There are no words yet dozens flood my mind.
My life is so rooted in love for one another, it is framed in compassion and is propelled by seeking harmonious relationships. Today, all of that is being tested, thus creating a severe inner conflict that I don't see subsiding anytime soon. I'll admit, I was naive about the landscape of our country and how people actually think and how concerned others are to have say over other peoples’ lives. I proudly blame the bubble I’ve chosen to live inside of, one that has continually offered comfort, support, and protection. What's most telling in all of this, and most heartbreaking, is that I don't have to look too far outside of that bubble to see such opposition personified. I'm told it's not personal, but why do I feel so victimized? Maybe because it’s the first time I realized how fractured my support system might actually be and though I am surrounded by people all the time, I've never felt more alone. People say take deeps breath, but breathing just grounds us in this new reality that is very much hard to accept right now. I'm told I'm loved and that’s wonderful, and I don’t doubt it because I see it in the eyes and hear it in the voices of so many people, but I can only believe it when it is truthfully backed up and supported by their actions. Certain actions I've seen have spoken louder than any words ever could.
There is a vivid vulnerability in the faces of those around me, unlike anything I've seen before. It reminds me of the week directly following the shooting at Pulse Nightclub, when an unwavering fear was ignited after feeling such pain for those 49 victims and their families. It punctured the heart of the LGBT community. Today, that same fear and vulnerability is surrounding my community, threatening our rights, reminding us of the long road we've taken and the longer road still ahead. But now these fears stretch far beyond my gay brothers and sisters, transgender friends, and bisexual comrades. They affect the women in my life being told what to do with their bodies. They threaten the security of my friends born in other parts of this world who are here now peacefully pursuing that once coveted 'American Dream'. They challenge the hope within my African American brothers and sisters and the soul of the Black Lives Matter movement - an inspiring mission that has brought about necessary fury and focus. And this fear perpetuates religious bigotry against so many just trying to honor their respective faith and specifically disheartens my best friend and one of the most important people in my life.
Though this fear is prevalent and it's real, all of us on the defense share something in common: we thrive on being resilient. We band together when pushed down and we make noise when we are told to be quiet. I know it’s going to be okay but I don’t know when that will be and it’s sure-as-hell not okay right now. Still, the harmony-seeking part of me can't help but congratulate the other side on their victory, out of respect for democracy. They own this win and the beliefs it is built upon and that’s something they have to live with while I have to navigate my proximity to it all.