recurring thoughts re: orlando


recurring thoughts re: orlando. bc I can’t get back to sleep.

five years ago, when I was learning how to handle violent ptsd flashbacks, my therapist had me close my eyes and picture the safest place I could imagine. “like an island beach,” she suggested. I immediately described the hey queen dance floor, 3am, arms around a circle of friends, singing loudly with love. there is no such thing as safety in this world – there are never guarantees. but a gunman opening fire on a queer dance floor, to me, is unimaginable.

those 50 queers. every one of them. their lives and their stories. how many chosen families disrupted. all of their cats and pets.

we will never be destroyed. we are a part of this human fabric and our lives can never be erased. not in 2016. never again.

people who survive daily abuse and microagressions are survivors. people killed on a dance floor are _________. “victims” implies shame and powerlessness. “heroes” or “martyrs” implies intention, a singularity of purpose, a myth of strident individualism that feels fucked up to perpetuate. “angels” improperly invokes religion. how do we name the dead?

open memories.

rest in power. rest in joy. die dancing.

what forms of life did those souls re-enter? where do we go when our bodies no longer contain our energies?

masculinity. there is a problem with how it is taught and perpetuated, and that problem is global in scale.

a quote others have posted: the gunman was not a radical Islamist – he was a radical homophobe. the problem of trump and America, the very real and somewhat comprehensible dissatisfaction he is tapping into. the problem of reductive thinking, the end game of white supremacy in mass culture. the need for proximity, for person to person dialogue and connection. the challenge of making that happen in a meaningful way.

the problem of guns.
the perpetuation of violence.
the ineffectiveness of laws.
the importance of shared agreements.
the ultimate value of culture.

the absolute, urgent need to shift our culture in whatever sphere of influence we have – work that every single one of us must do every single day. towards values of dialogue, inclusion, and care. the importance of feelings. institutions that honor and reflect these principles. the disruption of business as usual. the dismantling of business.

above all else, the value of love. our personal abilities to make peace, to perpetuate love, to care for each other. this IS our future. this is how we survive.

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