TW: death, loss.
Day five of the Week of Action and I don’t have much to say. It definitely feels that the Week is winding down. The atmosphere of the event felt calm and relaxed – I suppose that’s appropriate given that the theme is blue to represent serenity and harmony. It rained a significant amount today, just as it did yesterday. It’s interesting to me to see just how drastically different each day is – Monday I felt so supported and moved by the reaction I received to my story, Tuesday I was inconsolable due to being triggered, Wednesday carried the remnants of Tuesday but reenergized me to work on the Stories Project, Thursday was electric, and Friday has been tranquil and calm. I sent those letters for the Stories Project. I made it one more day than I made it last year – in 2012, the tributes ended on day four. I finished Rebecca’s and I was done. Other than that, there is not much to report today.
The theme was blue, which symbolizes serenity and harmony, and fifteen people are memorialized specifically today. In no particular order, they are: Roxanne Ellis, Charlie Howard, August Provost, Brandon Teena, Coko Williams, Josh Pacheco, Nireah Johnson, Brandon Elizares, Stephanie Thomas, Barry Winchell, Mollie Olgin, Dano Fetty, Jody Dobrowski, Danny Overstreet, and Zoliswa Nkonyana.
When the world lost Roxanne Ellis, we lost a woman with a tremendous capacity to love and be loved.
When the world lost Charlie Howard, we lost someone who could have made something great of himself and his life had he the chance to.
When the world lost August Provost, we lost a man who needed only to live one year more to see the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the policy under which he could have been discharged had he reported the harrassment he faced.
When the world lost Brandon Teena, we lost his courage and his refusal to accept the violence he faced.
When the world lost Coko Williams, we lost her simple respect and acceptance for other people, regardless of their choices or paths in life.
When the world lost Josh Pacheco, we lost his kind heart and care for the people in his life, and his sensitivity for the feelings of others.
When the world lost Nireah Johnson, we lost a woman who was my age and from a town thirty minutes from my own when she was killed. Not in a faraway, distant location, but right here in the home state we shared.
When the world lost Brandon Elizares, we lost the bright prospects the future held for him. When I was a 16-year-old sophomore, I discovered just how much I could do with my future – it’s incredibly sad he will not be able to.
When the world lost Stephanie Thomas, we lost her determination and insistence upon living the way she wanted to live, even in the face of opposition she faced from a young age.
When the world lost Barry Winchell, we lost his committment to defend freedom, independence, and his fellow Americans. We lost his pledge to prevent the same sort of acts that ended his life from happening to someone else.
When the world lost Mollie Olgin, we lost her bubbliness and pride in herself and the direction her life was heading.
When the world lost Dano Fetty, we lost a fun, loving, and caring individual who left a definite impact on those who knew him well.
When the world lost Jody Dobrowski, we lost his kind nature, his intelligence, his value in hard work, and all of the ways he would have used those aspects of himself to make the world better.
When the world lost Danny Overstreet, we lost his happiness and exuberance, his warm spirit and his love for people.
When the world lost Zoliswa Nkonyana, we lost a woman who was not afraid to insist upon being treated as an equal human being.