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A Note Regarding Colorado Springs
I’ve spent much of the last week trying to catch my breath. Yes, I’ve been breathing, just as I’m been talking and eating and drinking and moving and laughing, but I haven’t been able to catch my breath.
America is adept at chasing us away from our feelings. Time itself has been weaponized against us. You learn that queer people have been struck down in a space of refuge in Colorado Springs and before there’s even an accurate body count, the number “49” seethes behind your eyes because despite everything that has happened since June 12, 2016, you got the wind knocked out of you the night of the Pulse shooting, and all these years and catastrophes later, you still can’t catch your breath.
Reader, I’m sorry. I have a tendency to switch to the second person when my feelings become too much to bear. This too is America chasing me away from myself.
What I’m trying to say is that, even as I function and go about my business, I’m outraged and heartbroken. And I’m scared in a way that, frankly, feels ancestral. Some fears are blood inheritances and I believe this is one of them.
If you’re also haunted by what you’ve come to understand about this country, this is just a note to say that I think your grief is righteous and your rage is reasonable.
They want us dead.
They want to make ghosts of queer youth by teaching them to silence, shame and bully themselves into early deaths. They want to alienate queer youth from would-be protectors, caregivers, advocates and allies. And well, as they’ve proven, they’ve got bullets for those of us who dare make it to adulthood.
Anyone who doesn’t understand this clear and present danger is not someone I’d trust with my life. That’s a vital distinction because it’s time for all of us to think about exactly what we are willing to do to stay alive and keep one another safe. To say nothing of joy. To say nothing of legacy. To say nothing of abundance. All of which we deserve just as much as mere survival.
We must do this work together.