Interdependent Web: Queer voices cry out

Interdependent Web: Queer voices cry out

A weekly roundup of blogs and other user-generated web content about Unitarian Universalism.


Queer voices cry out

The Rev. Meg Riley remembers the women’s coffeehouse that sheltered her as she came out, and grieves for the shattered Pulse community.

What was killed in Orlando was sacred and went far far beyond injuries and fatalities, as horrific as each one of those losses is for the circle of agony surrounding it. We barely understand deep community anymore in this country, and many do not experience it. But I believe in an assault on such interconnection, life itself, the holiest of holies, was murdered. God herself is inconsolable. (Quest for Meaning, June 6)

The Rev. Michael Tino writes, “This time, those bullets could have killed me.”

Someone could have seen me kiss my husband goodbye at the train station. Or they could have seen us co-parenting our child in an airport. Or holding hands over a special (if rare) dinner out.

So it's different, but it's not. And I need you who care for me to know that it's all part of the same cycle of dehumanization and violence. . . .

So when you hear someone suggesting that we should appoint judges who will invalidate my marriage, or stoking transphobic fears about bathrooms, or calling my love "sin," know that anything that makes my people less-than is directly related to guns being pointed at us.

So my heart is broken. Again. Maybe yours is too. Maybe enough hearts are broken that we can change some shit. (Facebook, June 12)

For the Rev. Lois Van Leer, the shootings in Orlando are a reminder that the battles are not all won, and that vigilance is still necessary.

Many in the queer community had been lulled into complacency about our place at the table, about our assimilation into the mainstream culture. We thought some battles were over. . . . The events in Orlando are a wake up call for all of us. . . .

To those of you who are allies of the queer community and are outraged, appalled, and grieving the events in Orlando, know that this is a raw time for the queer community. And when any of us is raw, we are not always at our best. Expect anger alongside of the pain. Expect confusion and bewilderment. Expect shock and disorientation. Perhaps even fear. Respect the need for queer folk to gather separately as a community to process Orlando. (Woodinville UU Church, June 13)

The Rev. Keith Kron grieves, prays, and commits to working for change.

I grieve for a country and for a planet where this violence is all too common, all too familiar, all too tragic.

I pray that each of us commits to be a little more humane, a little more compassionate, a little more willing to come together to be a part of solution.

I pray that we work together to end hatred and superiority.

I pray that we decide to become better people today.

I pray we never forget.

I pledge to remember.

I pledge to become a better person.

I pledge to be a part of the solution, however many solutions it takes. (Facebook, June 12)

The Rev. Kimberly Tomaszewski is worn down, her energy depleted.

[This] morning, when I woke with my wife and we cared for our baby, a baby whose birth certificate has the names of two women in the mother and father lines, I wasn’t ready—I’m never ready—to hear that in the few truly safe spaces in which we can gather, terror and blood and death had taken all of it away. Taken away life, taken away closets of those men and women who hadn’t yet told their families and whose secrets will now be put together alongside death certificates; taken away my want to have Tara’s hand on my back in the grocery store; taken away the last bit of water in the well. . . .

Today, for me, I just need to find some water. I am parched and afraid and the journey is long to the spring. (Facebook, June 12)

Look for the helpers

The Rev. Linda Hart remembers as a child accompanying her mother as she worked to make a difference.

Hope comes from taking action, I think. Hope grows from not looking away. Our children are more resilient than we know. Sing the songs with them — We Shall Not be Moved, and Gentle Angry People and We Shall Overcome, and whatever is out there that lifts your heart and spirit. Go to the vigils. Light candles. March. Remind them that they can have an impact on the world and it’s important for them — and for you — to be part of making a difference. (Tahoma UU Congregation, June 14)

The Rev. Amy Zucker Morgenstern wants to save LGBTQ kids from self-loathing before those beliefs become too deeply entrenched.

When I encounter adult homophobes, I admit I am without patience. . . . But as out, queer parents of a school-aged child, we run into it from children more often, and it’s opened up patience and compassion in me. . . . In case their clumsy lashing out is the sign of the first stirrings of queer sexuality in them, as it may well be, I want them to know that the answer to the question they don’t dare to pose is “Yes, I accept you as you are.” (Mookie’s Mama, June 14)

The Rev. Dr. Cynthia Landrum acknowledges her despair that anything will stop mass shootings, no matter how terrible it gets.

They died in the elementary schools, in the arms of the teachers.
And we wept, and we mourned.
And we blamed autism and parenting.

And they died in the churches, the mosques, and the temples, in worship and in song.
And we howled, and we prayed.
And we blamed white supremacy and religious bigotry.

And they died in the nightclubs, on dance floors and at bars.
And we wailed, and we raged.
And we blamed religious extremism and homophobia.
And will anything change? (Rev. Cyn, June 13)

For more commentary about the shootings at Pulse, follow these links:

Seeing you whole

The Rev. Elizabeth Stevens writes that if we really want safety from sexual violence, we have to “shatter the patriarchy.”

While the two Swedish students are heroes, so is the woman who, without flinching, told her story from start to finish and shared it with the world. In the face of that kind of bravery, others of us are inspired to speak, and a feeling of solidarity starts to spread. A righteous rage builds in the hearts of survivors, all women, and male allies. We find the courage to rise up, to speak truth to patriarchy, to claim our power to DEMAND change.

We are not faceless, nameless statistics, we whose bodies have been violated. We are human beings, facing irreversible consequences, and our lives and our stories matter. I have read every account I’ve come across, opening my heart to the pain, the shame, the fury that results. And I offer my story in solidarity. (revehstevens, June 10)

The Rev. Karen G. Johnston holds up the fact that healing from sexual violence is possible.

I affirm (and declare and proclaim and cajole and shout from the hilltops and whisper tenderly) that there is a path towards wholeness.

Sometimes we find our own way along this path, but this is rare. More often than not, we find it with the help of others who have found it before us and shine a light of possibility, of righteous rage, of healing. . . .

We chart our way through the false territory of victimhood thrust upon us by the violence visited upon our bodies and create a map that leads to a lush, complex wellspring of survivorship: creativity, empathy, truth-telling & bold ass-kicking in the spirit of justice-seeking. In other words: wholeness. (Awake and Witness, June 10)

Sweetness and light

If your heart needs kindness and laughter, check out these posts by the Rev. Jake Morrill and Raziq Brown. (Facebook, June 12 and 14)