Prayers and Thoughts

“This was an attack on all of us.”
“We are with you in this tragedy.”
Prayers and thoughts;
Prayers and thoughts.
Multi-colored flags,
and hashtags.

Bathrooms still barred.
Cakes left unbaked.
Wedding certificates remain unsigned.

The gun still smoking;
damnation preparing to once again roll off the tongue
into Bibles and sound-bytes.

But today they see my humanness.
Today my blood overshadows the stories told by my sheets.
Today I am not sin personified.

And thank God for those prayers and thoughts;
Those multicolored flags;
Those hashtags.

-Chelsea Jackson


One of the best pieces of advice I have gotten as poet is to let my work speak for itself, and not feel the need to explain its meaning.  But in regards to this piece I will say only one thing.  This poem comes after the tragedy in Orlando, a tragedy that we should be talking about, thinking about and praying about.

However, this tragedy also comes on the heels of decades of rampant homophobia in U.S American society.  This homophobia is fueled by the public as a whole as well as U.S Christianity.  And this homophobia have led to many other hate crimes, deaths and suicides before Orlando.

The hate, judgement and dehumanization of the LGBTQI community that has permeated society for years cannot be separated from the Orlando shooting, no matter who pulled the trigger.  We cannot dehumanize LGBTQI persons, damn them to hell, and politicize their bodies, only to see their humanity and call for their depoliticization when they are murdered for being who they are; who we as a society have shamed them for being.  So yes, keep using those hashtags and flags, and keep sending your prayers and thoughts, those are important. But let’s do more.  Let’s change our culture of rampant, dangerous and deadly homophobia.


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