In his recent poem “Vaccinated”, Jericho Brown writes about the first time he went out after having been vaccinated and attending a performance of the first Black Miss International Queen. About the poem, he writes that he realized just how much I need social interaction (and social reinforcement from queer people in particular) in order to write.
The term social reinforcement captures our very human need to belong. This is about having healthy dependence, knowing that there are people who get us. The ones who know all our stuff, who laugh with us, cry with us. The ones we can be real with.
The ones we don’t have to justify our political convictions to, our spiritual or religious beliefs, our lifestyle choices, or why we just don’t want to talk about what size jeans we wear.
These people, our people, are necessary! Especially now when we are isolated, when our world is polarized. When there is so much fear and anger. The Jewish Sabbath is often referred to as an island in time. I think of our people as islands—of sanity, of belonging, of rightness. They remind us to keep doing what we do, being what we be.