I don't often comment on current events here, because, to be frank, they're not about me. Most things are not about me, really. The vastness of the cosmos, and so forth. I can have whatever opinion I want, on whatever basis I want, but I am a college-educated white girl who grew up middle class in a place where the Anglo families didn't talk to the Hispanic families because they were terrifyingly brown, and nobody talked to us because we didn't go to church. I knew fuck-all about the less WASPy parts of the world before we got an internet connection, and in a lot of ways, I still don't. I try to at least think before I begin blathering on and end up with my foot jammed so deeply in my mouth I can taste my own kneecap.

The Orlando shooting was not about me. But it was about an awful lot of my friends.

As a rule, I stay out of advocacy. For one reason or another, pretty much every group considers me part of the Privileged Elite. My life experiences are irrelevant; through the lens of identity politics, I am a list of adjectives that have at some point caused them pain. Between that and the in-fighting and the constantly moving goalposts. nothing I say or do or think -- or have ever said or done or thought -- meets with their approval. I spent my childhood trying to please people whose only feedback was 'nope, still not good enough, we still hate you'. I have no interest in spending my adult life doing the same. They can do their own thing in their own way, and I am just going to go about my daily business of doing my best not to be a dick to people.

I make an exception to this no-advocacy rule for the LGBT community. Your goal is very clear: You have only ever wanted a world where queer people are left alone to do the same tedious mundane shit that non-queer people do. All you have ever asked of me specifically is for me to not particularly care what kind(s) of consenting adults you want to mash genitals and/or have stupid fights about the household budget with, and for me to stand up and be mad when someone else is being a complete troglodyte at you. This is one of the most reasonable sets of expectations I have ever run into in my nearly 35 years on this godforsaken planet, and it makes me very much want to be your friend.

You have no idea how much I appreciate you continually inviting me into your spaces. Queer spaces are not my spaces, and I respect that, but as long as I'm not behaving like an asshole, I'm welcome to come hang out with my friends there. This is a lot more than I've gotten from most of the communities I'm supposed to be a member of. I don't know if this is part of some sort of interdisciplinary weirdo exchange program or what, but I'm grateful as hell. It's not an accident that I picked up and moved to the sort of city that replaces all but the American flag on the front of the public library with giant rainbow banners for Pride Month.

I'm not typing all of this stuff out to get a social justice cookie. You don't get cookies for being a decent human being, that's not how this works. But I was at a burlesque show at Oberon on Sunday night -- a bar/theater space that is just about as culturally gay as it is possible to be without blasting techno remixes of Eurovision winners in between episodes of RuPaul's Drag Race -- and I have never seen a room full of people be so terrified while cheering for glittery tits.

I don't know what I can do. I don't want to hijack anything, because again, this is not about me, but I want to do something. I'm watching my friends fall apart after part of their family has been murdered.

There's no good way to end this piece, mainly because there is no good way to deal with any of this. So in lieu of coherence, please accept this gif my roommate made of the critters scrambling around in ../tmp/bin/rat/ (aka, the plastic storage bin where I dump them while cleaning their house) when they were still only half grown.


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