Orlando.

This is unprocessed emotion. I will say fuck a lot. Proceed with that knowledge.

We are heartbroken. Again. We send our love to the victims of a mass shooting. Again. We come together to weep and mourn our dead. Again.

I can’t go straight to hope, right now. I can’t leap straight from Someone took a gun that they should never have had access to into a place where people were living their lives and this monster killed them to Let’s look for the good. We don’t know why. We think he was anti-gay. There have been suggestions that he’d recently pledged allegiance to ISIS. It’s too soon to know anything for sure, though, and anything we may hear is speculative. All we know is that this person felt enough hate to walk into a night club and shoot it up. 50 people are gone. 50 souls. 50 people who were each the most important person in the world to someone. 50 best friends. 50 families who have had their hearts cut out. 50 souls. Gone. That’s what we know.

I’ll be honest. I’m fighting against hate, right now. I’m fighting not to hate the people who have suggested that this shooting was inevitable or somehow less tragic because it happened to the LGBTQ+ community. I am trying not to hate the people who STILL stand against common sense gun regulations. I’m trying not to hate people who made such a goddamned racket a month ago over bathroom regulations for transgender men and women, and are silent today in the face of this slaughter. I’m trying not to hate Donald Trump, who has proven himself to be utterly devoid of compassion, judgement, and basic human decency. He is the embodiment of moral repugnance. His comments on the shooting were to thank people for their “congrats” about being right on radical Islam. This is not about you, you walking shit stain. The suggestion that this unimaginable tragedy, the worst mass shooting in our nation’s history, is somehow a proving grounds for your campaign is the most despicable way to handle yourself right now. Donald Trump, I’m trying so hard not to hate you. I know hate is what caused the shooter to walk into that club last night, and I don’t want to make room for hate in my soul. But you make it really fucking hard not to hate you.

I’m trying really hard to feel all of this and not give in to the hatred that is boiling right under the surface. I know we have to go right into the heart of our deepest and darkest emotions in order to get to the other side of them, but I’m afraid of the level of hate I’m battling right now. I’m afraid of feeling the same thing that monster felt. I don’t want to share ANYTHING with him. I don’t want to share anything with the people I’m trying not to hate.

I hate this.

I want to rage and cry and beat something.

I want to scream and scream and scream.

The only possible answer, the only way to get through this kind of pain, the only light that exists in this darkness is LOVE. I know that. I want to love right now. It is fucking hard to love my enemies right now. It is hard to love those who will be silent about this. It is hard to love those who will suggest this was the consequence of what they call “sin”. It is hard to know that people I care about will believe that “this is what happens when…”. It is fucking hard to look into the eyes of my gay and lesbian brothers and sisters, who have been on the receiving end of the hatred I’m currently trying not to feel, and say to them, AGAIN, that I’m so sorry. It is hard to know that 50 families will bury their loved ones this week while others will call them sinners and blow this off. God, I’m trying so hard not to hate.

I’m trying not to drown in the hopelessness of this. I’m trying not to think that it’s only a matter of time before we have a worse shooting than this one. I’m trying not to remember that, after Sandy Hook, I thought, “Surely now they’ll do something.” I’m trying not to hate the people who make up the NRA and the gun lobbies and those who continue to obstruct gun regulations by suggesting that Obama is trying to take their guns away. I’m trying to see the humanity of the people who have stood in the way of those regulations, but mostly I’m just trying not to hate them, right now. I’m trying not to hate those politicians who prey on people’s worst fears to keep themselves in power.

All I know to do right now is feel. Everything. Feel the pain, the rage, the hopelessness, the fury, the grief. It feels so much bigger than any one of us, this darkness, which is why we all have to feel it. We have to carry it together. It would kill any man who tried to carry it on his own. It would drive him to kill others. That’s what happened last night. One man carried all of his own rage, hatred, hopelessness, and fury into that bar and he killed people because of it. I’m terrified of what hate can do. I don’t want to hate. I don’t want that inside of me, like a cancer killing everything it touches. I don’t want my first reaction to be “I fucking HATE that guy.” I really, really don’t want to hate.

So I’m going to scream and rage and cry all the way through this darkness and trust that there is something other than hate on the other side. I don’t know what’s on the other side of this. I hope it’s action. I hope it’s change. I hope it’s new legislation. I hope it’s policy change. I hope it’s greater justice and equality for all. And, now, as I write this, I see why we have to feel all the darkness. Because it shows us what to hope for. I think rage is violently dangerous unless it forces us to do better. Rage that doesn’t end in justice, activism, education, and ultimately LOVE ends in a body count.

If you’re trying not to hate, if you’re raging and screaming and crying and beating things, keep going. Go all the way through it. Feel every ounce of it. And then get ready, because we have got some serious shit to do.

 

 

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