I can’t be eloquent as Marie. When it comes to many things, I’m a very straight forward person. Things exist in greys and it’s where I prefer to live, but when it comes to things like the denials of others rights (without resorting to the strawman arguments people are want to in emotive situations) I believe nobody should be denied them, as long as it brings no harm to others. We’re better together than apart. This blog is proof of that.
But I’m drained. Whilst I can’t equate my own lived experiences to anyone else, the sheer stress of having to decide in almost every social situation, precisely what language I use so I can sound out ahead of time if I’ll get push back for being me is at times exhausting. The need to ‘pass’ to avoid derision or worse is wearing.
The Orlando massacre (shut up, it was) didn’t get to me at first though. It’s happened too many times in the past few years. Where it’s numbing. To the point where I can almost time the reactions that occur. Its a coping mechanism I suppose. One that everyone develops to stop themselves going crazy.
But then I see people sharing stuff like this on social media
And I remember just what it is to feel inarticulate with rage at the lack of empathy others are able to show. Anger that I feel now, pumping through my veins. Stronger than any drug, better than any manufactured high.
The anger will pass in time leaving me even more tired. But for now my empathy is with those affected the world over by this horrible tragedy.
I used to be afraid of my anger – it was a terrible thing to be kept contained, lest it hurt others. But being able to control that anger and focus it is a gift I have learnt. I used the anger today to get things done I normally wouldn’t of. It reinvigorated me. Gave me purpose and drive and clarity.
There is a point to this. Anger is what caused the horrible tragedy. It will cause more and more as people put aside their empathy and instead stick to well trodden ground, rationalising it as ‘just a few queers dying’ to make themselves feel less afraid at night. But anger doesn’t have to be so negative and destructive. When one controls their anger, channels it, directs it…well there isn’t much we can’t do. To use a geeky example – there’s a reason the Incredible Hulk is the strongest one their is once he is at peace. Because he is whole again.
And it means that instead of feeling hollow at the end of it, we turn to others to share our experiences. From that springs forth empathy. It reduces the chance of this happening again, as long as we slowly can begin to feel for one another in a system that wants to strip that from us.
Never forget anger. Use it well. Don’t fear it. But don’t let it control you either.