Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Orlando. Jesus. I have nothing to say that will be in any way new or incisive. I have not got the right to say very much at all – I am straight and white and this is not about me. But here are some extraordinary, beautiful things:

  • The solidarity rally in London’s Soho was attended by Sadiq Khan, our new mayor (try to picture Boris Johnson doing that.)
  • Over 2,500 people attended in total. Here is a photograph of Old Compton Street from above:

old-comp-st

  • A friend of mine wrote this on Facebook. I can’t improve on it. “To all my friends in the LGBTQ+ community…you are so loved. I’m thinking about you right now and sending a metric fuckton of hugs and kisses your way. I wish we all lived in a world where you could feel safe to dance with and love and kiss whoever you wanted, wherever you wanted. I wish I could give that to you, but I can’t. All I can do is let you know that I’m not ever going to stop being here for you. Stay loud and proud as fuck—I’m going to be right behind you, fighting alongside you every step of the way. To those who are searching for a scapegoat out of grief and rage, please remember that one man does not stand for or speak for his entire community or religion. Don’t fight hate with ignorance; be compassionate and listen.”
  • Here’s a Tumblr called the Queer Muslim Project. It’s fantastic, and in less than ten minutes of scrolling through it, I felt my own expectations and prejudices challenged. (“But he doesn’t look Muslim…but she doesn’t look gay.” And then “…oh.”) Go look at it.

It seems, frankly, churlish and ridiculous to talk about anything else at the moment. All of the minor problems and developments of one’s own life look so irrelevant when you pick up a copy of the Evening Standard and the leading article is headlined with the last text message of a man hiding in a bathroom, knowing he’s about to die. There is, however, one other thing I read last week that I loved, so here it is, as an aside:

There are so many quotes that resonated with me from this Bryony Gordon article about mental illness and love, but my absolute favourite is: “It wasn’t fireworks and drama – it was a warm front moving in after winter. It was the realisation that drama was not the key to happiness.” I probably talk about this stuff (being crazy, hating yourself, destructive relationships, changing that cycle) too much, but at least one other woman is talking about it too.

Love yourselves, love others, don’t let the bastards win.

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8 thoughts on “Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

  1. “I have not got the right to say very much at all – I am straight and white and this is not about me. ”

    I know it’s no time for pedantry, but why bring your whiteness into this as a way of disqualifying yourself from speaking? Many whites were among the victims in Orlando. One account I read mentioned that he was specifically targeting the white people in the club. Not everything is an occasion for white apologetics.

    • Perhaps I should have been clearer – most of the names that I saw in the paper that I read (and I admit that I’ve only read one feature-length article about the shooting, partly because rolling news on websites has broken the story up into little chunks) were Hispanic, and I understood that the club was known particularly as a space where queer people of colour congregated. Orlando’s a pretty racially diverse city anyway, with a high proportion of Hispanic residents (as many places in the American South are.) You’re right in that my whiteness doesn’t, strictly speaking, need to be brought in as a disqualifier; my sexual orientation alone would make it self-centered of me to foreground my reactions to a tragedy in an already-oft-targeted community that I’m not a part of.

  2. Thanks for the link to the Queer Muslim Project – it sucked me in for a while, and made me realize how much I just like to read about people; everyone has a story.

  3. And here was my shallow weekly update… *sigh* I agree, it’s beyond comprehension. I think what I struggle with the most is that nothing changes in the US regarding gun ownership and I hate to think what it will take to make it change.

  4. I am very worried about the direction the US is taking, too…my eldest son loves that he took refuge in Europe many years ago (in the 1990s) and comes back here only to visit. When he and his wife visited this summer, after being away for eight years, he was appalled by visible reminders of how much guns have taken over here. And that the possible new electorate have no plans to make any changes any time soon.

    Rant over….here’s MY BOOKISH THURSDAY POST

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