It is not often that I struggle to find the right words to express an emotion. But since I saw the first reports of the attack in Orlando, I have struggled… Struggled to even process what I was seeing and hearing. Struggled to understand how anyone could possibly have so much hate. Struggled to wrap my head around something so horrific.
I’ve watched my Facebook feed and seen friends and loved ones express grief and anger, love and solidarity. And I’ve struggled to find a way to express my own thoughts…
It would be easy to look at me and say, “this is not your fight”… but it is. Because it is the fight of those I love and hold dear. Because it is everyone’s fight. Because it is right. Because when hatred strikes, love is injured. Because I am now, and have always been, an ally.
When I was in high school, I saw friends broken and bleeding because of their sexuality. Friends who had been kicked out of their family’s homes over their “sins” found love and acceptance in ours. I sat by a friend’s bedside, praying for him to regain consciousness after he was beaten leaving a party – he never did. The last two years of high school, I was the “girlfriend” who kept my best friend safe – even from his parents.
In my naivety, I thought the world had changed.
Sadly, I was wrong.
I look at the faces of my friends and loved ones and I am afraid for them. I fail to comprehend the level of hatred, of misunderstanding, of pure stupidity that drives someone to harm another… Just because they are… Just because they exist. No one should live with that fear, for any reason.
And I am left wondering… What can I do? All of my life, I have been there for my friends – the shoulder to cry on, shelter in a storm, a helping hand, a loving heart, a smile, a hug, and yes, sometimes righteous anger.
Today, I feel completely powerless.
My heart hurts and my brain is broken as I try to make some sense out of the mess. Not out of the attack, no… but out of my own thoughts.
In the end, all I can say is the same thing I have been saying all of my life.
I am here for you.