Nuggets of Hope

Messages like these have kept me going:

“Thinking of you today as I eat (delicious) week old pot roast everyone else thinks has gone bad, but I think is delicious. Thinking of Diana as I read a book about how ancient trees in old growth forests communicate with each other.”  -Tina

“Hi Landon. Words are hard to come by and nothing seems good enough to help ease the pain you must be feeling. I wanted to be there for you tonite, but it is not possible, unfortunately. I am sorry. I also wanted to share with you my thoughts about Diana. She was a courageous soul. In this world, we often try hard to avoid conflict and discomfort of any sort. She took it head on and used those moments for transformation. When I wrote my blog article about a judge owning sex motels, I wrote from the perspective of someone who has seen too many kids and young adults exploited in places such as these. When Diana wrote to me, introducing herself and explaining her concerns about the negative impact my article could have on sex workers, I was pushed into my own discomfort. Mostly, as you know, I insist on being an advocate for both victims of trafficking and sex workers and trying to bridge that divide. Apparently, i was not as sensitive as i thought. Building bridges and understanding is important to me so I invited a meeting to discuss and although I could sense she was tired of the endless struggle against the “rescue industry” and distrustful of me, she came to the table. I don’t know what either of us expected to come out of the meeting, but I believe we learned a lot about each other that day. At the end I was hopeful that bridges were being built and that our relationship and future collaborations may have helped guide both anti-trafficking advocates and sex workers rights advocates to approach each other with greater compassion, understanding and inclusiveness. After all, we are all concerned with the well-being of human beings who whether through choice or not are involved in an industry with many inherent dangers and social stigma. My conversation with Diana was very impactful.

I believe she had that effect on many people around her and that she cared for people and nurtured deeply. Through talking to her I could see she was the kind of person that took on the weight of the world and still maintained so much external strength. I’m sad that she succumbed to her internal suffering. She was a fierce warrior and in the short time I knew her, I had the utmost respect and admiration for her courage. She will be missed very much. My heart goes out to you and to all of the trans and sex worker communities who are deeply impacted by this loss. If there is anything I can do to be there for you, please let me know.

Big hugs.” -Sandy

“Wish I could be there to feed you soup and pet your head til you fell asleep.” -Karen

What are you going to do today? I hope you can be with friends doing something therapeutic. If I was there, I would make you tea and we could cry together and watch an unupsetting movie. I’d also make you food.” -Bean

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