Today we grieve and we cry and we mourn.
Since I heard the dreadful news about the mass murder and attack on the LGBTQ+ community, I haven’t been able to do much other than cry and ponder and sleep.
I’ve wanted to take action; I’ve wanted to write and rally and respond.
But first, I needed to mourn. So let us continue to wail for the lives cut short.
Let us wail for the victims and their families and their friends. Let us wail for every person who is now afraid to step foot inside the sanctuary of a nightclub. Let us wail for every person who is now afraid to close their eyes in church. Let us wail for every second grader who is now afraid to go to school.
And then, when we are ready, whether it’s tomorrow, next week or further down the road, we must take action. We must take action to end homophobia, to end gun violence, to end Islamophobia, to end the way we accept vitriol in this country.
We wail and we pray and then we act. Because empty prayers are the greatest disgrace.
To those who perpetuate violence against the LGBTQ+ community with their violent discourse and their violent policies, WE DON’T WANT YOUR PRAYERS. To those who refuse to say that black lives matter, WE DON’T WANT YOUR PRAYERS. To those who blame our prevalent gun violence on the Islamic community, WE DON’T WANT YOUR PRAYERS.
You cannot deny us access to your God and then offer up prayers for us!
Instead of empty prayers, give us compassion; give us equal rights.
Repent for the way your ideology has created an environment of homophobia that allows for 49 beautiful souls to be executed with an assault rifle. #SayTheirNames. Repent for your lack of love.
And as for us, we are tired, we are weary, we are devastated. We ache. But we are not alone. We will keep fighting injustice. We will challenge our government and our faith communities and the media and our families. We will no longer allow LGBTQ+ youth to be bullied. We will no longer allow our transgender friends to be excommunicated from bathrooms. We will no longer allow the powerful majority to write our story.
My dear friends, hope is only hope, when hope is least possible. So in the face of despair and great injustice, hold on.
Hold on and know that you are not alone.
Brittany lives in Charlottesville, VA with her wife Lindsay and their skeptical dog Eliza. She enjoys dancing, deconstructing destructive dominions of dominance, and alliterations. Above all else, Brittany tries to keep it real.