Hello, my friends.
No video today. Possibly no video this week, but I’ll try again next week. There’s just too much. Too much emotion, to much built-up exhaustion, too much change and motion, and I just need to sit with myself for a while and check in. Both with myself and with you all.
I’m honestly afraid for the first time in a long time. Not an active fear, but a lingering one that eats away at my gut whenever I’m out in public now. I noticed it when I was walking hand-in-hand with my boyfriend of almost 4 years the other day. I’m afraid for his life, and for mine.
Now, part of this, I know, is still a reaction to losing my friend in late April. I’m still very conscious of death, accident, and the potential for loss of any kind, even to the point of being paranoid about it, though I keep trying not to be. Part of this fear is a direct result of what happened at Pulse. Those were my people that died. That was my tribe. And while I am very, very conscious of the fact that I don’t pass on first glance (for those of you unaware, I’m slightly on the nonconforming side of being trans), nor on the second glance, really, I still worry that I pass enough. I worry that someone will look at my obviously native american boyfriend and I and decide that one or both of us need to leave this world. I desperately fear it, to the point where I’ve considered giving up on who I am in order to have a little bit of safety and assurance. I fear any attempt at a physical transition now, because of what hateful, homophobic people like that man in Orlando might do.
But I know I can’t. I’ve been here before. It wasn’t my gender or my choice of partner last time, but my practice. Men weren’t shamans in 9th century Norway. Not in general anyway. And while I was never afraid for my life because of it, I was afraid for my wife, and my eventual son. So I’m here again, and I need to remember that Bran can take care of himself, and that I am not who I used to be. I am scared, yes. I am horrified, yes. I’m reeling from this blow to what I consider to be my kindred, my community, my extended family, yes. Despite being miles and miles away from Florida, I am still feeling helpless and frightened, but I will continue to be who I am. I have no choice in the matter. While I realize I can put on a mask sometimes, I can’t be someone I’m not for long. I’ve tried.
So here, in this digital space, I will continue to be Erik Stormgaldr, and I will continue to do exactly what I am called to do.
I am afraid, but I still have a pulse, and I will use it.