STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS WRITING
A Disorganized Letter to Friends of the LGBTQ+ Community After the Club Q Shooting
“I probably just said the wrong thing to you, you know, with you being trans and all. I hope you’ll show me some grace. It’s my birthday and I’ve had a few mimosas,” she laughed uncomfortably.
I was aware of nothing inappropriate that she’d said in our 5-minute interaction. I got the feeling this was her first discussion ever with a trans man and that she wanted to be supportive but wasn’t sure what that looked like. I wanted to say that it was much simpler than she thought, being supportive, and that there isn’t a secret script for this conversation. Instead, I cracked a joke to ease her tension:
“You’ve said nothing wrong, but it sounds to me like now is the perfect time to drunk dial your Senator. Here’s some information on how to do that…”
Her and her friend laughed more comfortably this time and promised to drunk dial their Senator to show their support for a good cause.
That was the afternoon before the shooting happened at Club Q. I keep writing about it because I’m still struggling to process it, as my new friends tell me what the victims were like from first-hand experience. Looking at the picture of the bartender, a trans man; he looks a lot like me on one of my masculine days, if I had perhaps discovered myself about 10 years earlier. The hardest part to process is this awful sense of relief, that relief I get right after violence that I’ve been expecting, waiting for, happens. People aren’t going to accidentally gaslight me about being safe anymore.
I’ve experienced this cycle of violence on an interpersonal level, but right now I’m feeling it on a more macro level, on a community level. Others around me have been telling me they’re scared, for good reason, but this is the moment when we’re at our most powerful, right after the fist (or the bullet) hits the wall beside us. I know this moment. It’s the moment when people outside of our communities might actually be listening to our fears because the pain is something we can all agree that we’re seeing and feeling. We have a short time when we might be understood for a moment, so I…