According to CNN, on June 12th, what's been called the "worst mass shooting in U.S. history" resulted in 49 lives being lost, and 53 people being wounded. Early Sunday morning, Omar Mateen used an assault rifle and pistol to shoot several attendees at Pulse (a gay nightclub). This horrific scene was brought to a close after Mateen was killed during a police shootout.
Since, then there's been debates on gun control, terrorism and the motivation behind the attack. Fortunately, there's been support for the wounded (5,005 units of blood were collected in Orlando) and many people have expressed their sympathies by leaving flowers outside the club. However, USA Today reported that the LGBTQ community is (understandably) still in shock, and struggling to cope with the incident. And despite the tremendous progress we've made towards being more accepting of each other's sexuality, this horrific event has left many (who are still "in the closet") questioning whether they should come out or not.
This is where Mara Wilson comes in. The former child star who famously appeared in Matilda and Mrs. Doubtfire recently announced she was bisexual. The day after the incident she posted a picture of herself at gay club (when she was eighteen) and tweeted about her experience there, how she felt welcomed by the LGBTQ community and her sexuality. Below is an excerpt taken from one of these tweets:
"But the LGBTQ community has always felt like home, especially a few years later when I, uh, learned something about myself."
This news has resulted in positive and negative feedback. Those who've been positive commended Wilson about finally coming out and her honesty and support for the community. Although, others who've been negative have accused Wilson of sharing this news for attention, and garnering publicity for her book. However, what those people have failed to realize is that Wilson generally likes to stay under the radar. The former actress is now a prolific writer, and she herself was surprised by the viral reaction of her comments, but thanked fans for their support.
“I think I'm going to stay off Twitter for a few days. I had no idea this would be such a thing, but I guess it's flattering."
“Thank you so much to everybody who has sent me words of support. I support you all, too. ❤️”
According to US Weekly, Wilson hasn't elaborated any further on the subject.
Why is Mara's coming out so important?
Well, renowned actors and personalities have used their fame for good or selfish reasons. And (this is all based on my opinion) maybe Wilson felt that if she shared this info others who are hesitant (following the massacre) to reveal their sexuality will feel welcomed and open to be themselves (and not feel afraid to embrace their entire identity).
In the past, Wilson was repeatedly told by fans of Matilda that they resonated with her character because they shared Matilda's feelings of loneliness and exclusion for being different. So, maybe she felt she was reaching a similar audience and hoped that those who saw these tweets wouldn't feel threatened. Again, this is all guessing.
Regardless of her motivation, it was still remarkable to announce this. I genuinely don't believe she said this to receive buzz. And if there's anyone who saw her post, and felt a bit more comfortable with themselves, then that's a feat in itself. It's going to take a LONG time before the dust settles, and nothing's going to return to exactly the way it was (especially for the families of these victims). Yet, we need to remember that we should all stick together and belong as one. If you'd like to help with the crisis in Orlando you can donate to 'The Pulse Victims Fund.'