Darkness and light
It’s been a long, hard week. I know that is true for all of us as there is so much silence in this space that is normally full of noise.
I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the darkness. When does it lift and how? When is appropriate? When are we ready to discuss other things and when does it feel okay to laugh? I think this is what a lot of people feel like when experiencing any kind of grief but it’s different here because (most of) the outside world doesn’t understand the grief the LGBTQ community feels. So while there are good moments and there are bad, moving forward seems like it is minimizing how we feel – folks aren’t getting that the laughter and tears are both very present.
I’m not sure if any of that makes sense. There is still so much healing to be done. There is so much needed. I feel the need to organize and act and feel frozen. We couldn’t attend local vigils (late, other transportation complications) or a fundraiser (at a bar) and I don’t have much to say that hasn’t been said. So I’m here. Breathing, thinking, feeling.
Light shines through. Wednesday night we had new friends over for dinner. I realized that lesbian mamas with a small baby lived near us and constructed an elaborate plan to meet them. It worked and we had them for dinner. It was great and lovely and felt like the right thing at the right time. We are traveling to the big city this weekend to Pride and seeing our queer family there. Friends have reached out (often times after I have been vocal in various settings about how LGBTQ folks need support right now) and I am reminded that we are building a loving community. Slowly, but it is building. These bits of light remind me that we are building a world that is changing. This is why we march on.
And yet it still hits me. The fear, the sadness, the worry. I wonder if we have done our son a disservice by wishing so desperately for his existence. Was it selfish for us to have a child whose family is hated? How do we teach him to be proud and safe. And then I think about communities of color. I listen to stories of black moms talking to their black boys. I think about the Latinx queer community – a community feeling more pain than I can imagine. I remind myself that my child will be raised to make the world better in whatever way he can. I remind myself that conversations with him will never be as difficult as conversations other folks are having with their kiddos. He will learn this. He will make the world better. He is always the light shining through.
I don’t know when it will feel better. I do know there is still work to do. I haven’t read about the victims much. I can’t. Lesley and I decided to pick a time to sit down, light candles, and listen to Anderson Cooper read their names. I’m not ready. I have a lot of reading to do about race. I am struggling a lot with the idea that as a white person I need to not center my sadness here. I understand that but don’t know how to speak as an anti racist ally. This has taught me where I need to grow. I am looking for ways to do more and be more and I am finding them.
Today I put one foot in front of the other. I actually do some work while at my desk. This weekend I take my child to Pride. I hug my friends tight. I move with a heavy heart and a spinning mind – forward.