it’s personal

Friends – the murderous attack on the Pulse is personal.

Why?

Because I grew up with queer people.

When I was a little girl in Manhattan, I knew women who lived together and who wore flowers in their hair, waltzing up and down Madison Avenue and painting up a storm in the Hamptons. My grandparents – who were Russian émigré artists — introduced me to those women and to many men who were married to other men before it was legal. I remember in particular two men who adopted each other so that the older one could leave his money to the younger one. I knew lady gym teachers who shared a house their whole lives.

As an adult, I learned about computers from a gay man when I worked at the Plaza Hotel. I went to Smith College, when women were beginning to come out as lesbians. I survived graduate school because of another gay man who became my adopted brother and who became an enthusiastic member of the bdsm community. My child identifies as queer. The adopted sib who I have empowered to pull the plug on me should I become incapacitated is a lesbian. The editor in chief of the journal I work for is a beautiful gay man who body builds.  I have so many family of choice members who are LGBTQ that I can’t count them all, because it would take pages and pages to list them.

And then there are my students. . I taught queer folks of color at the University of California, Riverside. And many of those queer folks of color had names like Luis, Ruben, Alejandro and Victoria. They were my some of best students. They became writers and artists, and teachers and activists. I love them.

So imagine my feelings about the fact that it was Latin night at the Pulse this past Saturday night. I scan the list of names, looking for one of my former students.  I fear for them. I saw a mother crying on camera tonight, and I feel angry on her behalf and scared.

I know. It’s very corny for a CIS gendered white straight lady like me to carry on about queer people,

But you need to understand something. LGBTQ folks are my child, my brother, my sister, my neighbors, my friends, my teachers, my colleagues, and my inspirers.

LGBTQ folks are my family.

Please don’t insult, discriminate against, hate, or kill my family.

And while we’re at it, let’s please ban assault weapons.

Let’s make the world magically real and make it really good — not scary and awful like it is in Pan’s Labyrinth (although it’s a great movie).

 

Thank you.

TO contribute to the fund for the Pulse victims, click here.

TO work to ban the sale of assault weapons, click here.

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