Jump!

The Prompt:  Which is better to jump in: a leaf pile or a puddle?

I’m not in the mood to answer this or even consider the distinction.

Last night, I jumped up on a park bench with a megaphone and spoke to a crowd of 100 or so LGBTQ folks and allies who had turned out in response to a recent gay bashing incident here in Pittsburgh. I wasn’t planning to speak – the organizers contacted me the day earlier and asked me to help with media and a few things. I’m fortunate enough to not have been the victim of gay bashing criminal behavior so I didn’t want to speak for the sake of speaing – far too much of that these days. And that’s why I have a blog. 🙂

But as the speakers continue, I realized I did have something to say – something no one else was saying about a unique program set up to help LGBTQ folks report crimes – and it was important. So I asked for the megaphone, got up on a bench in spite of my balance issues and my fear of being so ungainly. And I talked. I don’t remember what I said. I remember trying to turn from side to side, but that’s just a physical sensation. I did make the point about being able to go to a local LGBT agency to file police reports from a safe space. I remember saying “safe space.”

I didn’t jump down for fear of falling, instead accepting the assistance of the emcee. Then I walked back to my place and stood there for a moment. “What did I just do?”

I have been paralyzed by anxiety for months. Nothing felt good. I wasn’t even sure I could make it to the event. It has been a rough go of it. I was standing at the event just taking pictures. But I realized that this was something that needed to be said – I had something to say and I just did it.

So crunchy leaves versus satisfying splash in a puddle? I’ll take a jump up onto a rickety park bench surrounded by my community, friends and allies.