My Father’s Pulse

QED: a Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking, 3.3


Opening Section

One of the first things I encountered while scouring news media outlets on the morning of June 12 were the words of a father, Siddique Mateen, outraged and upset over what his son had done, disavowing his child’s actions. “I don’t want any father to go through what we are going through,” he said. “What he did was […] against what I taught him. This is against the principles of me and the whole family.”

I talked to my own father not long after that. He checked in on me with a joke, his way of dealing with serious topics. We chatted for a bit, and he told me he was glad I was safe. I was more worried about my students, especially my queer students, whom I knew frequented Pulse. Facebook became an instant lifeline, and I was grateful so many students had requested my e-friendship in the previous year, their safety quickly confirmed with an online check-in. A vigil at Lake Eola was already being planned for the following Sunday. Someone had objected: “but that’s Father’s Day.” Grief and fatherhood, it seemed, were going to have to reckon with one another. Later in the day my dad sent me a text about jihad. I didn’t reply.

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