A Long Time Ago and Very Far Away

I’ve meant to write about the mass murder in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL for almost a week now. I’ve almost stopped crying for long enough to write something coherent, or as coherent as I get.

A long time ago, right after I left college, I lived in the New York metropolitan area. I had been out, more or less, for about 8 years by that point and figured out that I was bi. I was working in the service department of a big electronics chain, in the service shop doing quality control before the repaired equipment went out to the customers. My coworkers and I became a lot like a family. We’d go out together on the weekends or hang out at our boss’ apartment on a Saturday afternoon.

One week, one of my QC coworkers talked about the club his friend worked in on the weekends. Now this guy was a DJ himself and created a lot of mixes that we’d listen to at lunch. This club was supposed to be the best, only open on Friday and Saturday nights, and you could get a membership for either one night or the other. Sadly, I can’t remember which night it was anymore; if you know, tell me in the comments. We all went to the business office one day after work. Got our pictures taken and answered one question – “Are you gay?”

That was the first time I said “yes, I am” out loud.

The club was amazing. A huge warehouse space in downtown Manhattan. It didn’t open until relatively late, but made up for it by staying open until sunrise or so. The house DJ, my coworker’s friend, saved his best work for us. Dancing, mango juice at the juice bar, other things… Those were wonderful weekends. Even when I was with my by-then abusive girlfriend, I never remember not feeling safe.

And all these years later, in a different club hundreds of miles away, some asshole with a machine gun took someone else’s feeling of safety away.

We’re hearing more and more about the murderer. I don’t care about him. I care very much about the people he murdered, the people who are recovering physically in the hospital, and the people who will spend the rest of their lives recovering emotionally. I hope that the survivors are safe and will heal someday. biheart

I made this when we heard the news, after a couple of beers. It’s from the LGBT Pride Hearts pattern by Hannah W on Ravelry. The bi colors are for obvious reasons; there are directions for other flag colors with the pattern. It’s free, so have at it.