I can’t recall if I’ve eaten since the shooting. I know I’ve walked to the store to buy food and I vaguely remember the weight of the groceries as I carried them home. But I’m not sure if I’ve eaten.
Like a snake that empties its stomach when frightened, for faster escape, I fear food will slow me down.
I’ve been trapped in fight-or-flight for two solid days, and I am not a fighter.
I look normal. The same. Like nothing’s happened. But inside I’m drowning in a roiling sea of fear and adrenaline.
And I still have so much baggage, so many years of erasure to let go of, part of me broken by straight people asks if I even have the right to grieve. Am I gay enough to mourn the dead? To feel this dread? To be so trapped in my own screaming mind?
And does that mean I’m gay enough to kill? To hunt down and exterminate like the vermin you told me I am?
This doesn’t feel like “it gets better”. It feels like it’s gotten worse.
Is this what I came out for? To watch my brothers and sisters slain?
I cannot eat. I cannot sleep. I cannot think for one moment without thinking of this.
I have sobbed openly in front of my child, who doesn’t know how he can help. He can’t. I don’t want to break his heart by telling him.
My own broken heart is burden enough, yet the straight cis world around me goes on as if nothing happened. As if this attack on my family never was.