I am just one big walking exposed nerve as I navigate what this new administration means for me as well as any family I might create in the future. My physical response to depression and anxiety is eating my lunch- a struggle to get up, get dressed, get active. It’s not that I can’t or won’t do it, I am just moving in the world with an enormous weight on my chest, AS IF I DIDN’T HAVE A BIG ENOUGH ONE ALREADY.
Knowing my mother’s penchant for overworry, in my darkest moments I think to myself that I am glad she didn’t live to see this… didn’t live to see the government actively trying to hurt me, because she would have come undone. Her mirror neurons would have been on constant high alert, emotionally bleeding out at my future… her worst fears for me realized in an instant. She would have been my fiercest advocate, and gone to a very helpless and dark place if it didn’t work.
…because not only do parents grieve their children’s lack of heterosexuality because of being raised in the church, they also grieve it because it just makes their kids’ lives so much harder– a path that they don’t want to watch their children walk because it makes them physically ill to see their kids in danger.
Ladies and gentlemen, WE ARE.
Never mind that the popular vote is in equality’s favor, because it doesn’t matter. Equality is not put to a popular vote. We are in the hands of our congressmen, and some of them listen to us and some of them don’t. If registering Muslims and overturning Roe v. Wade is on the table, as well as axing Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, what’s to stop them from overturning Loving v. Virginia? United States v. Miller? Because obviously what racists need is more access to fully automatic weapons and sawed off shotguns.
I am not opposed to the Second Amendment in its entirety, just agree with the fact that the Founding Brothers never could have conceived of such instruments in the hands of people who aren’t specifically trained to use them and/or part of a well-regulated militia. I don’t want to take anyone’s guns, I want gun owners to be responsible with them. There will always be criminals, but the people that buy guns honestly and lawfully are the majority.
It’s all tied together, this notion of inequality and the violence bigots can inflict when restrictions on weapons are lifted. The backlash against equality has been severe enough that this is not subjective analysis, and if you don’t think so, you are excusing a metric fuck tonne of evidence to the contrary. Just the fact that requiring Muslims to register and cutting off immigration from any Middle Eastern country is on the table no matter how bad the violence in those countries get is the canary in the coal mine.
Some of the same people who profess Christ as their guiding principle are crucifying him all over again. Betraying everything he believed in to the point of mass destruction. It is the right and responsibility of those who carry his radical inclusion in their hearts to stand up and say, “no more.”
In the space of a week, I have acquired a massive target on my back. I’m female, lesbian, and willing to stand up to my oppressors through thought, word, and deed. I will not let anyone take my autonomy, and as a female, I am seen as a threat, even to people who think they’re inclusive and at the same time won’t allow themselves to hear the Gospel from a woman’s lips. Let us not forget that the Episcopal church was torn asunder by this very idea. Yes, Anglicans are opposed to ordaining gay people, but it all started with the election of a female presiding bishop.
If people are hell bent on instilling fear, it. Has. Worked. My mother lion will fight this to the death, because the alternative might be death, anyway. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy are tales, but I am choosing to ignore the “cautionary” part. Nothing will keep me from fighting for my rights and those of others, because to have fear instilled is one thing. To continue to live in it is another, a conscious choice.
That will never mean that the choice is easy, because it is a constant internal battle between doing what is right and keeping myself safe. I put my trust in the others that are doing likewise, because there are a lot of directions that this work will take me, but alone is not one of them. Even when there are no others around, it’s still my mother and me. She might not have lived to see the violence, but her spirit in me will make her live in the resolution.