I am nobody. I am a single voice in a world of billions. When I speak, you cannot hear me above the sound of your own apathy and ignorance. You are too busy to take the time to listen. So I speak louder. I raise my voice above the norm and hope that it will reach you. I scream until my lungs can take no more, but you still hear nothing. I cry out in frustration and anger.
SEE ME. HEAR ME. FEEL ME. I need you to know and to understand.
But you can’t. Or maybe you won’t. I don’t exist outside of my direct impact on your life. So life goes on. For you. You go to parties, go shopping, and take enough Instagram photos to line the pages of a thousand albums, while I remain stuck where I am, watching as hate propagates and lives are forever altered. I’m chained to the very same spot, desperately hoping that this time I’ll break through; this time my voice will carry; this time the world will hear me.
I am your brother, your son, your cousin, your coworker, your best friend and yet, I am nobody. I do not matter because you do not allow me to matter.
When will I matter? When will you hear me? When the gunshot echoes through the room and metal meets bone? When my silence joins your own?
You need to listen. You need to hear the things that you aren’t ready or willing to hear. Before it’s too late. Before I am just another cold body in the ground, remembered not as a person, but as another statistic. You can choose to ignore me, to pretend that you can’t hear me, but I will not stop speaking. I will not stop screaming until my organs fail or you deign to listen, whichever comes first.
I have seen the worst of this world and I ache with feelings that I can’t even articulate yet because I haven’t had enough time to process what’s happened. I am heartbroken. I am inconsolable. I am outraged. All I can think about is how angry I am.
I’m angry that I’m afraid to hold my boyfriend’s hand in public.
I’m angry that my family needs to worry about my safety at gay pride events.
I’m angry that my sexual orientation precludes me from donating blood when my brothers and sisters are bleeding out.
I’m angry that forty-nine men and women were slaughtered in an act of hate.
I’m angry that young men and women will stay closeted because we have given life to their fears.
I’m angry that I can be fired in the majority of the United States based solely on who I love.
I’m angry that you’re changing the narrative to suit your own agenda.
I’m angry that you vote for people who demonize, belittle, and deny my existence.
I’m angry that you you think “tolerance” is the message we need to teach our children.
I’m angry that you think I chose this.
I’m so unbelievably angry and I’m so unbelievably tired of being angry. But the anger, the outrage, the heartbreak are all I have because you can’t hear me. I am nobody. I am a single voice in a world of billions and I am falling on deaf ears.
Maybe one day you’ll listen.
My heart goes out to the people in Orlando, the loved ones of those we’ve lost, and to everyone else who has been affected by this act of hate. I have nothing but love for all of you. The loss of even one life is a loss for us all.
Until next time…stay classy.