The Worst Shooting since Wounded Knee…

On the night of June 11, my anniversary with my fiance, Alex, I went to bed very late after seeing a post on Facebook about a shooting in Orlando. I didn’t know the scope of it then. It was well after midnight (Pacific time-would have been 3am in Florida) and I had work in the morning. I went to bed unaware of the heartache I’d face in the next 24 hours.

double rainbow

At work, a coworker was fearfully trying to contact friends. She grew up in Orlando. She’d been to Pulse. Customers were more withdrawn than normal. Many of the younger generation were glued to their phones, looking up only long enough to tell their families snippets of news. In the midst of this, I received unrelated family news that had me crying in the back room for half an hour. Death has never been a more present, cruel force for me than it has been in the last 2 days.

15 years ago, on 9/11/2001, I was just a 6-year-old child. I remember where I was that day, but I didn’t grasp the enormity behind it. I get it now.

The only way I have found to express my thoughts right now is poetry. But before you read, let me tell you this:

We are your friends and neighbors. We are your retail associates, your waitresses, your teachers, your doctors. We are your daughters and sons. We are your church members and protestors. We are not one-size-fits-all. We are human.

rainbow hand

I am an LGBT Christian. And I’m not going to be silenced.

 

 

Orlando

Silence.
That’s what we’re hearing.
Silence.
From the phones ringing loud on the bodies of the fallen-
From the mouths of the loved ones we thought would hold us close-
From the church that tells us to pray for our world-
Silence.
We hear
Nothing.

In just hours
100 harmed
Half killed
And more
Afraid.
Terrified.
Desperate.
And
Hopelessly
Alone.

We know other people were hurt.
We know other people were killed.
But when your constant Othering gets us killed
We have a right to cry.
We have a right to mourn.
We have a right to fear.

What is our crime?
With Old verses shoved in our faces
Told that God would punish us
And we are
Sinners.
Heathens.
Perverts.

Predators.

What is our crime?
When we walk with eyes cast down
Afraid to reach out
And be
Honest
Because honesty gets us
Ridiculed.
Abandoned.
Shot.

What is our crime?
When we hold each other
In a world that won’t hold us
And we cry out
“Why, God!”
To the Creator we know
LOVES us
In a world now designed to
Hate.
To prey on us,
Hunt us down,
Bring us to our knees,
And execute us.

Your silence tells me you want me dead.
Your silence tells me my hurting is nothing.
I wasn’t there.
I was on the other coast.
At home.
Unaware.
Celebrating
The anniversary
Of my queer love.

But what is our crime?
For as long as we love
With full hearts
And kind words
In a world desperate to
Silence
The millions of us,
We will hear
Silence.
Because we are

Other.

Is that
Our crime?

 

 

 

If you are struggling in this trying time, please do not be afraid of reaching out.

National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK
The Trevor Project, a toll free line for LGBT youth: 866-488-7386
http://www.thetrevorproject.org/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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