I am still just in a quiet shock.
My Sister said after our dad died, the hardest day was not the day he died but the days after. When everything was supposed to be “back to normal”.
“People don’t want to dwell in that place for too long, it might be catchy.”
That is pretty much exactly what she said…and it was, and is, quite true.
The world doesn’t like to be sad or reminded of horrible things for too long.
I keep feeling like I should feel a bit better today but I don’t.
I have received a staggering response to the article, and subsequent note, that I put up on my page on facebook.
There are emails, phone calls and messages.
The reason I feel like I should feel better is…I feel like it is not mine to feel bad about…yes, I said feel four times..but I could not think of better words to put there. Skinner wasn’t someone that was in my life everyday or every week…his friendship was casual…but when he was present there was absolutely no missing him. But still it felt wrong for people to say they felt badly for me.
But when I read through the emails there were reoccurring themes… “I don’t know you Sharron..”, “I didn’t know Christopher…”, “I knew Chris a little…” and they all felt compelled to write….something…to express their anger, their fears and sadness over a senseless murder. And everyone expressed to me, one way or the other, that they didn’t feel like they had the right to say anything.
But when something this black happens I think it is our right and our duty to examine how it affects our lives and our world…to see how we are all connected because, as my friend Kat just said to me… “He was just taken. Stolen”
And it is not to be put away so that the world can feel comfortable.
Below you will find some of the things that were sent to me…I can’t believe how many people we knew in common, how many lives he has touched, and the footprint he has left.
I have left them all anonymous except for the last one…it just…well…
I thank everyone for their words and I want to express my great sorrow to all of you at the loss of Christopher Skinner.
“I went to high school with Chris. We were not close but I am so disturbed by this that I have been brought to tears several times throughout the day and cannot release it from my mind..”
“Chris: I commit to you that I will not let this get swept under the carpet and that the police statement of “No, there’s not at all any indication that there were homophobic elements to the attack,” says Det Stacey Gallant.” will not stand. What a world we live in.”
“Only hate could do this. The why of hate can never be allowed to mitigate the fact that the act itself is nothing but hate.”
“Skinner and i worked together when i first moved to toronto. he was one of the very first people i met when i came here from halifax. he was awesome and kind and funny and authentic.”
“ The scream in my soul is bigger than my voice.”
“I loved going to your shows with Chris. He always cracked me up, and I’m sure everyone else in the room as well, with his big boisterous voice that would answer every rhetorical and sing along with every song. He was taken from us and even though I’m sure the person who did this will be caught, it will never bring him back. My heart is breaking.”
“Skinner was the kind of person who you didn’t have to know well to see just how incredible he was. He could light up a room with a hint of a smile. If anyone knows anything at all, please come forward.”
“Only bullies commit horrible acts of this nature. To dehumanize another human being to the point that they mean absolutely nothing to you takes years of practice. The(se) murderer(s) have/has committed other past atrocities and Christopher was the culmination of their misguided beliefs. Stop them before it happens again.”
“I saw your post about this young man on Thom’s wall and I, like you, have been so angry since the moment I heard about what happened to him. I didn’t know Christopher but feel as though I did.”
“I find it strange that I could be so upset and mourn for someone I knew from a distance . . . and maybe because of the circumstances behind his passing . . . but the shock and anger is very real and resonant. It’s hard to imagine that such a thing could happen in a city such as this or even a country considered so accepting…and yet here we are. I think the outpouring of grief for Chris from his loved ones and those distantly associated not only speaks for his character but for the general public at large.”
“Every time that I leave the house to walk the dog I judge every SUV and feel like I can hear people crying instead of the usual chatter that I am familiar with.
I saw your post, and although each article is terrifying to read I am thankful for the response you have turned up. He deserves every single person to think of him, because every single person he met was touched so much.”
“I do remember him from your final Sharron’s Party show — sitting on the stairs at Buddies, shouting “ONE MORE SONG!” — and I can’t imagine the depth of loss his family and friends are experiencing.”
“I can’t believe the news… I just read your note and I am sitting here in absolute shock right now, Sharron… I took a course with Chris back in high school, a musical theatre course, and that week gave me two things: my lifelong love of musical theatre, and the courage to be myself thanks to meeting Chris, who was comfortable with his sexuality even in grade 11. He never knew it, but I came back from that week and came out to my best friend, and my life and who I am today started from that point. I have always remembered him for being the first gay guy who was comfortable with himself and just a nice, cool, normal guy, and who made me believe that I was genuinely OK. Fuck, I can’t believe it… I had always hoped to run into him again some time to tell him that story. This is fucking devastating news.” Signed, Jonathan Tan