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I was at DC Pride 2019. It was supposed to be a good, fun time. A celebration. The merriment came to an end, however, when everyone started screaming. People from within DuPont Circle started screaming and running, toppling barricades and yelling at fellow parade-goers to run. Naturally, I grabbed my things and my friends and tried to find shelter. I had no idea what was happening; I was separated from my mom, and one of my friends was missing.

This isn’t that unbelievable, a shooting at Pride, I thought. I hugged my mother tighter than I ever had when I found her, so scared I’d lost her for good.

We never found out what started the commotion. Different news outlets said different things: a fight happened, a gun was pulled, a pistol was found. What I do know is that I feared for my life that day, and I thought I’d die because I chose to go out into the world as a proud LGBT+ person.

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