Blog, Queerness

You Don’t Get to Feel Better

This is not the time to be silent.

This is the time to stand with people. Stand, and know where you stand. This isn’t the time for sitting on the fence.

We are dying. It’s that simple.

We are dying every single fucking day.

Which part of this do you not understand?

Be outraged, yes. Feel the anger and grief and sadness. Sit with it. Is it uncomfortable?

Good. It should be. It should twist your heart into pieces. It should be gut-wrenching, nausea-inducing discomfort.

If you don’t live with that every day, that’s privilege.

Because we are dying, and we live with the knowledge that we could be next.

Every day, I walk out of my house and into the street and wonder who it’s going to be today. Which catcall. Which question. Which person. Will it be when I am with my goddaughter? Will she get hurt because of me? Because when I walk out of my house, I know that I am walking into a world full of people who want me dead.

And I’m white. I benefit from the privilege of being white, and know that the danger of violence upon my body is that much less because my skin is light.

We do not ignore that it was Latin night at Pulse, and the bodies coming out are not white bodies.

I ascribe to parts of Christianity and do not experience (personal) oppression from my relationship with my faith (although I recognize that Christianity is one of the main perpetrators of violence and oppression in the United States).

I benefit from the privilege of Christian faith, and we do not ignore that the shooting in Orlando is being used to fuel Islamophobia and hatred. We are communities being pitted against one another. We do not ignore that these same people who tried to pass laws about where we got to piss and shit, where we are allowed to frequent, and how we are allowed to look are now extending us prayers.

Fuck your prayers. Yesterday you were praying that we would all disappear.

I am angry. I am full of rage, not just because this has happened, but because so many of us live with the reality that we knew this could happen. We are outraged, but not surprised.

We are dying. I’m still not sure which part of this isn’t clear to you.

We. Are. Dying.

So when you say “faggot,” fuck you. When you call someone gay, fuck you. When you think that language has no impact on actions, fuck you.

Yes, I’m saying “fuck you” at the same time that I’m pointing out that language matters. Because this isn’t about trying to change your mind, or about being an accessible queer. This isn’t a moment where I am an educator, where I am willing to engage with the conversations you want to have about my life and my sex and my genitals and my relationships and my life. This is a moment where I get to be angry.

I get to be fucking angry right now. I don’t have to be nice to you right now. I don’t have to entertain you, or put on a show for you, or dig down deep to that well of patience to make you feel better right now.

I don’t want you to feel better. I want you to feel ashamed, you who caused this. You who perpetrate violence with language and silence. This is on you. All those times you didn’t speak up, we see them now. All those times you let comments slide because no one was there to see if you were being a good ally, we see them now.

I see who shows up and who doesn’t. I see who is willing to stand beside me. I know who has my back. I know who I can walk down the street with.

Now is not the time for silence. Now is the time to remember that people are fucking dying simply because they exist.

I am one of the people that people want dead.

Is it clear to you yet?

I’m that person who greets you at events and helps you feel safe and comfortable, even if you’re not my favorite person in the world. I think it’s important to do that. I think it’s important that when people come into a community, that they feel safe.

I am never safe. I am not safe in this community, and I am not safe in this world.

I need you to stand up now. I need you to say, “I’ll go with you,” when I need to pee in public. I need you to walk with me through the world for a while so that I don’t have to do this alone. I need you to be willing to experience what I experience. Are you willing to be read as queer-whether you are or not- because you’re walking beside me? Are you willing to risk violence on your own body because that is a risk when you stand too close to me? You have a choice; I do not. Recognize that, and remember that next time someone makes a joke.

Because there are people in this world that want me dead, and I live with that every day.

And that became a reality this weekend for other people who live with this same knowledge. So don’t tell me I’m being hysterical or dramatic.

We are dying every day. That’s not dramatic, that’s reality.

This is raw emotion, not polished nuance. I’m not interested in a discussion about why you disagree with me. This is my life. Come live it before you tell me that I’m wrong.

Crossposted from FetLife

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