I said the other day that it’s sad that this is still newsworthy, but indeed it is, and will continue to be for a while. If you hadn’t heard yet, the kid who ran toward the gunfire and stayed with Gabby Giffords tending her wounds until help arrived was her new intern, Daniel Hernandez, who just happens to be openly gay:
Hernandez, a member of the City of Tucson Commission on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Issues, applied pressure to Giffords’ entry wound to stop her bleeding after checking the life signs of other victims of the shooting in Tuscon, according to the Arizona Republic.
“First the neck, then the wrist,” he told the Republic. “I don’t even know if the gunfire had stopped.”
Hernandez said he made sure Giffords breathed property by holding her head in his lap before he taught a bystander how to use the same technique on the wounds of his boss, Ron Barber.
All the way to the hospital, Hernandez covered in blood remained at Giffords’ side, holding her hand as she squeezed back on his. Upon learning of her survival, he said he was “ecstatic.”
“She was one of the people I’ve looked up to,” he said. “Knowing she was alive and still fighting was good news. She’s definitely a fighter, whether for her own life, or standing up for people in southern Arizona.”
That’s pretty awesome, no matter who does it, and we all should hope that we would react so bravely in such a situation. But the reason this is newsworthy is captured beautifully by Sara Benincasa over at Wonkette:
This big brown baby bear lives in a state ruled by a bloodstained harpie who stole domestic partner coverage for state workers with same-sex partners, essentially signing a death warrant for uninsured partners with life-threatening illnesses. He lives in a country where he is surrounded on all sides by people who hate his skin color, his genetic profile, his natural human desires, and the inner workings of what we, for lack of a better word, call a heart or a soul.
On Saturday, this “fag” did something bigger and better than any of the cowards who hate him and people like him have ever done or will ever do. We as Americans spend a lot of time fawning over people who signed up for a paying job that requires one to kill others and to risk being killed, all while clad in a uniform. We give them shiny medals and weep over their service when the truth is that they were just doing what their job required. True heroes risk their lives not because their contract requires it of them, but because their heart demands it of them.
Thank, you Sara, for encapsulating that so completely and perfectly.