Published today on Univision’s website in English and Spanish, the essay calls for compassion in the wake of the tragedy, as well as concrete political change.
"The tragedy that occurred in Orlando hurts me in so many ways. It hurts me as a man, as a human being, and as a gay person, because so many of the victims were brothers and sisters of the LGBT community,” wrote Martin, who publicly came out as gay in 2010. "I am in pain, I am sad, I am angry."
Despite that anger, Martin made a powerful argument for unity against all kinds of hatred. “Waves of fear have been spread throughout the LGBT community and our society as a whole," he wrote. "It seems recent headlines are increasingly filled with hatred and intolerance. We have grown as a society by moving towards greater inclusiveness, empathy, and acceptance, and we must continue down that path and always reject divisiveness and animosity."
He went on to call for stricter gun control measures across the country to prevent future massacres. “Gun laws MUST change in this country,” he wrote. “The United States of America has an undeniable problem with gun violence. How many more lives need to be lost before we do something about lax gun laws? How can a person previously tied to terrorism and interviewed by the FBI on several occasions be permitted to work as a security guard and still have the ability to legally purchase guns? How can we continue to stand by an amendment ratified in 1791 to justify an incomprehensible proliferation of firearms in the U.S.?"
Martin ended his essay on a note of unity and a call to action: "I ask you to BREAK YOUR SILENCE and call each and every one of your congressman — those you elected into power to represent you and your ideals — 10 times each day until they act. Set a timer if it helps, but make the calls.
"And most importantly LOVE,” he continued. "Love with all your heart. Love those close to you, and those you don’t even know. Be kind, be empathetic, be compassionate, be generous. Fill your life and words with nothing but love."