Hi friends. It’s been a little while, hasn’t it. Yes, I haven’t been posting here as often as I’d ideally like. However, it’s been said that half of writing is living life. I’ve been doing just that, and here we are to talk about it.
Let’s go back to two weekends ago. On a warm Sunday morning, my boyfriend asked me to get out of bed and turn on the TV. With a few button presses on my remote, my life changed. Perhaps irreversibly so. News was breaking about the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, FL.
A shooting, at a gay nightclub on a Latino night. 49 dead. 49 stories that came to an abrupt and tragic ending.
As the details of the shooting became clearer, it became more evident that this was a hate crime of the largest magnitude our country had ever seen. I was shell-shocked. I had recalled how I was in a nightclub, the night before, DJing a friend’s drag show. This could’ve easily have happened to anyone, anywhere…including my friends & I.
For a few days, I was an inconsolable mess. I, like a lot of my fellow LGBT brothers & sisters, spent most of Sunday crying. At the office, I had moments where I’d have to excuse myself to try to quell the overwhelming sense of grief inside me. Once the sorrow passed, my sorrow turned to anger. It angered me knowing that we live in a country where the conditions that led to this are accepted as the status quo. It angered me that politicians were already co-opting the tragedy to suit their own agendas. Mostly, however, it angered me that the shooting was being “straight-washed”. This was a hate crime, without question, and anything that said otherwise was a slap in the face to the LGBT community (never mind the 49 lives that were lost).
I had previously signed up to walk with the SF LGBT Community Center in this year’s San Francisco Pride parade. I had also given thought to being a part of this year’s Trans March. I would later be asked to join San Diego Pride as part of their entertainment lineup (shameless plug: come see me DJ in the Free Rainbow Zone either Saturday or Sunday!).
News broke of a threat of another hate-driven massacre, this time in San Diego. This was less than 24 hours after signing the contract to be a part of their event. Once again, my feelings had changed. Anger became doubt. Doubts of of my own safety, and for those of my loved ones.
That quickly gave way to a place where my feelings are now. They became purposeful. They became defiant. I realized that hiding in shadows, cowering in fear of some phantom gunman, is exactly what anti-LGBT people want. I would not give them that satisfaction, I told myself. I would not let these people win. Not now, not ever.
So, my boyfriend & I marched. We made ourselves visible.
We took a day off from work, to spend a Friday in Dolores Park. I wrapped myself in the transgender flag for all to see. We walked side by side with our trans brothers & sisters (and allies), down Market Street, in solidarity. On Sunday, we took part in the San Francisco Pride parade. We stood atop a double decker bus and waved at the crowd below.
We stood tall. We put ourselves front and center for people to see, to show everyone…in person, watching on TV and following online…that we are here. We are proud, we are defiant, and we are not going anywhere.