The Wind

June 14, 2016

DC Pride FestI went to DC Pride over the weekend. It was great participating in the festivities, but the celebration had a tinge of sadness because of what happened in Orlando. Everyone had a subdued spirit, a furtive, fearful look like they were expecting an active shooter to appear out of nowhere. After a couple of hours at the festival on Pennsylvania Avenue, Mara Keisling, the executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, got a call to participate in a press conference at the Human Rights Campaign headquarters. By the time we finished the press conference, the Pride Festival was coming to an end. We went our separate ways, me to my room where I tossed and turned all night, grappling with a sense of hyper vigilance.

After an exhausting day in the office, I went to a community vigil sponsored by the Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity. I watched these brave young men and women pray for healing , justice, and reconciliation. I listened to Christians praying in Spanish, a Hindu woman praying in Hindi, more prayers in Arabic. I watched signHRC Press Conference language interpreters. This was a kind of Pentecost, and we were there sharing our grief, standing in solidarity, achieving an understanding that surpasses language barriers. We felt the Spirit of Pride, of Ramadan, of God moving through our minds and bodies. For an hour we mourned, and then we sang We Shall Over Come, me humming to the verses sung in other languages. We were there in Dupont Circle in Washington, DC. Together.


Oh, I long for Justice

But with you, I know it’s going to be

Just Is

I know I’m Justifiable

But you laugh and say

Only Just If I Able myself

Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity vigilTo see you as a human being

And not a freak

I can scream and shout, run about

Up and down the street all day and night

Demanding Equality

But you don’t hear my voice

Listen to my words, or

Perceive my Being

So, we must seek common ground

But you say

We have nothing in common

Not today or any day

I do know this…

After we sift through all the mud and shit and dust and rubble

Digging down to one essential thing

You cannot deny that I draw breath

(As you do, too)

And that’s enough for me to know

We are the same kind of creatureMuslim Alliance Vigil

Because we breathe

We share the air

Respirating with the Wind

Air is Free

You can’t grow it, age it, or refine it

You can’t define it, monetarily

You can’t order a select cut of USDA choice air

Air is Free

Take a Breath

And you’ll know what I mean

You must know, you shared the same air

I breathed moments ago

But don’t worry, I’m not contagious

You can’t turn into me nor I into you just by sharing air


You believe like the ancients did

In our breath resides the Spirit

Breathed into us by God

And when we expel a breath

Part of our Spirit leaves, joining with the breezeMuslim Alliance Vigil 2

Since we’ll be together

One way or another

We might as well start now

We must understand

When we die, we expel our Spirits into the wind

To move what we will move

To go where we will go

And you know only God knows

Where the wind blows

How it goes

And whom it will move

So, listen…

There’s a message

We hardly ever want to hear

Stop all the clutter and clatterMuslim Alliance vigil 3

Put away distraction

And draw near

In Communion

Oh Come Union

Be together in Peace

In Community

Oh Come Unity

That is the prayer carried

Through the Wind

Compelling us to breathe


We are the Weather we make

So, let it not be a storm

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