This morning I woke up feeling numb. I came downstairs, made coffee, fed our pets and tried to step away from the news and unplug. But I found myself sitting here, in front of my computer, writing.
I write because it makes me feel connected to other people. And connecting with other people gives me hope. Hope that we’ll hear and understand each other. Hope that we’ll find a way to ensure everyone feels welcomed and valued. But as a gay person, and a person who values black and brown lives and who cares about women and our rights to our own bodies, it’s difficult to feel that hope today.
Everyone needs time and space to feel things and process emotions in a way that works best for them. And today, I need that space to be quiet. I need room to listen, to try to understand and to try to make a plan for how to move forward and support the people around me who feel unsafe and unprotected in their homes.
I know this site is a respite from stress and world issues for so many of you, and I’m truly sorry that we can’t be that today. Tomorrow we’ll resume normally scheduled content, but today I am overwhelmed with the need to be silent. To listen to the people around me and to hold their fears, their sadness, their frustration and their concerns in a way that creates connection and understanding.
I have no desire to hold and feel only the concerns and voices of people who share my points of view. I have spent the last two years living in a rural area that has fundamentally different points of view on many issues that are important to me. The adjustment was difficult, but in this moment, I am reminded yet again that my job is to reflect and tell the stories of everyone in our community.
I do not and will not support stories that seek to promote racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, or any other viewpoint that represses people based on their identity. But I am committed to doing good work here- work that includes being dedicated to broadening and expanding our platform to make room for people from different backgrounds and with different points of view. I believe that when we understand each other, progress happens. And while it’s very difficult for me to feel that this morning, I believe that the people I’ve been connecting with on the road for the past two months and the people I’ve gotten to know here online over the past 12 years have good in them, and good work to be done.
I understand anyone who feels overcome with fear, anger, anxiety or disappointment today. I feel all of those feelings today, too. I wish there was an image, a quote or some perfect turn of phrase I could share to make us all feel a little bit better, but there isn’t one. I think today is a day for connecting with our communities, hearing each other’s concerns and fears and trying to find a way to make a plan to move forward supporting each other and ensuring our safety and rights. I do not pretend to know the right way to do that, but I promise that I will always here to listen, to support and to do the work. –Grace