Editor, Times-Union:

I’m writing to affirm the goodness and worth of all the LGBTQ+ people and allies living in the Warsaw/Winona Lake area. This is not necessarily in response to anything particular but is absolutely shaped by the continued reaction of fear and pain toward anything that seeks to affirm the glory and timelessness of queer joy.

I grew up in Warsaw and while I am so glad to see things changing, and I am so heartened by the actions and courage of those who seek to whisper love into a great empty cave of loneliness, it still feels necessary to speak the truths which are being buried by those who would choose to keep their heads in the sand; who would choose an angry and hurtful miseducation over connection, because they have not the courage to examine their own rigidity with gentleness and curiosity.

Here are some of those truths.

You are gloriously made and gloriously loved. You are part of a lineage stretching back to the first communities that walked on and cared for this earth. Your identity is not a curse or a defect, it is an evolutionary marvel. I delight in knowing that you exist, that you perceive and operate in the world in a way which adds color and magic to a landscape that is increasingly whitewashed.

You are a manifestation of love and creation and no amount of darkness can swallow your light. Even when you cannot see it, you are the glimmer which illuminates the pathway toward reclamation and healing. And it is my hope for you that you seek to surround yourself with those who would affirm and celebrate you. Though the path seems perilous, you do not walk it alone.

Brittany Decker Kusserow

Sherman Oaks, Calif.,

formerly of Warsaw, via email