[Updated to add new memorial posts. They are underneath the Basho poem at the bottom.]
I think Niki Massey would be astonished by the lives she touched and the impact she had. When you’re living in a country that values white skin, conventional beauty, thinness, able bodies, religion, heterosexuality, and political conservatism, it’s horribly difficult to feel good about yourself when you’re none of those things. But because Niki defied pretty much every convention ever, and wasn’t quiet about it, she was the kind of person who means the world to need an advocate. She was someone who didn’t pull punches. She was someone who didn’t suffer injustice in silence. She was someone who felt the fear and didn’t always succeed but tried her heart out anyway. She was someone who kept going no matter how much she wanted to quit. She was everything to us.
A lot of people have memorialized her beautifully. I’ll be sharing as many of those memorials as I can over the next few days. Today, we’ll start with one of my favorite pictures of her, and the blog posts I’ve found so far. Please do feel free to add links to any of them at Ronja Addams-Moring’s Facebook post or in the comments here. And if you want to add a message to those who are remembering Niki, please do comment at my Facebook page. I’ll be collecting those tributes into a post later this week.
Niki Massey is gone. She was one of the best of us. I don’t know if she ever knew that, or believed us when we told her. I wish I had one last minute with her. I wish I had a minute to tell her how good and brave and brilliant and beautiful she was, and how much better the world was for having her in it.
I wish she could see the outpouring of love on her Facebook wall. I wish she could hear all of the words from the people she’s touched.
She was kind, and fierce, and she never stopped trying no matter how much circumstances made her despair. She was always there for people. She always had the sharpest insight, and the right words, and the biggest heart of us all.
And now she is gone. And the world will never be the same. There’s a great big gaping hole where she should be.
Niki. I love you, and I miss you, and I am ferociously glad I had the privilege of knowing you. I’m so glad we were colleagues. And I know I’m not the only one who will be fighting for the things you wanted to change. If I have to burn down the world to change it for you, I will. You deserve nothing less.
Niki loved VNV Nation. I remember how thrilled I was to find out. We didn’t really get a chance to geek out over them. I don’t know what her favorite song was. But this reminds me of her.
Although, to be honest, I’m a PC girl. Have been since the personal computer fell within a middle-class price range. And there was a while there when I hated Steve Jobs, because he made my job so much harder. All right, I didn’t hate him, I hated his phone. iPhone users had an almost-religious fervor and would never ever in a billion trillion years admit that their phone might have a problem rather than the network. Thing could be shattered in a thousand pieces after being dropped on a tile floor, and they’d still claim the network did it.
And that bloody touchscreen and I couldn’t communicate. It didn’t like my cold fingers. My friends would thrust their pride-and-joy my hands, and it would just sit there, inert, or take me places I didn’t want to go. Bloody stupid device.
But that was all before the iPhone 3gs, which got so very much right, and which I got along with.