Love Through This: Love, Anger, Grief, and Heartbreak for Queer Lives of Color

sometimes the night wakes in the
middle of me.
and i can do nothing
become the moon.

– nayyirah waheed, from salt.

If you are in mourning, if your heart is broken, if you are sad and terrified and furious and wounded by the mass shooting of black and brown LGBQ and trans people at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida this past weekend, this is for you.

It is possible to feel powerful love and devastating heartbreak at the same time. You might feel like, What's the point of going on? What's the point of loving, of living, of doing the hard things, speaking up and being seen, if we could just die in an instant because we live in a violent and irrational world? What's the point of living and loving if at any moment someone is going to kill you, or kill the person or people you love, and turn you into a survivor? What's the point, when the system holds tight to unjust laws that say we can't marry who we love, we can be fired from our jobs if we're out as gay, where white people aren't prosecuted for killing black and brown people, where 12 trans women of color have already been murdered this year?

The point is to Love Through This.

These are exactly the reasons to continue living as you, and even learn to live more as you, for you, and with and for the people and communities you love. We have no idea how long we've got together, and it's not fair to perpetuate injustice by being unjust to yourself. It's horribly fucking true that you never know what will happen in a world as violent and antagonistic as ours. That is terrifying.

So find your safe spaces and hold them tight. Cultivate these spaces with community. Text and call your queer friends and your black friends and your brown friends. Tell them you love them. Check in with them. Cultivate healing spaces for people to process their grief. If you are feeling triggered, reach out to people and grieve together.

You ask me, Will I be okay? The excruciating part is there is no way to know. Sometimes you will feel okay. Sometimes you will not. Sometimes you will feel safe and maybe even sometimes terrified. Even if you are not queer, not brown, not trans, or even if you don't know anyone who is: If you are reading this, you know there is violence in this world, and that you are not immune from it. There is always fear that comes with being seen and being yourself. We have seen this weekend how deeply that fear goes.

One more thing. Bring out your love. Bring out as much of it as you can and know that you will get it back from people who love you too. Your deepest, fiercest, most powerful love. Because the world, and our communities, and YOU, need more of that.

when i am afraid to speak
is when i speak.
that is when it is most important.
– the freedom in fear

– nayyirah waheed, from salt.

Here are the names and faces of the victims of the Pulse shooting in Orlando, Fla.

Watch Lin-Manuel Miranda read a sonnet at the 2016 Tonys about filling the world with music, love, and pride. (And have a good cry)