From my post to social media:
June 17, 2016
Sometimes I think I’ll just crack wide open from the weight of it all. All of it. The well of pain and grief that swallowed me whole this weekend. It’s heavy and exhausting. I feel tight from the pressure of holding it all together. I’m strung tight. I know this because of how quickly I snap, how quickly my anger flared all week. Over nothing. The driver who crowded me or the one that went too slow. The co-worker who asked questions (the audacity). I’m strung tight and prone to tears at a moments notice: music surging to crescendo, queer bodies dancing. the sudden beauty of laughter, the power behind the owl’s hoot in the darkening woods, the catch in my heart when I imagine my loves not coming home, ever again.
There is so much for all of us to carry and the responsibility to witness and carry on and … to make things right. Somehow. It’s exhausting and heavy and even with the crushing blow of a mass murder we are determined to carry on. To get on with our queer lives. And even here, giving myself some care and acknowledgement, I have an inner voice that says “but you weren’t even there, you don’t know anyone, it didn’t happen to you, you should be over it by now, center the people who it happened to.” Yeah, that inner voice has a point and yet…
No, I didn’t dodge bullets that night. I wasn’t waiting desperately for word about a loved one or friend in the hours and days after. And yet, I watched as the nation and world reacted. I saw the way politicians did what the usual “We’ll pray for you” out of one side of their mouths and “fuck you queers, we aren’t going to protect you legally, are you kidding?” out of the other. I saw the way the rest of the world went on like it was a normal Sunday. I heard the silence from too many. Maybe they didn’t know what to say, maybe they didn’t realize we needed to hear something. Maybe they were distracted by accusations of terrorism or mental illness. Or maybe, not being queer or trans, they really, really don’t have any idea how dangerous a poison internalize hatred is. We know, we’ve felt it, we’ve been bullied by it, murdered by it, killed ourselves because of it. But if you don’t know what that feels like, well, maybe it’s too hard to imagine.
And all of this is very much what we’ve been hearing from people of color all along: the world is set up for people other than us. Straight people don’t get it because it’s not about them. And yeah, some do and thank you if you’re one of them. But too many people will just share some posts and click ‘like’ and feel good about themselves and then move on. In a few days or a week, there will be something else grabbing everyone’s attention and the stories about Pulse will be fewer and fewer. And next month, some new horrific thing will happen and the politicians will offer prayers and wring their hands and accept donations from the NRA. Business as usual.
I feel like the weight of it will crack me open. The weight of the kind of change that has to happen to make a difference. The sheer grotesque inertia of Business As Usual. And yes, my POC friends have been saying this all along and even when I got it, I didn’t get it enough. I’m getting it now friends, and I feel desperately unqualified to derail the white male supremacy machine that is crushing us all. But that’s what we have to do.
But not this moment. This moment I’m giving to self-care, to anticipating Pride gatherings and hugs from friends I only see once a year. I’m going to keep learning about the queer Latinx people we lost last weekend and watching charming funny videos of queer people. And being fiercely proud of queer and trans people for fighting back, again and again. And I will keep loving the people I can, while I can, because we never know when Business As Usual is going to take them from us.
#whoalongpost #loveforpulse #loveforqueertrans #loveforPOC
This content is published under the Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported license.