Arms Down and Wide Open

By Cella Desharnais

An open letter to an ever-growing community.

 Photo by Hanna Benavides.

Photo by Hanna Benavides.

To my LGBTQ+ family, the community of people who embody the definition of love:

We understand each other. We speak in tongues that just so happen to belong to those of the same gender.

They’ve taught us to use our words as weapons, yet we’ve grown flowers from each bullet hole, and with each trigger pulled we’ve gotten one state, one law, one amendment closer to growing an entire garden.

Never apologize, because it’s not my fault that when she danced, the world spun beneath her feet and my eyes rotated on the axis of her hips.

It’s not his fault that love has always seemed like a foreign language, but when his boyfriend muttered those three words under his breath for the first time, his heart became bilingual.

And while our country seems to be a few paces behind lately, our community continually leads the race, breathlessly striding past a large, orange president and his trusty white-haired sidekick.

But when the day comes that we cross the finish line as a family, tremors will shake the foundations of those who doubted us, and tsunamis will flood our land in a sea of love, as the Earth takes its first and much-awaited sigh of relief.

To the Marsha P. Johnsons of our past, the Harvey Milks of our present, and the Laverne Coxes of our future; you were the superheroes with the rainbow capes that doused the fires in the burning buildings we call our hearts.


Cella Desharnais is a junior studying Information Management & Technology and Music Industry at Syracuse University.