It’s difficult to write when each word brings you closer to completely breaking down. I’m at the brink.
And I’m not the only one.
And maybe I don’t have anything better to say.
But I’m struggling with the phrase “we mourn and pray for the LGBTQ community.”
It’s as if “they” are all over there and “we” are all over here. As if their community is gated and private and separate.
Separate. Just the same as it’s always been, except we accept them more?
Separate. Except we are PC?
Separate. Except we are more loving?
And is L. G. B. T. or Q. the only community they belong to?
I’m pretty sure… no, I’m absolutely sure…they are part of THE community. The world that God made for all of us. The families that have one of everybody in them. The dysfunctional and crazy and wild group of us all that make up humanity.
And it’s not just the LGBTQ “community.” It’s the Muslim or Christian or theatre or medical or black “community.” Whenever there is a story, we identify the group or association and “feel their pain and loss.” As if the only people feeling the pain must have the membership card for that club. Anyone not LGBTQ or Muslim or black has no right to feeling loss. I am not in any of those groups, so I can only observe from afar, praying and mourning separately?
No. That’s not how it’s supposed to be.
There is not one among us who does not know someone in a “group.” We may not even know they are in the group. But we know them. And no one can tell me not to mourn or suffer with them during a crisis or loss. No one can tell me I can only mourn for them.
When a tragedy happens, whether in a local gay bar or a supermarket or airport, it happens to all of us. Sometimes the people have something in common. Sometimes they don’t.
But when a bomb explodes in an airport, we don’t say we grieve for travelers everywhere. We grieve for people. For families and friends. For the loss of life. Not the gay life or the Muslim life or black life.
We grieve for the life.
So today I choose to grieve with my brothers and sisters. I pray for the friends and families of those whose lives were lost because of hate.
I don’t pray for them. I pray for us.