The incomparable Jersey City Photographer Abib Ascensio. Follow her on Jersey City Made Me
My mother’s family is from Ireland, and as a result, island blood pumps through my veins. When you’re from an island, you think the world is a tiny place, and so you make it so, approaching every social gathering with a gregariousness that assumes we have been friends and family forever. Irish, Puerto Rican, Cubans, perhaps partly genetic and partly political, evolving from our need to travel across the ocean to be able to find something to eat, something to dream, we can’t see imaginary boundaries and divisions between people. My love goes out to Orlando, my love goes out to the Puerto Rican community.
Last night, June 15, 2016 in Jersey City, as the night came upon our demonstration, people held their candles in the crowd, protecting the flame from the breeze with their palms and lighting their neighbor’s candle when it extinguished. Sometimes the flame would flicker and you would see only a charred wick, until the flame grew bright again. The metaphor is cliche and obvious, but it’s there. It’s a testament to those who fought on the front lines in the LGBT movement for the last 50 years that the response and outpouring of love was so immediate and so diverse. Faced with an unconceivable attack and unthinkable deaths, we have grown stronger, and the message has become clearer: Love is love is love is love.
On Saturday, Sirena and Chelo Mercado of Sirelo Entertainment brought “Gratitude”, part of a monthly series Elevate, to Jersey City’s new club, Transmission giving us all a reason to be grateful. Every time I am around these two and their drum corps, I find more reasons to be in love with everything around me. Keep your calendar clear for Elevate’s next event, coming soon!