Dear cis/straight people who’ve remained silent,
Among those few who’ve spoken up, I’ve often heard that they felt like they didn’t know what to say, I get that. When someone’s parent, someone’s child, someone’s sibling or even their dog dies, we often don’t know what to say.
That’s why there’s ritual phrases: “My condolences.” “I’m sorry for your loss.” “I’m there for you.” Phrases that we say without thinking, without hesitation in the aftermath of other losses.
Imagine someone murders your parent, or your child, or your sibling, or even your dog. And no one says anything. Imagine the place you go to feel safe being violated. And no one says anything. Imagine knowing that it’s all too possible that someone you love, or you yourself, might well be murdered, in your refuge of safety. And no one says anything.
Yeah, it’s like that. And the silence has been deafening.
I get it, everyone processes tragedy in their own way. Some folks try to distract themselves, some folks withdraw. I get that you might need to get off Facebook for a bit.
I get that you might not have the energy to reach out individually to the LGBT people you know — I know I haven’t. I get that offering your condolences to an LGBT person might trigger emotions you rather not deal with right now — I know it has for me.
But honestly, how hard is it to take a moment to offer your condolences. Even getting on Facebook for a minute and making a quick post that you don’t what what else to say, but that you share our grief, that you’re with us.
Because a lot of us need to hear this right now. To know that someone else shares our pain. To know that we’ve not been abandoned. To know that we’re not alone.
P.S. I’m sure some of you are pissed off and defensive after reading this. If you are, ask yourself why are you so upset about being asked to do for us, what you routinely do for others. Just think about that.