There aren’t words to express how our hearts ache for our people in Orlando—those who are gone, those who were injured, and those whose souls are shattered by what they have experienced. All of us near and far are grasping to comprehend the violation done to us as LGBT people. Men and women. Old and young. Black bodies and brown bodies. Muggles and kinksters. Cis and Trans. Atheists and spiritual. Big bodies and small. Outsiders. Queers. Faggots. Dykes. So many beautiful people full of potential who gathered at a club—for celebration, protection, love, dance, healing, fucking, friendship, and more—are now gone or forever changed.
For some of us, this is a new battle in a very old war. For some of us, it is the first and largest direct attack on us. Either way, this is a terrifying and sobering experience for all of us, and we may not even know how we are supposed to feel. Right now, you may not know what to do to help or to heal. As with BDSM, there is no one right way. You do what you have to, what feels right, and what harms no one else.
In the short term, take care of yourself. Cry. Scream. Sleep. Eat. Make love. Laugh. Whatever heals your soul... Then take care of your family. As sexual outsiders, we have limitless magic, power, and resilience. Use that to offer a cover of protection for your family and friends.
Conquering this in the longer term will require stamina and commitment. That means shoring up the bonds in your larger community, staying present, sharing yourself with others and partaking of what they offer you. Go to SFPride. Go to Leather Alley. Go to Trans March. Go to Dyke March. Go to The Eagle, Powerhouse, The Edge, The Lonestar. Go to Blowbuddies. Go to The Ring. Go to LDG programs. Go to QueerSphere. Go to Young Leathermen’s Discussion Group. Go to Up Your Alley and Folsom Street Fair. Go to Mr. S. Go to Wicked Grounds. Go to play parties with Gearup, The 15 Association, KUF, and The Citadel. Go to IML. Go to CLAW. Go to IMsL. Go to Leather Alliance Weekend. Go to MAL, Inferno, and Smokeout. Go to Fist Fest. Go to The Alden Spafford Progressive Dinner. Spend time with your clubs and your social groups.
And when you do, will you be safe there? Orlando is a stark reminder that we never were. But we will not live in fear. We are uniquely prepared to be risk-aware when safety cannot be guaranteed.
If you are older, you are a survivor. Make yourself available to someone younger who needs your experience. Some of us want to fight and don’t know how. We need you!
If you are younger, seek out your elders with the experience and wisdom to get through this. We can show you how to be you again, and then take that to the streets to fight for what is ours.
DON’T HIDE. Live proud. Play hard.
In the days and weeks ahead there will be more ways to help. Do you have ideas? Share them in our facebook group and let’s build some momentum.
All my love to all of you!