One Rise, One Fall: Organizing, resisting, and grieving for Pulse by SONG

We were closing out the last day of our largest annual membership gathering of the year, SONG Gaycation, when we got the news. Nearly everyone of us slept in a little that morning. We turned over to our long-term lovers, our crushes, our best friends, and we slumbered to the dining hall for breakfast and goodbyes. Nobody remembers who heard the news about the massacre of our LGBTQ kin in a gay bar in Orlando first, but it spread quickly filling us with questions, with sadness, with fury. We glued ourselves to our phones hoping the service was good enough to find out more, to find out if our close friends and family were in that gay bar, to let other people know that we weren’t. We watched the body count rise over the hours. We stared at each other and hugged each other. We rubbed each others backs. We floated around wondering what to do with ourselves in the eerie air. We cried, a lot. We built an altar to hold space for our grieving as best as we could. We remembered the night before many of us were dancing with one another in a dusty old lodge, sharing tales of coming out by the fire, flirting, listening to our elders share stories of coming home to gay bars and the lovers and orgasms they would never forget. Gaycation has always been a place of joy and celebration, one of the many places of sanctuary we’ve created together from the multi-racial, intergenerational kinship network that is SONG.

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