I didn't expect to feel unsafe. I knew I was at risk of harm. I mean, come on, I'm a queer therapist who identifies as under the trans umbrella and lives in a fairly conservative town. I didn't expect that when the killing at the Pulse began and ended, in a sea of dead queer and trans and ally bodies, I would feel as though my own body was strewn among the wreckage.
But I did.
It could have been me or my loved ones.
Even though I am not Latinx and it was Latinx Pride night.
Even though I don't enjoy the bar scene and rarely stay out late anymore.
Even though I don't live in Orlando.
I love to dance and although it doesn't come up in my work often as a psychologist, I love music. I love people. I love my queerness. I love a strong beat. I love feeling safe. I love my community(ies).
I recognize the racism at play when the blog and meme posts I first saw about the shooting at Pulse didn't mention it was Latino Pride night. AS IF Latinx people are not people at all.
I recognize the silence of my neighbors in my current community. They way they are working on their lawns (yes, even here in drought-ridden Southern California) or hiring undocumented Latino workers to work on their lawns as if nothing ever happened.
I hear the silence loud and clear of my colleagues who asked how my weekend was?!
My weekend was a bloodbath. It was a river of tears.
My weekend was realizing that San Diego is not so far from Orlando, that my queer body and your queer body are both bodies.
Now that the weekend is over, I am filled with a longing to reach out to others. For community. For comfort. For light. For hope. To spread light. And love. And community. And solace.
And so, I blog. I have asked colleagues and friends and strangers to share their responses and to ask for what they want from their communities, both near and far. I will share their words and name them if they want to be named.
We are the ones who are still here and while we cannot speak for those we have lost, we must still speak out.
I am here, on this blog, as a community member and a psychologist but not as your psychologist. If you seek my clinical services and make your home in California, please do contact me at 619-403-5578 as I have plenty of room to hear your story and your vision for your life and work with you to find the hope to continue on.
In solidarity and with voice,
Dr. Abi Weissman