homeless queer youth. Go find out what LGBT vets need done. Talk to that gay couple next door and see how you can make all your lives a little brighter.
I am full of rage. I want a living enemy to hate for this, and there isn't one. I am queer, and I am here, and I guess that's the best I can do for now.