Dear Queer Love,
Lately, I've taken to crying again in the mornings. These fits of tears had left me for a moment, but they've come back like a cherished friend who wants nothing more than to be by your side.
There is quite a bit to cry about, which is partly why they've returned. I listened to the oral arguments in the 303 Creative case at the Supreme Court yesterday, which means hearing all the ways people slice and dice hate due to their religion and personal beliefs. This case, which has no facts for it is all a hypothetical situation, reveals what people will do to make their hate legal. And this is just one case in a series of cases that continues to undue what mere modest progress we've made on trans rights, reproductive rights, and civil rights.
It is also the deep grief I feel for the loss of my queer brother Daniel and my dad, too. Mementos are everywhere, and touching them brings both memory and forgetfulness. I strain to remember details. What was the exact timber of Dan's laugh? Were my dad's hands as rough as I remember them? Or I worry about things I can never know. How much pain did the cancer bring? Or my mind draws a blank while tears flow.
One sadness triggers another, and I taste salt water upon my tongue. It's as if I'm in the sea, barely treading, searching for the horizon which I cannot find. But this sea is familiar, and while I may be barely treading I remember that if I can just calm myself down I can float and maybe even rest a bit. My sadness while all around me does not need to consume me. It hasn't yet.
When I calm myself just a bit, I notice that I am not alone in this sea. There are myriad others alongside me. Some are treading; others floating. Some are drowning, and still others are doing whatever they can to make sure those thrashing about find just enough ease to tread instead.
This calmness reveals interdependence--how the actions I take cause the waters to stir or to still around me, which causes others to tread, float, thrash, or sink--and it makes me more intentional about my thoughts, words, and actions. I become more gracious and forgiving of others and with myself, too. I slow down and make room for rest. And I show up to support others with a more open heart more frequently.
I love this weird, queer life I have created that allows me to be all of who I want, need, and desire to be. That doesn't judge or shame fits of tears. That reminds me to slow my breath when spinning in spirals. That gives me the capacity to show up for, with, and alongside my fellow Queerdos and comrades with an open heart ready for change.
Thanks Queer Love for giving me a way to write about grief. I look forward to more letters to you through out 2023! We've only just begun, and there is so much Queer Love to spread.
In camaraderie & solidarity & artistry & Queer Love,
Dear Queer Love is a new column by San Francisco anti-binary writer, artist, facilitator, and mystic Jason Wyman.
In Fall 2020, Wyman and their father, Michael "Mike" James Wyman, started writing letters back and forth to each other during his final months living with mantle cell non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Mike wanted to share the letters publicly, so others could learn how a father and their child were trying to heal generational wounds. No words were left unspoken between Jason and Mike before Michael James Wyman died on December 26, 2020.
The letters, their intimacy, and Mike's death was a profoundly moving experience, one that ignited in Jason a deep love of letter writing as a way to poetically share their most intimate and vulnerable thoughts, feelings, and being. Wyman then started writing letters to Mars, Sirius, and the Moon, the latter, "Dear Moon: An Elegy," was published in the Beyond Worship: Meditations on Queer Worship, Liturgy, & Theology Edited by James Admans in November 2022.
In 2023, Wyman alongside their husband and a cadre of Queerdos are co-creating A Year of Queer Love 2023, which includes a Manifesto, a Calendar of Events, a Service Directory, and a Map of Venues. So Queer Love is constantly on their mind and in their actions.
Dear Queer Love builds upon Wyman's craft of letter writing and provides a format for Wyman to explore, surface, and express the depths, revelations, and dreams made possible by living a life of Queer Love.