I spent too much time Monday night in bed, not sleeping, thinking about what to say, how to say it. I thought about how we’ve all been exposed to too much tragedy and heartbreak. How the grief in Orlando and across the country is almost too much to take.
I’ve heard too much from politicians and pundits and preachers who are trying to erase the hate crime from what happened at Pulse, to make it too much about allegiance to ISIS, and far too little about a targeted attack on the LGBTQ community.
I’ve spent too much time on the verge of (or in) tears listening to the radio, or watching the news — not because the victims and their families and loved ones, and our entire society do not deserve those tears, but because we shouldn’t keep having to hear about senseless tragedies and innocent victims.
I’ve also spent too much time turning the radio off, or avoiding reading things I know will end up being hateful and twisted and misinformed.
Friday and Saturday, I referred to male friends and their husbands in a couple of separate conversations, and each time I did, I got a jolt of joy at being able to say it. I am so pleased that all of the people I love are able to marry the people they love. My friends are my friends because of who they are, not who they love, or what they look like. There will never be too much love to go around, and the sooner we all figure that out, the better off we’ll all be.
My default setting is to try to give people the benefit of the doubt, rather than jumping to the most negative conclusion immediately, but the hateful rhetoric which has created the climate which made Sunday morning’s tragedy possible is far beyond “too much.” The safety of an entire group of people — who have never been as safe as they should have been — has been compromised, and whole swathes of our society are not in the least concerned about that, but are instead turning it into an opportunity to create an unsafe situation for an additional group of people.
I still have too much in my head, and I haven’t figured out quite how to say it all. To my friends in the LGBTQ community: I love you, and I am so sorry for everything that has been done and said in the name of hate over the past few days. I am not willing to see this attack oversimplified into “Radical Islamist Terrorist vs. America,” when it is so much more specific than that.