Unlike 50 people, today, I got to wake up in the morning... but there's a pain that comes with that privilege, because the country I open my eyes to continues to make the kind of history it could avoid.
In many ways, posting my thoughts on this platform feels like preaching to the choir, and I'll admit there's some solace in that, which is why I want to offer you, friends who've proven yourselves to be so thoughtful and empathetic in your grief, a token of my gratitude: Not comfort itself, because I find it essential to validate whatever feelings overtake us in the wake of such cruelty, but a (hopefully comforting) request...
In one tragic event (and the way it's been handled), we've witnessed and continue to witness a public display of the intersection of too wide an array of systems of oppression (homophobia, transphobia, racism, xenophobia, islamophobia, the persisting deafness of our political institutions in understanding the importance of regulating accessibility to weapons, and - I would add - our communal negligence as a society to educate and value cultural diversity, sexual diversity, and emotional literacy). These are all crippling ideologies we've fought tirelessly against, and it's only natural to feel something in our souls dampen when we're faced with what seems to be the culmination of our failure.
But what I ask from the depth of my sadness, friends, is that we do not ever give in to the poisonous idea that there is absolutely nothing we can do, whether or not it's true.
Be in the gutter for as long as you need to. Let the darkness of the sorrow do its work, but please don't ever forget to do your best to come back to us. As you are. In your anger. In your pain. Always come back to us, and do whatever you can within the confines of what your hands allow. Any effort on your part will do.
We need you.
We'll always need you.