There are no words. In August 1993 I got home from a 9-day backpacking trip while my sweetheart was still at work and was surprised to fina a San Francisco Chronicle on the coffee table--surprised because she never bought the newspaper. The front-page was all about 101 California. I started reading the story and then--oh, shit--recognized the name of a good friend of hers.
Weeks later, having drinks with a former co-worker, I found out she too had a close friend who had been killed at 101 California.
Two weeks from today is the Pride Parade in San Francisco. It has always been a celebration, but it has often been a celebration under a shadow: the shadow of Anita Bryant and her kind; the shadow of AIDS; the shadow of legalized discrimination. In recent years it has been more unreservedly celebratory. This year it falls under the shadow of the worst act of anti-gay terror since...well, I can't think of anything like this in my lifetime.
Twenty-three years after 101 California the tools of mass killing are still freely available. Nearly a half century after Stonewall anti-gay hatred still exists, and still erupts into violence. And once again people will be reading the names of friends and loved ones in the newspaper.