Right here

Yeah, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted here. Honestly, I’ve mostly been trying to figure out WordPress and get my domaine name figured out. Actually, that was just today, really. No excuse.

But the Orlando murders shocked and horrified me and I guess I’m working through that in this space.

I was at a beautiful wedding this weekend. We heard the news of the shooting on the drive there. We didn’t know many details then- my husband and I wondered what the motivation was, and to our terror, we realized at this point, in this country, it could’ve been anything- a disgruntled employee, a jilted lover, who knows.

As we sat in the ballroom, watching the wedding ceremony unfold, I couldn’t keep out of my mind the thought of what I would do should a gunman suddenly appear. Where would I go? Would I hide? Would I be able to bring people with me? Would I even know what was going on before it was too late? Some of these are not new questions for me. Anyone who has escaped from a fire thinks many of those same things anytime they’re in a new place. We look for alternate exits; we plan our emergency egress. But I caught a few others lookng around the ballroom, with glances falling longer than usual on the doors to the outside, and I realized others were wondering the same things now too.

And as we learned more about the shootings, I thought about what it was like for those family and friends sending frantic texts, calling, their hearts sinking and pulses racing as their messages went unanswered. I thought about such violence and terror taking place in a setting of joy and freedom. And what those places mean to people who have very real fears of being themselves anywhere else. I thought about a dear friend of mine at a New Year’s Eve party several years ago, up in the private room of a bar downtown, a little scared and yet wondrous over the fact that for the first time ever, she was kissing her girlfriend at midnight in public. How happy I felt for her, and how sad it made me that she hadn’t felt safe doing so before. How privileged I’ve been never to feel that fear.

Oh, my LGBTQ friends, I am so sorry. So sorry that again, someone has enacted violence upon you. So sorry that one of your safe spaces has been violated. So sorry that you’ve once again been the target of irrational hatred. So sorry that even your right to grieve how you wish is not being completely respected and your pain being co-opted. But please know this:

You are so, so loved. You are so, so respected. We, your allies, are both so saddened and hurt for you, but also floored with awe. Once again, you’ve been knocked down and fought your way to your feet. Once more, you’ve summoned unimaginable resolve and been determined to not only fight for your rights and against intolerance and injustice, but have also guarded against letting the fight change you. Your calls for love, for softness, in light of these vicious transgressions, bring tears to my eyes and I find my resolve to be a better human motivated by your example.

Know that we’re right here. Over here. Giving you space and time to grieve. Knowing this was your hurt, but hurting for you just the same. And that while it’s your fight, we’re right here with you. We have your back. Tell us what you need. A hug, a cookie, space, our voices raised in union with yours. Our fists, if need be. Tell us what to do. Tell us what you need. Keep teaching us.