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  • Writer's pictureJessica Jaymes Purdy

My heart was shattered by the news of the Club Q shooting

My heart was shattered by the news of the Club Q shooting and the weight of Transgender Day of Remembrance yesterday.

I had been prepared to post about the meaning and sadness of remembering those our community had lost to violence and a need to recognize that violence is more than guns, and knives, and beatings. It's violence of all kinds. Emotional abuse, spiritual abuse, political abuse, bullying, harassment, and disownment. They are all violent acts that take lives.

Sometimes the path from violence to death is direct and our society acknowledges that a member of our community has been killed. Sometimes the path from violence to death is indirect and members of our community are placed in situations that might result in death, such as when a trans teen is disowned by family and forced into homelessness, or when a trans person is bullied until they take their own life. We don't have a specific day to honor or remember those lives. We must mourn them just the same. We must remember them just the same. We must recognize the violence in their lives is why they are no longer with us and work to end it.

I didn't post it. I couldn't. Transgender Day of Remembrance is already a heavy day but quite early in the day I saw an article detailing the mass shooting that took place at Club Q. And I could not. I could not hold all of those emotions. All of that sadness. All of that anger. All of that hopelessness.

I could not hold it. Could not process it. Could not share it. And so I didn't post yesterday.

Not about Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Not about how once again queer lives had been taken by hate.

Not about how so many of my conservative and Christian friends and neighbors keep voting for hate and inviting these tragedies into our lives. Not about their belief that because they don't agree with the anti LGBTQ, anti trans rhetoric spewed and shaped into legislation by the politicians they put into office they are somehow not complicit in the violence and death that rises from the hate they voted for.

No. Yesterday I sat with my grief. Sat with the pain of the violence. And today. Today I share because I will go into work, striving to foster inclusive cultures of belonging, emotionally fragile with bruises not on my flesh, but my soul. Bruises that join those from every hateful word spread by politicians, every hateful policy and law publicly debated or passed that harm my queer, LGBTQ+, trans and non-binary siblings across the country, the world.

Today I remember and honor the beautiful lives we've lost, the lives that will will never be the same. Our siblings at Club Q. Our siblings who have been murdered. Our siblings who have died because they were disowned, bullied, harassed, denied access to affirming care, or lost all hope and could not see a future where they'd be able to live in peace.

Today I remember that a better, more loving, less violent world takes work. Work that I hope you'll join me in. Work that sometimes looks like voting against party so that the hate being spewed can't be shaped into polices that kill. Work that sometimes looks like leaving a church that preaches hate for one that preaches love. Work that sometimes looks like telling friends and families that you will not tolerate the hate you hear in their words and working to gentle their hearts.

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