(TW: mentions of violence, homophobia, and transphobia)
It can be so easy to feel that we are surrounded by hate.
Today I was watching the news and saw that Ginger Snap, a drag queen from San Francisco, was attacked last weekend while leaving the well-known gay bar SF Eagle. Anger, sorrow, fear, helplessness... it all churned within me. The worst of it was knowing that this was not an isolated incident.
Our right to exist, as we are, is constantly threatened, as hateful people see differences in attraction and gender nonconformity as invitations for spits, slurs, shouts... and, as seen in this case and many more, violence and even death.
We cannot let hate win.
Hate is poisonous; it expects us to accept the anger, the sorrow, the fear, the helplessness, to let it consume us. Hate is the force that tries to drown us in this barrel of toxic waste. Hate attacks us, tearing down our bodies, wanting us to conform and hate who we are.
During Pride, we recognize that hate holds a candle to the fiery power of love. Despite it all, we have that power to take the hate expected from us and replace it with the love that grows from ourselves.
This love grows in the form of self-care — learning to see ourselves not as invitations for insult, but as the radiant beings we are, worthy of love and care. *
It’s okay if learning this takes a while; a sapling does not grow into a tree in a day.
It starts with self-care.
Drink some water, eat some food, get some sunlight, because if you feel like you’re buried, you need to give yourself the chance to grow.
You weren’t buried, friend, but planted. Give yourself care, and you give yourself love.
LOVING YOURSELF IS THE GREATEST REVOLUTION.
It tells hate that it is powerless. That it cannot and will not tear us down.
And when we stand as a community, armed with self-care?
We will not let hate win.
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