I didn't want debates today.
I didn't want to explain anything about myself or my sexuality today. I didn't want to explain why someone's character isn't determined by the fact that they were in a bar. I didn't want to explain why being in a bar doesn't make you a bad person. I didn't want to explain that good people go to bars just like good people go to church. I didn't want to explain that character isn't determined by location.
Friends, today I didn't want to explain anything.
I just wanted you to mourn with me. I just wanted you to see me. I just wanted you to empathize with the hole I felt in my chest. I wanted you to hear me sobbing without trying to fix it.
And I realize as I speak all of this, that these words and deep pain and feelings are probably the same ones my black brothers and sisters feel when they hear of the consistent injustice in our country. Things that lead to unfair deaths and murders; things that take away the dignity of a person based on skin color; assumptions made based on skin color.
I am sick.
To my black brothers and sisters; I am sorry that it took 50 people in a gay bar to die, in order for me to understand what you may feel on a regular basis when you watch the news. I am sorry for my ignorance. I didn't know. I don't think many people take the time to.
Friends, to you who do not understand what it means to be part of the LGBT+ community, or what it means to be a person of color, or what it means to be in a marginalized group that is not only unseen, but also targeted or killed, please hear us as we speak and mourn.
We tell our stories in different voices with different plot lines and characters, but we are all aching for one thing; silence. A moment of silence. A moment of recognition that something grave has happened, and we are deeply mourning about it. We are seeing our own reflections and names in the faces of those gone. We just want a moment to say we are sad. And we just want you to be sad with us; or maybe just to hold our hand.
Friends, you don't need to say anything. Just that you love us; just that you want the best for us; just that you care about us, and that it sucks; so, so bad.
I got messages from two people today. They weren't family, just two friends that have long since shared a similar state address as me; they both said relatively the same thing: "We're so sorry. We love you. We support you. We're on your side."
They didn't need to have the same theology, or background. Today I didn't want theology or background.
Friends, to you who may not understand: Please remember the times you felt unsafe. Please remember the times you felt fear, deep inside, instigated by another human being's hate or threats. Please remember the times you thought someone would seriously hurt you. Please understand that in the process of mourning of tragedies like this, we don't want explanations, we just want you to remember: the tragedy is hurting us, badly. And we can't fully explain it or say why; but friends, we don't want to explain it or say why.
Today, we don't want to defend our sexuality, or our rights. Today, we want to sit in the muck of our humanity, and we want you to hold us in it. We want you to wash us off, with damp, cold rags, and tell us we're beautiful and whole. We want you to crouch down in the corner we're hiding in, in the dark, and we want you to cradle us in your arms; we want you to rock us to sleep as we cry.
Friends, today, we don't want to explain anything. We don't want anything to be explained.
Friends. Please understand.
Today, we just want to cry.