A photo of a dark-skinned person is surrounded by photos of their dearest friends of many races and genders. The words SAFETY TEAM and a little heart are at the bottom of the middle picture.

Tiara

The Safety Team was originally assembled as a group of people I’ve committed to checking in with during my US trip in early 2017. They have all my personal information and emergency contacts (enough to steal my identity if they so wanted) and know to check in on me if I haven’t been heard from in a while or if I’m in possible trouble – especially since I was travelling in the middle of the Travel Ban malarkey.

What they really are though are some of the most important people in my life.

There are people I’ve known for 15 years and people I’ve known for under a year. People I’ve dated, people I’ve hooked up with, people I wish I was dating. My biological sister and my soul siblings. Queer, straight, cis, trans, male, female, non-binary, white, people of colour, across 4 continents. Some know each other, some haven’t met a soul on this list. Everyone all so different…but all united in that they love me and care for me enough to want to make sure I’m okay.

They are one of the best things about my life.

My teenage self could barely conceive of having 1 best friend…let alone an entire TEAM of people all looking out for me. My sister and my oldest best friend (who’s known me half my life) have both thanked the team for their love. They both know about how lonely I was growing up. Some of the others can tell you about how I am often very slow in trusting people, how I’m always so guarded even when I wear my heart on my sleeve because, as one of my favourite characters have said, “all motives are ulterior”.

I trust these people with my life.
And I don’t say that lightly.

As my life goes, I’m sure some of these people will switch out. I’ve had people in my life who I would have put in a Safety Team before but now wouldn’t, for whatever reason. People who I know right now that may end up in this Safety Team down the road. As well as a host of friends and acquaintances who still care about me and reach out to me whenever I need help, an ear, company.

That I’m able to be at a stage in my life where something like a Safety Team is possible…it blows my mind.
I wish my desperately lonely to the point of suicidal 11-year-old self could have seen this.
I’m glad we stuck around long enough to do so.

To Emily, Sebastian, Tylyn, Mark, Mithi, Lain, Asha, Patricia, Marisa, Quirk, Maggie, and Fox:
Thank you.
Thank you for the joy you bring me each and every day, even on days when we’re not getting along for whatever reason.
Thank you for being such amazing people.
Thank you for being in my life.

I love you I love you I love you.

3 months ago