pain

The Orlando Attack: Whether You’re Gay Or Not, This Matters

Artwork by Eritrea Studio

Artwork by Eritrea Studio

I cannot bring myself
to fall back on expressions like
‘my heart goes out’
or ‘I stand in solidarity’
or ‘Peace for Orlando’
although my heart does go out, I
stand in complete solidarity and I
want peace for Orlando and everywhere else,
but this has escalated much beyond that,
an oozing madness that is bent
on consuming what soul the world has left.
Fifty killed and fifty-three injured,
safely wrapped statistics on a page, convicted by a charge of
‘you’re guilty of being who you are’
People who bleed too many colors,
refuse to be tamed and chained
by a society that still cringes at the word ‘gay’
and it’s incredible unreality
verging on criminality,
as though
love must come
in prescribed shapes and sizes
for it to be validated,
as though the galaxy of love
approves only of certain stars,
as though
the kind of love that must ‘come out’
should stay hidden forever
to prevent
safety and society issues.
The world needs to pause and look
at its tremendous progress
and pause again and look again
to realize that is all worthless
in the face of terror and hate, how
we pledge to become agents of change
but falter every time,
choosing the easier way out
less complicated
less controversial
safer,
we have the words stuck to the roof of our mouths
but we are afraid
to speak them, so this is a plea
for speaking out,
speaking up,
speaking, at least,
for the sake of humanity.
You don’t have to be gay to feel
ashamed of what has become of this world.
You only have to be human.
You only have to have a little empathy
to feel the wounds
cut through your skin,
inside, outside,
we are all similarly wounded.
Written by Swastika Jajoo