This weekend was a whirlwind of activity for me; someone who generally is not too active on a regular basis. Friday I attended the Trans Health Conference sans cane. Hung with my close bud, B, and managed both physically and emotionally.
Saturday morning, G, and I geared up for another day downtown via the train. I have gotten to love that dear train ride. Yet I was wiped before I’d had my first cup of coffee. I was also extremely psyched. I was going to be in trans space two days in a row. Two wonderfully marvelous days to be me. Off we went.
Sunday rolled around and there had been a snafu at the van dealership and we couldn’t get the van for our UU Fellowship to participate in Pride, as we call it here. So G. and I figured we’d go to church, get some lunch afterward and maybe take a walk later. At 7:20 a.m. I got a notification a group was headed to the parade in a couple cars. I was game.
While I focused on preparing for my trip downtown– it takes a bit of arranging when you have physical difficulties– I pretty much glazed over the news report about a shooting in Orlando. I wasn’t insensitive or being stupid, I just wasn’t tuned in. Didn’t read about it online, see the coverage. Nothing.
This year I drove my friend P’s car in the parade. We had a blast! Handed out the 342 buttons I’d made with our churches “motto,” Standing on the Side of Love. Everything went without a proverbial hitch. The weather cooperated. GPS got us off the expressway and back on again missing miles of back-up. YAY for us.
It wasn’t until I had come home, peeled my damp clothes off and grabbed a shower that I learned of the massacre of so many of my community/family members and their grieving relatives. “It’s a shame what happened in Orlando,” I said. “Know any of the details?”
“The shooting took place in a Gay Bar called Pulse,” said G. I froze. I shook. The lump in my throat turned from anger to sadness and back to anger again. I briefly talked to P, who is family. “Did you hear the latest count?” he asked. “50,” was the answer. Goose bumps covered me.
Tomorrow back downtown. For a Candlelight Vigil for so many members of our community and their families. We are all a family. If I lost sight of that, for whatever reasons in the past, I’m now in touch more than ever with the depth of this loss. It’s my loss. It’s all our loss. Gay or not gay.