Ramadan Day 17 – Pulse

Today my heart aches for the Latin@/Latinx community, for the dear souls that lost their lives or were wounded by the homophobic violence at Pulse. I kneel and kiss the ground in memory of Orlando.

Today I can barely focus remembering the personal despair of that time. It’s blurry to me. Yet the pain of today, of Orlando, is fresh and sharp. Is this how I should’ve felt last year?

I feel light-headed not fasting — as if I’ve lost something.

Weeks before the shooting, after my breakup, I no longer had my mental health. I couldn’t fast. I couldn’t speak to friends. I wanted to mourn, but I was already grieving. I was isolated. I lost my connection to community. I was consumed with rage. I was depressed.

Many people called me, queer people, queer Muslims, queer whites. friends, acquaintances. people who needed to talk about Orlando. they were depressed. who asked me to listen. but i couldn’t help. i said no. i said other things too, but i don’t remember.

i’m foggy as to who asked me how i was doing. were you there for me? i can’t remember. i did think about the difference between the straight people in my life and the queer people in my life. the straight people were more present. there were exceptions. i did think about the reaction in the latin@/latinx community and the reaction in the queer Muslim community. did think about the way that queer people turned on each other, the way we do. did think about the way that straight people continued not to care, unless somebody made them care.

but i don’t want people to know that i was mainly thinking of myself.

i was so ashamed.
i am so ashamed.
i didn’t have a big enough a strong enough heart, to mourn what was being done to my people by my people.
i was already broken.

A queer friend of mine, Blanca, shared with me that she was at a baby shower a year ago today. She had endured a chemical pregnancy loss and yet still went to a friend’s second baby shower. Blanca is Colombian and wanted to be with her community for a dance vigil for Orlando. She left the baby shower early. When she did, a straight friend told her off for leaving.

Blanca wrote me: I remember things the past four years in relation to our losses, even our community losses. Never danced as gratefully as I did at that vigil party.

These days, I wrote her, I’ve coupled my personal loss with the community loss very much so. I don’t know how to separate them right now.

She wrote back: No, we can’t

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