This wasn’t supposed to be that post.
That post is already written, waiting for the right time.
But this is the post I have to write. It wasn’t supposed to be that post.
When I woke up early Sunday the 12th to the news that someone had walked into a gay night club in Orlando on Latin night and shot over a hundred people, my first thought was, that could have been us – the friends I went to a club in Chicago’s Boystown with just a few weeks ago. It could have been any number of friends and neighbors on any night in any one of those clubs.
It felt like something I, a white cisgender heteronormative woman, have no justification to feel – it felt like my family was under attack.
And I wanted to stand in between.
It was later in the day on Sunday that a friend from college told me he’d lost someone he cared about at Pulse. It brought a flood of memories and emotions, particularly of one week when the Christian university we attended required all students to attend daily services in which a member of my own family preached against “homosexuals” and told sensationalist stories about the gay community and the gay “lifestyle.” It was the era of AIDS, and these were evils ready to consume us all.
My friend sat through those services, too, and I can only imagine what that felt like to him.
We sowed so much poison, and we have been reaping it’s rotten fruit for decades.
Chicago’s Pride Parade is coming up this Sunday, and some of my friends will be there under the tag line MakeLoveLouder. They will be at the parade, standing on the sideline between the “God Hates F—-” protesters and the parade.
It will be a risky place to stand, between the sowers of hate and a parade of people who’ve had to fight for the freedom to say who they are, to love who they love, to even exist. Especially this year.
I will be there with them. Standing in between.
A friend of mine says that whenever you draw a line in the sand between you and another person, you’ll find Jesus on the other side of it.
Most of my life I’ve felt like I was standing between different perspectives, trying to bridge them, to at least translate.
But sometimes violence is flying across those lines, in the form of both bullets and words. And sometimes you need to stand in between.