Dear Members and Friends of San Francisco Tsunami Aquatics,
As we learn more about the many people whose lives were cut short in the tragic shooting in Orlando, we see snapshots of ourselves in their faces; we hear familiar echoes in the stories shared by their partners, friends, and families; and we struggle with the competing emotions that fill our hearts and minds. The safety of friendship, place, fellowship, and identity was stolen from the Pulse Nightclub and its revelers early Sunday morning, and LGBTQ+ and allied supporters are coming together to speak out in solidarity and reach out in love, ultimately, to heal as a community.
Tsunami is a community that has been a safe place for LGBTQ+ athletes for the past 30 years, and it is in these moments of uncertainty when we must swim together, comfort each other, and stand tall in our history of inclusivity and safety. Come to a workout this week. Get to know your lane mates. Reconnect. Consider how our team has helped advance the legitimacy and safety of LGBTQ+ aquatics and given people meaningful opportunities to enjoy and express their greatest selves. This pride in ourselves and in our fellow team members is what contributes to the promise of a brighter future for those who struggle to find self-acceptance.
Some of you have asked how you may take care of yourself or others in this difficult time. You may find these resources useful:
HRC’s Orlando Memorial Facebook Page with profiles of those who lost their lives
Equality Florida’s gofundme page (so far over 90K donors, and over $4MM has been raised!)
Local LGBTQ+-focused mental health services: SF Therapy Collective, Queer Lifespace
I wish you peace and community in the days and weeks to come. Looking forward to connecting with you at the pool.
On behalf of the board of directors,
San Francisco Tsunami Aquatics