Community.

In the wake of everything (and I know this doesn’t offer any solution to systemic oppression), I just want every single one of my queer, trans, and LGBTQ+ siblings to know that I love you and I see you and I’m here for you. I’m here for every single person who identifies as queer or a part of the LGBTQ+ community, including queer and LGBTQ+ Muslims. To those who are queer AND Muslim in today’s world, I hear you, I hear you, and you belong in the queer/LGBTQ+ community just as much as anyone else.

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To all those who are struggling right now or at any point in the future, find community and be present with each other. Community and chosen families are so important, especially at a time of loss and grief. It can be easy, for me at least, to feel alone and isolated but there are so many people out in the world who are ready to be there for you. When I was first coming out in college, I was only able to do that because of the community I had found and in the wake of the mass shooting this past weekend and so much  more, the community I do have has been really amazing.

I also have been thinking a lot about violence that is currently happening in the US and how that for the LGBTQ+ community, it’s the further marginalized that suffer even more. Trans women of color are the most likely out of the community to be killed; many of those who died at Pulse this weekend were queer and trans people of color; Pride came from a police riot started by trans women.

What I’m really feeling right at this point is how much I don’t want the intersections of identities to be lost in the midst of our loss and grief. We should feel sorrow, grief, and so much more in the wake of this past weekend’s shooting – that I do not want to downplay. Let’s stand together as a community but not erase the realities that people face because of intersecting identities and oppression.

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