Yesterday I saw students graduate who have been out and proud for most of their young lives; others are still shy around their families of origin but also full of pride in their own queer selves; some I did a small tutorial with this past Spring on pre Stonewall identity where we learned how important bars have always been – as safe space, as community, as political rallying cry. I am happy to know they are armed with that little piece of history that might help make some sense of this. I say that as if there is any to be made.
Another student who is a deep thinker, big hearted and logical, wrote to ask if I thought maybe at least this violence would be pivotal.
I had to say I didn’t know. I do know that somewhere a parent has just called their queer kid to tell them they love them for the very first time in a long time. I also know there are people whose hate burns so hot that they are happy one of these shooters finally found “a worthy target”.
I know that that hate, and that love, may appear in equal measure.
For those of us who live and work and love on the trans end of things, this news is not as shocking as it should be. We are too used to violence, fatigued by it.
I do know that the love and art and community we will create around this wound will knock our socks off; it’s how gay people live; it’s how we have lived through so much. As Solomon Georgio tweeted: the gay agenda has always been “enjoy every moment you can before a hateful person takes it away” and that is only more true today.
Take some joy in some small thing. Cry. Keep finding beauty and joy in places others don’t look. Find each other, at vigils and rallies and, yes, in bars. Dance. Give someone else safe harbor, a hug, a thought.
I keep thinking about Esqualita and the abuelitas who would come to see their queer grand kids walk and I know there is no consoling them and there shouldn’t be. We should live in a world where they are safer.
Love to all of you today. I am so, so tired of crying.