When Home Isn’t Welcoming: A Prayer for Queer Folks in Pandemic
Meshaneh makom, meshaneh mazal,
the Rabbis say.
A change of place brings a change of luck.
A change of fortune, they mean.
In all sense of the word.
I’m thinking of you (you know who you are).
You don’t feel particularly “lucky” right now.
But your fortunes have changed.
You’ve changed your place:
From the relative freedom of a college campus (or a boarding school)
to your parents’ home.
“It must be so nice to be Home,” they say,
non-queer folks who don’t know what it’s like.
You close your door and put on your headphones.
You connect to your Family-of-Choice.
You use the chat instead of speaking aloud.
You answer to a different name,
because it’s too risky to use your true name,
your true pronouns.
The thing is, your physical location has changed.
But your Makom has not changed.
HaMakom, The Place, God, the Divine, the Ever-Present One,
Is Constant. Is. Constance.
So, let’s pray, together, from afar:
HaMakom, Ever-Present One.
HaRachaman, Merciful One.
God, be our mazal,
our fortune and fate,
our bright and guiding star.
Be a constellation from which we can derive meaning.
Remind us that You are there,
that You see us as we truly are,
in our fullness,
in our glorious queerness.
Bless us with the knowledge that our home
is like the home of our nomadic ancestors:
A Place for presence-in-community.
V’asu li mikdash, v’shachanti b’tocham.
Build Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them.
Make a space in our hearts for the Place,
the Oneness of community that links across space, across time.
Harachaman, hu yishlack lanu b’rachah m’rubah
Merciful One, send abundant blessing to that house,
the one that lives in and between and among us queer siblings.
Let sadness find comfort in our shared experiences.
Let fear find resilience in the stories of our forebears.
Hamakom, let us find our fortune within ourselves,
not within four walls.
Let us find our fortune in reaching out,
across space, across time,
in solidarity, in despair, in understanding, in comfort.
HaMakom, be with us in all these places.