Today, 44 years later…
There’s no other way to describe how I’m doing today other than to say I’m struggling.
Over the weekend, the biggest terror attack inside the U.S. since 9/11 AND the deadliest hate crime against a gay target in American history, rolled into one, took place. Orlando, my heart, my prayers, my anger, my frustration, my confusion is with you.
Of course, love will win – but at the cost of how much? How many? It’s 2016 and we’re still trying to piece together peace and acceptance? It’s 2016 and the GOP candidate for president is, without question, a bigot – to say the least. It’s 2016 and hate crimes continue to occur and innocent, beautiful lives continue to be taken.
Of course, love will win. But when?
Should I, like I want to – like I believe I should be able to, encourage my kids to be true to themselves? Raise them to be proud of who they are – their gender, their sexual orientation, their nationality? Teach them not to be ashamed if there are people out there who don’t agree with whom they choose to love or who don’t believe them to be of equal value because their skin is too light or too dark? That’s what I want but, in the wake of what this nation has become, is it negligent to naïvely encourage my kids to be who they are? To teach them to exist boldly and proudly with no regard of what others may think of their existence?
Am I supposed to pretend the world isn’t full of hateful people? Am I supposed to pretend I’m not scared of who my kids will become – maybe of who they already are? Is it unfair for me to hope they aren’t internally conflicted in regards to their gender? Is it selfish or hateful of me to wish and hope and pray, for their own safety and the wholeness of my heart, that they end up being two very boring, very white, middle class straight men? Should I be ashamed that I’m relieved neither of my boys’ skin is as dark as mine?
Is it wrong that I actually woke up this morning and doubted that love could overcome what we have become? Because, the way I see it, we have become overrun by hate and entitlement and greed. And I have become selfish and scared and tired.
I selfishly want to keep my kids safe and happy and blind to the evils of this world.
I’m scared that I won’t be able to.
And I’m tired of being worried. But mostly I’m tired of living in a nation full of motherfuckers who can’t find acceptance in their hearts but have no problem finding weapons designed for mass killings, purchasing said weapons and shooting up night clubs/churches/schools and killing as many people as possible. For no good reason at all. Just blind hatred.
I can’t be the only one.
As a parent, I’m scared shitless.
As a member of this nation, I am furious.
As a human being, I am heartbroken and confused.
Of course, love will win – I hope.
But until then, I’ll just be over here trying to figure out how I’m supposed to raise my boys to be true to themselves and encourage others to do so without feeling like a giant liar.