I have been really sucked into social media since the domestic terrorist attack this past weekend. So many people sharing words of support and stories about the victims and survivors of the Club Q shooting. Our community closing ranks against the haters. Allies encircling and supporting us.
But there are not enough Allies and way too many haters to make it through a scroll without vile, disgusting rhetoric oozing into what should be safe spaces. Where are all the Allies? Have they, have we, become so immune to this violence and hatred? Or are we/they just so worn down by the sheer volume of it we just don’t have the ability to be outraged anymore? I don’t have an adequate answer to that, but I knew I needed to get away from the digital world for a bit.
I went to my weekly trivia game last night, but it was difficult. Before I even left the house I had to tell my mother not to worry because I was going to a regular bar not a gay bar. When I got there I was glad to see a friend had already found a table in the corner where there would be two solid walls around us, but we couldn’t see the screen, so we had to move away from the protection of those walls.
It took a few moments debating with myself before I finally chose to sit with my back to the front entrance. Every fiber of my being was screaming at me to remember my training on how to be safe in public spaces. I was uncomfortable all night and had to really fight not to keep looking over my shoulder. I have worked for many years to overcome that fear response and I was right back there last night.
Instead of our normally very gay team name we went with something basic, and we all wore subdued clothes and accessories. We talked about our fears about being ourselves in public spaces and it about broke my heart to see my friends so scared.
It felt really good to be with my friends. The hugs were tighter and longer than usual but they were so very needed. Also, it felt really good to be in the real world and just playing and being. I’ve spent way too much time in the past several days on social media. Being with my friends really helped to ease the crush of all that outrage and reminded me that love, compassion, and community are just as powerful.
Be careful out there and know that I love and support you my friends.