Central spot for information and help:
Hampton Inn 43 Columbia St. (right across from ORMC)
Official Help line number: 407-246-4357.
Counseling for the families at the Hamptons
and going forward at Orlando UU Church.
(Information posted via seminary classmate 6/12/16)
I had a different idea for my first official blog post on this website. It was not supposed to be this kind of post. It never is. However, that isn't what happened. The massacre in Orlando is on my mind and heart--along with my whole community.
I'm still in shock so the words aren't going to come out smoothly. My emotions are raw and spilling out all over the place. What I realize is that it could've been me in that bar that night. Everyone in the queer community is aware of this. Everyone.
I felt compelled to be at each venue.
I'm sharing my reflections from each one with a slideshow of lanterns at the bottom.
Not sure what I hope to gain from this--maybe just a place to share my thoughts.
There is also a call to action below the slideshow.
The Lansing Association of Human Rights (LAHR) hosted the candlelight vigil at the State Capitol Building. It was a moving event beginning with the cast of "Rent" (from local theater production) to come sing, "Seasons of Love" which brought everyone to tears if--we weren't already crying. We heard from Mayor Virg Bernero, the director of LAHR, and then Rev. Nicolette Siragusa led the spiritual portion ending in prayer and silence. There was hugging, checking in with each other, and making sure people were getting the care they needed. This is the heart of the community which can't be destroyed--as fragile as it is.
I headed over to the campus of Michigan State University where folks were gathering at The Rock. It's a place on campus where a whole host of organizations have painted the famous symbol for a wide variety of causes and events. Student leaders from the Academic Orientation Program (AOP), beginning on June 13th, typically paint The Rock the night before orientation begins. This meant that The Rock was already "reserved." However, staff from the LBGT Resource Center worked with these student leaders to create the memorial pictured above. It was a beautiful collaboration of organizations with a common goal: to mark this time in history. I'm sure it looked different from what they imagined they would be painting and they will be different due to this experience. There is beauty in that.
We all stood silent watching the lights go up in the sky. I stayed a while to watch the drag show as I knew one of the queens personally. When all was said and done--I was wrung out! Maybe there is more to say but I just can't find the words right now. In the mean time, I will be focusing on gathering people together and working on this thing called love--which is a work in progress for me...