I’ve essentially been radio silent on social media regarding political issues. Cuz I’m just so tired, y’all. I’m tired of being told that I SHOULD be afraid of sharing the restroom with a woman who happens to be trans but I SHOULDN’T be afraid of men like Brock Turner.
I’m so tired of everything that comes out of Donald Trump’s mouth that I wouldn’t even know where to begin.
I am so tired of my family, friends, and clients being scared into silence and hiding when they were just starting to gain voice in the world.
I didn’t enter this weekend feeling good about the world we live in right now. But then I woke up this morning, and it was far worse. I was ready to drink my coconut milk decaf coffee and have my gluten-free breakfast treat with my morning paper before I headed into the office. Instead I was immediately flooded with news about what happened at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL. Details are still emerging, but we do know for sure that this is the largest mass shooting in U.S. history, with 50 lives lost and at least that many more wounded.
My phone was blowing up with texts from friends all over the country, begging me to be safe. To bring security when I attend and/or host fundraisers for the LGBT community. Or to not go at all. Then I got a text from my best friend, telling me it was time for me to write about all that is going on. To talk about what intimacy means in times like this. When we need intimacy the most. As always (and this is why he is my very best friend), he was right.
Because we talk about intimacy as if it were synonymous with sex. And sex is the fun part of it, for sure. And I have so much fun writing about that topic. But where the world is now? On the precipice of enormous change or doubtless self-destruction? The importance of intimacy takes on a far broader meaning.
Intimacy is connection. The shared strength of relationship. That we are ten-fold more powerful together than we are alone. And this kind of intimacy is the only way we can face our fears. Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick tweeted a biblical verse this morning, hours after the news of the shooting, that was as follows:
Do not be deceived:
The tweet was subsequently removed (likely by the sole staff member at the governor’s office with some semblance of intellect and self-preservation), but you know what, y’all? I happen to be in agreement with Mr. Patrick. In the reality of his message, if not the ideology and intent implied in his post. I agree that pulling away from each other is a mockery of God’s love and that it causes us far more pain in the long run.
And if instead, we connect with each other? If we choose intimacy over fear? Then we are sowing the peace we so desperately need.
Please don’t think I don’t know how fucking hard this is, what I am suggesting to do. I know. I know because as of late, I have been seriously debating moving to Costa Rica. I’m scared too. So ridiculously scared. But instead? I’m doing the following things the very best ways I can. And I see people around me doing the same. Please join us in:
1) Creating safe spaces. If being out in the community feels threatening for you, or the people you love, look at new ways of creating places where you can be in community. I saw comments on social media today, calling for the organization of house parties for people who didn’t feel safe at clubs. The idea being, we won’t be isolated in our fear. We simply change the locale to protect ourselves as need be.
2) Helping others. We make pots of soup and bake loaves of bread. We volunteer to bring our neighbors to their polling station on election day. We speak up for each other in public spaces. We guard the fucking bathroom doors when someone needs to pee. We make sure, with everything we say and do, that those around us knows they are not alone. We are connected and will prevail.
3) Asking for help. Do you know what is harder than helping others? Letting others help you. It is the best gift we can give someone, letting them care for us. Being cared for builds far more intimacy than taking care of. Ask for the help you need. Accept it with the gratitude it deserves.
Ask a friend to meet you for coffee, to come watch Netflix with you, to sit with you on the phone and tell you the world will make sense again.
When I finally did get to my office today, I found my private practice partner had left me a Starbucks gift card and a note telling me how much she appreciated me. Her love made me feel like I could see clients again feeling hopeful about the world, so I could support them feeling the same. That I could, at least for one more day, back burner any thoughts of moving to Costa Rica.
This Thursday, I am attending the Candlelight Vigil hosted by the Pride Center of San Antonio. I will be there with my husband and best friend. And you, if you want to join us. We will stand with you in community.
And then next week, I will host a fundraising event with The Love Shack Boutique, a sex trivia night at Bar Louie, benefiting the same Pride Center of San Antonio that I will stand with in mourning this week. We will laugh and have fun and raise money for our community, within our community. Again with you, too, if you want to join us.
Thank you, Dan Patrick, for the reminder. I have no doubt of the goodness we will reap.