Orlando II

One of several memorials at Philadelphia's City Hall. Taken after a vigil held on June 13, 2016 and hosted by Philly Dyke Walk

One of several memorials at Philadelphia’s City Hall. Candles lit at a vigil held on June 13, 2016 and hosted by Philly Dyke Walk | Snapped by Jessica Marie Johnson

When I’m anxious or sad or grieving or pissed…I curate. I am all of those things now. Things seen, read, and felt from here and there. Most of it reposted here from shares on FB and other sm, because those will disappear (because Facebook is a monster).

I don’t gather things to syllabust, although if that is useful to you, I’m glad. I gather things to witness and as testimony…


by be steadwell:

“…Maybe what we need in our lowest moments is to turn outward.  Maybe this is when we need music, love, and art to reclaim our humanity as individuals and as communities.  Connection.  My ability to be my full self comes from within, but it also comes from you.  I don’t know how else to say it-but I need my people.  I need love from my communities.  I need you.  Folks from DC, black folks, queer folks, women, weirdos, allies, and all combinations of magical, loving people.  I need you.  Come give me a hug.  Tell me what you want to cry about today.  Tell me what you’re joyful about today.  Tell me what being an artist looks like for you.  Call.  Invite me to your show, invite me to your home.  talk with me.  Truly.  I can use every whispered prayer I can get.  Maybe you could too….”

Be Steadwell | i need you.

Alfred Soto:

“…Shunned by friends, thrown out of their homes, banished to metaphorical cities on the plain, they find on crowded dance floors a sense of fellowship that is no less deep for being ephemeral. And, no, rhythm isn’t even required — that’s the point. We’re figuring ourselves out in those spaces, a beer at a time, yielding to that frisson triggered by a passing glance, a smile at the bar, an unexpected nudge on the floor itself. Even our Latin American straight brethren understand that hip-shaking and a faint loosening of the shoulders remain among the few permissible expiations of machismo. Just don’t remind them…”

Only When I’m Dancing Can I Feel This Free – MTV (H/T Tavia Nyong’o on Twitter)

Out of #Philly – Akyra Murray, rising college freshman, was the youngest killed in Orlando as of this posting. “To celebrate her graduation, Akyra Murray, her parents and her 4-year-old sister traveled to Orlando for a family vacation….”

Akyra Murray

Akyra Murray

West Catholic High School grad killed in Orlando shooting | 6abc.com


“Orlando is home to one of the nation’s largest, and growing, Puerto Rican communities. Otero said more than 20 Latino organizations are gathering in Orlando on Monday afternoon in front of the Hispanic Federation, under the umbrella name #SomosOrlando…”

Latino Community Hit Hard in Orlando Shootings, Most Victims Were Hispanic – NBC News


Justin Torres writes:

“Maybe your Ma blessed you on the way out the door. Maybe she wrapped a plate for you in the fridge so you don’t come home and mess up her kitchen with your hunger. Maybe your Tia dropped you off, gave you cab money home. Maybe you had to get a sitter. Maybe you’ve yet to come out to your family at all, or maybe your family kicked you out years ago. Forget it, you survived. Maybe your boo stayed home, wasn’t feeling it, but is blowing up your phone with sweet texts, trying to make sure you don’t stray. Maybe you’re allowed to stray. Maybe you’re flush, maybe you’re broke as nothing, and angling your pretty face barside, hoping someone might buy you a drink. Maybe your half-Latin-ass doesn’t even speak Spanish; maybe you barely speak English. Maybe you’re undocumented. “

In praise of Latin Night at the Queer Club | WaPo


Lynnée Denise:

“Part of why I love house so much is because it’s a cultural product of black and brown queer folks–we’ve been removed from its roots and now ‘all house lives matter.’ But house music is a sound I associate with safe spaces for queer bodies and yes, it’s not limited to the enjoyment of queer people, but boo, it’s a gift from us to the world. It breaks my heart to see so many producers and DJs who make their living from house music not offer a single word of compassion or solidarity during these times. Your lives would be different if queer people didn’t exist. Turn on some house music today and as you snap or clap, think of the fact that this is the sound of sexual liberation and the pulse of rhythmic queer resistance. Say thank you for how we’ve enriched your lives, 50 of us taken impacts millions at the core. We are the siblings of Frankie Knuckles and them…

