Notes on Orlando: Queer Healing, Unity and Allyship

While Omar Mateen was murdering 50 innocent people in Orlando, I was in bed, asleep, next to my girlfriend. Today, in a world newly colored by violence and vitriol, I hold tight to the words of The Argonaut as I make sense of myself: "And I have long known that the moment of queer pride is a refusal to be shamed by witnessing the other as being ashamed of you."

That is to say, strive towards bravery, towards love that is full and fearless.

We are blinded by anger and sadness. We are moved to action in defense of our humanity. How could we not be? We are, after all, only human. But I beg of you, rise with an open heart and see those who are as faultless as the slain.

That is to say, offer the same love and light to the Muslim community that you do to the queer community.

There is danger in this world for all of us, and we share in it equally. The tragedy is that we cannot offer each other protection, at least not yet. Not until our laws change. Not until our politicians offer policy (transformative) in place of prayer (idle).

That is to say, we must guard ourselves not by way of arms, but against them all together.

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The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson (Graywolf Press, 2015)