My cousin, proud lesbian activist who lives in Oakland, CA wrote this poignant message in response to my invitation to join Pink Panthers! Welcome to the Pink Panthers pride, Jana with lotsa love.
I’m 100% down. We’re going to need civil disobedience now more than ever. We’re also going to need music and dancing, and art, and lives worth living. We’re all still reeling over the loss of up to 40 young, creative (and many queer) lives to the fire here in Oakland. Already the artists and kids are being blamed instead of the urban housing crises and the society that abandoned them. We create “safe” spaces for our community in otherwise dangerous venues and neighborhoods because that’s all we have access to.
I counted my blessings as close friends got in touch or marked themselves “safe” on Facebook, but we all know it could have been any of us. Many are still desperately searching for friends and family, hoping they were out of town or lost their cellphones. I’m sad and I’m angry and I’m disappointed and piling all that on top of similar feelings regarding the election, I’m overwhelmed. I plan to devote more time and energy to supporting those who would build loving artistic communities amongst the rubble of late-stage capitalism. I plan to fight politically and socially against those who would like to see us go quietly into the night. I am down to do whatever it takes.
Your Loving Cousin,
Let’s do this! Let’s make a difference and protect our LGBTQ community.