On Facebook



Brenda Lee Marquez McCool

“Brenda Lee Marquez McCool went to Pulse on Saturday night as she often did, with her 21-year-old son, Isaiah Henderson. It was a favorite spot for the pair: He’s gay, and she still loved to dance — despite having 11 kids and beating cancer twice, Marquez McCool’s oldest daughter, Khalisha Pressley, told NBC News.”

Mother of 11 Dies in Orlando Massacre, Son Survives


Eddie Justice texted his mother from the bathroom.

Eddie Justice

Eddie Justice

Man who texted mom from Pulse restroom among the confirmed dead – Gay Star News


“pulse” by Alexis Pauline Gumbs


by Alexis Pauline Gumbs
(for the 50 and beyond)

i was going to see you
i was going to dance
in the same place with you someday
i was going to pretend not to notice
how you and your friends smiled
when you saw me and my partner
trying to cumbia to bachata
but i was going to feel more free anyway
because you were smiling
and we were together
and you had your stomach out
and you felt beautiful in your sweat

i was going to smile when i walked by
i was going to hug you the first time
a friend of a friend introduced us
i was going to compliment your shoes
instead of writing you a love poem
i was going to smile every time i saw you
and struggle to remember your name

we were going to sing together
we were going to belt out Selena
i was going to mispronounce everything
except for amor
and ay ay ay
i was going to covet your confidence and your bracelet
i was going to be grateful for the sight of you
i was going scream YES!!! at nothing in particular
at everything especially
meaning you
meaning you beyond who i knew you to be

i was going to see you in hallways
and be too shy to say hello
you were going to come to the workshop
you were going to sign up for the workshop and not come
you were going to translate the webinar
even though my politics seemed out there

we were going to sign up for creating change the same day
and be reluctant about it for completely different reasons
we were going to watch the keynotes
and laugh at completely different times

i was going to hold your hand in a big activity
about the intimacy of strangers
about the strangeness of needing prayer
we were going to get the same automated voice message
when we complained that it was not what it should have been

we were going to be standing in the same line
for various overpriced drinks
during a shift change
i was going to breathe loudly so you would notice me
you were going to compliment my hair

it isn’t fair
because we were going to work
to beyonce and rihanna
and the rihanna’s and beyonce’s to come
and the beyonce’s and rihanna’s after that

we were going to not drink enough water
and stay out later than our immune systems could handle
we were going to sit in traffic in each others blindspots
listening to top 40 songs that trigger queer memories
just outside the scope of marketing predictions

we were going to get old and i was going to wonder
about the hint of a tattoo i could see under your sleeve
i was going to blink and just miss
the fought-for laughter lines around your liner-loved eyes

i was going to go out for my birthday
but i didn’t
and you did

we were going to be elders
just because we were still around
and i was going to listen to you on a panel
we didn’t feel qualified for
and hear you talk about your guilt
for still being alive
when so many of your friends were taken
by suicide
by racist police
and jealous ex-lovers
and poverty
and no access to healthcare
and how you had a stable job
you suffered at until the weekend
how you avoided the drama
and only went to the club at pride
and so here you were with no one to dance with anymore

i was going to see you and forget you
and only remember you in my hips
and how my smile came easier than clenching my teeth eventually
and how i finally learned whatever it is i still haven’t learned yet
i was going to hear you laugh and not know why
and not care

our ancestors fought for a future
and we were both going to be there
until we weren’t

and i don’t know if it would hurt more
to lose you later after knowing you
i don’t know if it would hurt more
to know you died on your own day
by your own hands
or any of the other systems
that stalk you and me and ours forever

i only know the pain that i am having
and that you are not here to share it
you are not here to bear it
you were going to pass me a candle at the next vigil

but now i am pulse

and now you
are flame.

Black Feminism LIVES!




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