Why? Why must it be? Why must it always be that the first name, the first face we see, is the one who has committed the atrocity?“Why: (c) Geoffrey Stewart 2022
Just once can we mourn the dead, pray for the injured, praise the heroes and give succor to the survivors before we turn our attention to their murderer, their foe, their victimizer?
Hail to the fallen and hail and healing to those left behind.
By now you have heard, we have all heard of the events at Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colorado just before Midnight November 19th. 5 people dead as of this writing, 25 injured. The ‘suspect’ was subdued within minutes by heroic club patrons and beaten with his own gun, apprehended by police a few minutes after midnight in the first hour of November 20th 2022 the Trans Day of Remembrance. This is not the first time in my 50 years that I have woken up to learn of some atrocity committed against LGBTQ people, my people; sadly, it is not likely to be the last.
As much as I might wish it otherwise. Holy Dead, Holy Spirits, Holy Gods do I wish it were the last.
I have spent most of the last 36 hours, compressed in between intermittent sleep and a work shift where I was at least physically present, scrolling social media & sharing links to news articles and sharing other folks posts and takes. Unable to find my own words, not really entirely ready process things. Fear, anger, outrage, grief, rage at the insincerity and hypocrisy of those who have stoked the fires of Homophobia and Transphobia and Conspiracy Theories and Hot Takes; those same people who have fanned the flames of the Culture War for their own financial and political benefit suddenly offering up their “shock” and of course their “thoughts and prayers.”
You would think after 4 of my 5 decades of waking up to similar stories and similar atrocities, and similarly insincere “thoughts and prayers” from the same basic cast of characters; you’d think I would be better prepared to deal with the horror of it all. I mean hell, I grew up as a Queer kid in 1980’s Reagan America in the shadow of the specters of nuclear war and the HIV/AIDS crisis in a world where Rightwing politicians and thought leaders and Religious Fundamentalists were very clear (without, of course actually coming out and saying so) that it was perfectly fine if people like me died of a horrific wasting disease or were murdered in the streets, as long as the right kind of people were dying, people like me. You would think after years of such things one would get a thick emotional skin or be inoculated against the horror of it all.
Honestly, sometimes… kind of? Sometimes it just hits like a numbness and a muted sense of grief or something. Sometimes you are able to move on, muted, but reasonably functional.
Sometimes though, it hits you full force; bringing not only its own horrors but dragging horror and grief and insecurities hidden away in the corners of your mind and soul, all of them dancing within you and around you. Sometimes you just have to process the horror of it all in whatever way you can for a time before something kicks in and you start pulling yourself back together.
36 hours is NOT that bad a turnaround time, I guess, all things considered.
Bliss and Blessed Be your journey,
Pax / Geoffrey