To listen

I haven’t had words for the past 24 hours.  For me, that’s almost unhealthy – I always have words.

The horrific murder of 50 people and the wounding of 50 more in Orlando has the entire world speechless, but we cannot remain that way.  We cannot remain speechless.

But we can listen.

We must listen.

My heart is breaking, but what I must remember – and what we all must remember, if we would be good allies – is that we need to listen when the LGBT community speaks.  When they tell us what they need, we need to hear them over the tumult in our own hearts, because as horrific as this has been for all of us, it has been so much worse for our LGBT brothers and sisters.

If they tell us that good thoughts and prayers simply aren’t enough, then we need to ask them, “What do you need?”

If they are angry, we need to let them be angry.

If they are in need of shelter, of blood, of protection, then we must offer it.

Most importantly, though, we need to do everything we can to avoid making it about us.  This was an attack on a sanctuary for LGBT people.  This was an attack on people whose only crime was to seek out a place to celebrate themselves.  This was homophobia at its worst.

It’s not about us.  So we need to listen.

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