Integrating yesterday, one year out from the Pulse Nightclub incident in Orlando. Listening to Spotify's "Pulse" playlist and just finishing reading an article on the need for culturally appropriate practitioners for trauma healing from the NQQTCN newsletter that showed up in my inbox. Such a wide range of ways to honor, remember, and resist. Some seemingly light and wrapped up in (I'm choosing to believe well intentioned) marketing ploys, and others steady calls for the bare minimum our communities need to just start to embark on the healing process. And wasn't this part of what hit our community so hard about the Pulse incident? It was an intersection of joy, gathering, and the hate that we're met with daily. It got juxtaposed with our country's ugly tendency to jump to any reason to justify its Islamaphobia. It reminded us that we're not safe even when we create our own spaces to gather. It was a lesson in the price of visibility.
I feel lucky that I reside in community places where these intersections and complexities were attended to, named, and called out. On top of outpourings of sadness folks in my circles called out for clarity and compassion. There was a general sentiment that you gave in the ways that you could. If you needed to share these offerings they were validated, if you needed to send them on quietly that was okay too. I know my household chose the latter. I'm finding this to be more and more my meter as I get older. We sent off a bit of tangible support, sent off as much love energy as we could muster, and then we hibernated a bit. We processed, shed some tears, and attended to some deep seeded adolescent anxiety that gets buried deep down when you're privileged enough to run into rainbow splattered Pride season gear at Target while buying paper towels.
Oh, right, this is what it still means to be a QPOC.
I feel so lucky to be able to have a lot of the complexities of that last statement be validated in my day to day life. And even that statement gathers together such a huge group of people with so many varied experiences. It brought up the intense need for QPOC providers that this article names. It sets up the difficulty of healing when you're fighting so many other micro and macro aggressions and the heavy responsibility that's put on those that hold down those spaces. It's something that I can only try to understand as an API DFAB mental health provider where I might not be the majority, but where my identity is certainly in higher numbers than others. I often find myself caught in the struggle of feeling overwhelmed by this thought, and know that it's much more important that I attend to and move through it.
I hope that over the course of the next few weeks, in between Pride events, and in the current state of the union, we all allow ourselves to lean into the simplicity of healing that comes with finding ourselves reflected out in the world. Whether or not you're leading the parade or can't imagine donning a feather boa in the summer heat simmer in the reflection that this time of year offers. Before you start a critical dismantling of capitalism smile at the rainbow section of Target. Before you analyze every lyric bop around to some pop music. We have so many complicated intersections to hold, sometimes we have to take the healing reflections even when they come in single dimension pieces. We can't pull back from the fight completely, this isn't an excuse for the blind eye that folks sometimes turn to intersections, there's so much more to be done, but we can allow ourselves simple retreats, access to joy, and healing in the reflections that exist so that when we re-emerge we can meet each other from more grounded places.
So one more offering of how to honor, resist and remember the atrocity that yesterday marks: Know that we have the right to access healing before we deconstruct it. We deserve to gather, dance, and lose our shit over a good DJ set. Never forget that joy has as much a place in our community as any other emotion.
In joyous reflection,