TW: murder, death, loss, anti-gay violence specifically: Rebecca Wight.
The Week of Action has finished its second run. I think 2013 was a successful year, albeit an emotional one. I did not end up writing the post for the final day of the Week yesterday, as I ended up on an impromptu Stories Project call with Judy Wight, whose story will be up on the site soon. For the seventh day, the theme was rainbow, which symbolizes hope and promise, and there were fifteen people I felt best fit that color: Jadin Bell, Paige Clay, Guilherme de Souza, John Lloyd Griffin, Billy Lucas, Cameron McWilliams, Puja Mondal, Andritha Morifi, Chanelle Pickett, Jack Reese, Bobby Saha, Gisberta Salce Jr., Tommy Lee Trimble, Kenneth Weishuhn Jr., and Cassandra Zapata. I wish I’d had the energy to write out their tributes – I will say here, as I did on the previous post, that we lost fifteen lives that were beautiful and valuable and irreplaceable.
Today was not an easy day. It never is, not for me – and I know that whatever I experience around this date and this time of year is nothing close to what those who knew Rebecca must experience. This date to me is a long constant reminder that people die due to anti-LGBT violence and I could have been one of them if things had turned out slightly differently. I was upset and in tears for most of the day, and I made sure I removed myself from my house come five, six, six-thirty in the afternoon. I had to go out and distract myself, remove myself from this room which has pictures of her on the Week of Action display and 105 names on the mirror. My continued existence is reminder enough that I could be dead because people have a problem with LGBT people – I don’t need the extra triggers. I don’t like this date and I don’t like this time of year. But now, I feel like the date has passed, and I can move forward again. It’s been another year, it’s been twenty-five years, and I suppose I expected this to weigh on me a little more today, but now, the date is behind us for another year. It’s been twenty-five years. It’s behind me again. I can breathe. I can move forward again. I can remember her life instead of being forced to focus on her death. I can keep going.
I appreciate the efforts of everyone who took part in this year’s event, and I do hope you will tell me what you did for the Week. Words cannot express how much I appreciate all of the wonderful supportive comments I’ve received on my story – you all have convinced me it was the right choice to make. I will conclude the event in saying, rest in peace and power to all 105 individuals who were memorialized this year, and rest in peace and power to Rebecca Wight, the person without whom I would not be alive to be doing this.