I help out with the LGBTQA affinity group at school. It’s called United and after Orlando, we decided to send a message to the kids. Below is that message.
We now know that the shooting early Sunday morning at the Pulse in Orlando is the biggest mass shooting in American history. The country is rallying around our community, sending their thoughts and prayers out to those affected at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando.
Sunday was a hard day for many of us. I encourage you to reach out to us, a counselor, or your parents.
How are we, your faculty, getting through this tough time?
- Limiting our time reading the news. It’s gut-wrenching news that is best consumed in small doses.
- We’re highly selective in choosing our news outlets. Sources I trust include Huffington Post, the BBC, and Al Jazeera.
- Scrolling past and not engaging in the hateful rhetoric we read.
- Donating blood if we qualify. The Red Cross here in Atlanta lists their eligibility requirements on their website. It is true what you’ve read that gay men who’re sexually active are barred from donating, making this time especially painful.
- Attending a vigil. People are coming together to remember the dead and console the living. If you’re considering going to one, you may want to attend We Are Orlando: Vigil and Community Gathering at the Center for Civil and Human Rights on Tuesday night at 7pm. In this difficult time, gathering with community can be a great comfort.
- Reaching out to our friends — in person and online — to talk. I encourage y’all to reach out to each other for support.
With the world asking how they can help, Instagram user @adriennemareebrown said it well, “listen to queer people of color. This hate crime happened in diverse Orlando at Latinx night at the Pulse. That very much matters.”
Also, you may hear folks suggesting that this was an act of Islamic terror. Please don’t believe the rhetoric. I love how David Klion on Twitter said it: “There will be attempts to pit two vulnerable communities, LGBT and Muslims, against each other. Resist them.”
Above all, know that you are loved, you are safe, and that you are going to be ok.
If you or a friend need immediate help and are feeling depressed, suicidal or all alone, PLEASE call 404-730-1600 in Atlanta, a local 24 hour Mental Health Helpline or the Trevor Helpline at 866-488-7386, a 24 hour GLBTQ Youth Crisis Hotline Line. Both are free and 100% confidential. Talk to a trained counselor that will help you find local resources. If you want to talk to another LGBT youth, call the Peer Listening Line at 800-399-7337. It is staffed Monday-Friday from 5:00 PM till 10:00 PM ET.
And all your other LGBT Faculty
Thanks for sharing Megan. Will pass along to our friends group. At school. Sending love and prayers
Amy, happy I could help. Teachers, much like parents, have a unique responsibility to look out for the kids while simultaneously looking out for ourselves.
Thank you for sharing this. As the only open resource for the kids in my building I wasn’t sure exactly what to say. This helps so much.
You’re welcome. I struggle, too and my colleagues are responsible for the good bits like limiting your news reading. Hear the back story on how this letter got written in Anne Schwartz’s special episode of Tales From the Chalkline.
-Megan “if you want hugs, go to the English Dept” HG
Beautiful. Your students are so lucky to have all of you. If only I had had teachers like you all when I was a kid. I know how scary these days have been as a grown-up, I can only imagine how much scarier they must be for students. It is time to gather close and hold each other up. Thank you for leading the way for so many to do just that.
Reblogged this on united and commented:
Here are some thoughts on Orlando that I sent to our affinity kids. –HG
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