Transgender and Queer Love: We Will Not Go Back

On this Transgender Day of Remembrance, we hold in our hearts our dear queer, trans, lesbian, gay, two-spirit siblings (QTLGB2S+) and all the communities and families who lost a sibling, a friend, a relative from anti-transgender violence. We grieve the broken hearts from these acts of hatred. We grieve for those who’ve lost their lives. We grieve the gaps in our collective humanity. We send comfort and our mindful energies.

We recognize the power of words, policies and laws that discriminate against, disrespect, and dehumanize our queer siblings, especially queers of color.  Words that dehumanize our queer siblings encourage violence, harassment and hatred.  It is not an accident that a shooting attack happened at a queer bar where people were dancing, celebrating and feeling safe.  And often queer bars are the only spaces where QTLGB2S+ can gather, as is true for Club Q in Colorado Springs.

In sangha and in our practice centers, embrace the tears and rage.

And as we do so, we remember and practice with the antidotes of hatred and violence: compassion and understanding. Ignorance leads to discrimination and marginalization of our queer, trans, lesbian, gay, two-spirit siblings (QTLGB2S+) and families. We celebrate and take refuge in all of us loving whom we love and all of us expressing our identities however we choose. We see you. We love you. We respect you.

Dear community, we will not go back.

Contemplation of the Third Mindfulness Training: Cherishment as True Love

Aware of the suffering caused by discrimination and oppression, I vow to understand its roots. I will acknowledge and practice to transform seeds of discrimination in myself as well as in my sangha and the society at large. I vow to recognize the ways in which I have benefitted or not-benefitted explicitly or implicitly from systems and structures that foster discrimination and injustice. I am aware of the legacy of violence, especially unlawful police violence, perpetrated against Black people, indigenous people, people of color, differently abled people, people of various gender identities and expressions and sexual orientation, and others who are marginalized. I acknowledge the lived experience of all people to deepen my capacity for understanding and for greater compassionate action. I am aware that narrowly constructed, prevalent interpretations of intimate relationships constrain how we cherish each other in our expression of love, leaving many further isolated and alienated. I am committed to looking tenderly at my suffering, knowing that I am not separate from others and that the seeds of suffering contain the seeds of joy. I am not afraid of bold love that fosters justice and belonging and tender love that seeks peace and connection. I cherish myself and my suffering without discrimination. I cherish this body and mind as an act of healing for myself and for others. I cherish this breath. I cherish this moment. I cherish the liberation of all beings guided by the wisdom and solidity of the sangha. This is my path of true love.

Recommendation – Thich Nhat Hahn – 1965

Promise me,
promise me this day,
promise me now,
while the sun is overhead
exactly at the zenith,
promise me:

Even as they
strike you down
with a mountain of hatred and violence;
even as they step on you and crush you
like a worm,
even as they dismember and disembowel you,
remember, brother,
man is not our enemy.

The only thing worthy of you is compassion –
invincible, limitless, unconditional.
Hatred will never let you face
the beast in man.

One day, when you face this beast alone,
with your courage intact, your eyes kind,
(even as no one sees them),
out of your smile
will bloom a flower.
And those who love you
will behold you
across ten thousand worlds of birth and dying.

Alone again,
I will go on with bent head,
knowing that love has become eternal.
On the long, rough road,
the sun and the moon
will continue to shine.

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