Last Sunday we awoke ready for a road trip up to Hamilton Pool Nature Preserve with some friends of the family for swimming fun, sandwiches and snacks in the sun. This didn’t happen after all.
After brewing some cafesito, each of the girls and Erika stumbled out of bed in their chones and before I could finish my first cup, we were all sitting around the living room, feeling blue from the news of George Zimmerman being found not guilty of the murder of Trayvon Martin’s death. This also brought up the conversation of our lesbian, Portland, TX neighbors, Mollie Olgin and Kristene Chapa, who were violently shot execution style and left for dead, in June of 2012. “They still haven’t found the killer,” Baby K said, “Why is it taking so long?” What do we answer? How do we answer those questions? Trayvon Martin was walking around minding his own business, like Mollie and Kristene, when he was followed and profiled by Zimmerman. He had done absolutely nothing criminal when Zimmerman decided to get out of the car to approach him. This resulted in Trayvon defending himself and then later the fatal shooting that would leave our young, black hermano dead. Seconds later Zimmerman would say, “”F—— punks. “These a–holes, they always get away.” Where is the humanity in this man’s voice? There isn’t any – proof in my heart that he had premeditated hatred and ill will.
Seriously? Where is the humanity? Where is the humanity in the voices of young bullies who made Carlos Vigil commit suicide because he was made to feel unworthy to live after they called him “a fag, a freak and a loser?”
We have all felt and seen discrimination, up close, for being lesbian mothers, lesbian latinas, lesbians! or children of lesbians. For the sake of not reliving some of the most painful memories, I will not retell those we are still healing from here, but just say there have been many. The latest incident was at the mall while we walked by a line of shoppers in front of an ice cream shop. One family in line pointed at us, with extreme disgust on their faces. All four of us stared at them until we walked on by, Erika and I, hand in hand and the girls under our arms. Did it feel good? No. Do we know we have to continue to be ourselves on a daily basis? Yes. We choose to live our lives, as OUR lives, honestly, truly, lovingly and with our heads held up high. We also recognize we are lucky to be loved by so many great family, friends and community, as well. And, we recognize that there are too many people out there who are feeling unsafe, alone, left out, shunned or forgotten.
Sunday, in the safety of our home, we allowed our shoulders to drop, we allowed ourselves to feel down, to feel defeated, to feel like justice has still not been able to find a way to recognize that profiling based on race, gender, and sexual orientation is a reality and a truth. I remember when I was in the classroom, as a teacher, being profiled as a pedophile because I was an out Lesbian. Teachers would tell me, “Keep the door open when you are tutoring the girls because then people will think you are having relations with them.” Or, I was not allowed to take girls on field trips without a male teacher because, “Then parents won’t feel safe that you are with their daughters.” Yet, the male teacher across the hall was married to his past female drum major (then only 19 and he was well over 40.) True story. In college, a group of kids from our Bible study wrote on my car, “you are going to hell” and they smeared dog shit on my windows for everyone on campus to see. I was too afraid to do anything then but I know who it was to this day, and at this point I have to leave that action up to karma and let the pain go, but the truth live. Hate exists in this world. We are not protected from the violence it projects but we are able to defeat it every moment by illuminating love and peace as often as possible.
We decided to stay home on Sunday; ate breakfast together, made lunch together, laid on the hammock together, did yoga in our chones on the living room floor together, and we made an offering of water and flowers to the spirit of those lost because of hatred.
It was a much needed day of remembering, healing, strengthening and loving. Ometeotl.
Dedicated to all of our familia, friends and supporters of LOVE. Please be kind to yourself, to your memories, to your heart, to your body and to the earth. Being the best person you are will inevitable spread love and support to the people that need you. They will show up in your path and your light will strengthen them.
2013 (c) Anel I. Flores