Thursday, December 8

Holding space in Ohio for grief — and action — about Colorado Springs

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There has been so much to be disheartened about in recent weeks, months, years.

As an LGBTQ+ community we battled through the Trump years, and before that the right to marriage, and before that “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” and before that the AIDS crisis, and before that…There will always be another issue in front of us. And there is no doubt that our community sustains many losses along the way.  

This morning I was reading some of our community’s media coverage of Trans Day of Remembrance, and what little coverage exists in mainstream media, when I was interrupted by a notification about the mass shooting at Club Q.

More grief our community will find the space to hold, and try to heal. 

After every mass shooting, many of us ask the question: when will enough be enough? We argue that Columbine was enough. Sandy Hook was enough. Pulse was enough. There has been so much death. We cannot tolerate more. 

But in asking that question, let’s consider our audience. In asking when enough is enough, who are we asking to take action? Who is this universal determinator we are waiting on to swoop in and change the dialog, propose policy, give testimony, or stand on picket lines? 

Beloved community, there is only one answer: We are the ones we have been waiting for. 

When The Buckeye Flame was founded, our board had a few simple hopes: to curate coverage that matters to our community, and to empower our community to take action on the issues that affect us most. This is our mission: The Buckeye Flame amplifies the voices of LGBTQ+ Ohioans to support community and civic empowerment through the creation of engaging content that chronicles our triumphs, struggles, and lived experiences.

This is why you’ll see “Ignite Action” bullet points at the ends of our articles. Half of our work is to amplify the work of our community, the voices already making an impact. The other half of our work is to support the calls to action that come from our community, and to help you connect with others working on the causes you care most about. 

In Ohio, it seems every day there is a new call to action for our community, a new bill or resolution or guidance change that erodes our safety, our agency, our access to services. This weekend is a particularly sharp reminder that there will always be more work. But we can know too that there are already proven strategies to help us win these battles, large and small. It will take all of us, every member of our community, moving together in solidarity and in equity, to win the larger war. 

Hold space for grief today, and for the urgency of action that grows out of grief. Commit to yourself to do a little work, every day, toward the world we all want to live in, even if that means following up on just one Ignite Action bullet point from one article. Your voice matters. Your creativity, and your rebellion, and your strength, and your joy matters. Your life matters. Together, we can ignite a different future. 🔥

About Author

Elaine Schleiffer is a community organizer, writer, and advocate focused on queer rights and public safety in Cleveland, Ohio. She was the founding board chair of The Buckeye Flame, and has served as board chair at Preterm and as a board member at Plexus, the LGBT + Allied Chamber of Commerce in northeast Ohio.

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