Quebec singer Coeur de pirate has written a personal essay in response to the shootings in Orlando at Pulse nightclub, where 49 people were killed last weekend.
In an op-ed published on Noisey, Coeur de pirate, born Béatrice Martin, writes of being in Paris and learning of the shootings while still reeling from the shock of the death of former The Voice contestant Christina Grimmie, who was also shot to death in Orlando last weekend in a separate incident. "I feel sick, I feel powerless," Martin writes.
Citing the "wonderful" response to the shootings on social media with hashtags like #gaysbreaktheinternet and the existence of North Carolina's HB2 bill, Martin writes she feels like a hypocrite because of her own experiences, revealing that her first romantic thoughts were about a girl when she was around six years old.
"That's why I'm coming out as queer today," Martin writes. "I can no longer be scared of what people might think about me. I can’t be scared that someone will stop listening to my music, or that parents might not want their kids listening to me because of the fact that I want to love whoever I want to love."
Martin acknowledges her decision to come out publicly is not easy, but hopes it can help others.
"I’m sure that if you’re not in a big city, and that you feel scared to come to terms with who you really are, what happened in Orlando can scare you to become the person you were meant to be. This is my message to you, as someone that was terrified as well, that I found solace in my difference."
Read Coeur de pirate's entire essay here.