I’m upset. My stomach is turning and words are stumbling out of my fingers wondering how far I’ll go before deleting this entire post and continuing on with my day. As you may or may not have noticed from the lack of posts over the last 6, 8, 12 months…I’ve got shit to do today, I don’t have time to write. But I think this is important. So here it goes.
In light of recent events, there is a lot to be upset about. Listening to the media would have you feeling like society as we know it is crumbling down to the ground one shot at a time. I’ve spent a good chunk of my time just wondering how much time I should spend thinking about my role in this- what should I think, how should I act; do I go about my day like nothing happened and keep high spirits? Do I reach out to friends and followers on social media, expelling opinions like I’m turning a profit on them? Times like these challenge our civility and beg the question: How do I Be?
Today was different. I woke up to another report of a sickened individual with a vengeance grown on pure hatred and fear, hunting and haunting another group of innocent people. Most alarmingly, my first thought was not what happened, but when will this happen next…and to whom? I’ve come to realize that I no longer feel shocked by the radical actions of the chronically fearful, but instead I myself feel fear for when these same individuals forcefully enter my personal circle. Fear. The same emotion I’ve been unpacking since starting this blog. Fear and all its friends.
Still, this isn’t what I’m here for. It was a later news report that finally tipped the scales. Enter the newly passed GOP Platform. Yes, it’s getting political. Feel free to jump off the ship now if you want, no questions asked. The GOP Platform, amidst the chaos that surrounds this obsessively publicized campaign, has decided to move to the right of DONALD TRUMP when it comes to LGBT issues. As in, stamping a big exclamation point on the otherwise fading ultra-conservative subgroup of constituents. As in, including language that is specifically symbolic in nature to further solidify the party’s efforts to marginalize a community just as it grasps its first glimpse of equality along the horizon. As in, forcing an ill-equipped and abused teenage girl into become a parent while legislating away the right of a loving couple to provide a safe home to a child. As in, alienating an entire community from the conservative ballot and consequently invigorating partisan extremism. As in, planting a nearly identical seed of the institutionalized inequality- and subsequent fear/hate therein- that has driven us to this point in the first place; at the risk of overusing a cliche, history unlearned is doomed to repeat itself. There are countless incomprehensible prime-time news stories today that will become the incomprehensible histories for future generations to examine…but this is something we are actively choosing to allow by passively refusing to take control.
When it comes to the tragedies and the travesties that have thrust their way into our daily experience at increasing frequencies, I am at a loss for answers. We cannot change the demented crusade that has berated our society, we can only learn from it. Our individual lessons will not be duplicated, but they will lend meaningful action to the collective conversation when transmitted from the heart. My lesson: do not draw lines between what someone can and cannot do because of an arbitrary category that the disembodied voice of the masses has created. Do not cheapen the experience of another because you have not shared in it- they are not wrong for the lessons life has passed to them and not you. Do not give in to the fear of an ego that accepts only sameness in others. Celebrate the differences, show love to a stranger, and treat yourself the way you want others to treat you. Spill out the courage and impartiality from your heart to drown the flames of hatred rather than feeding them with fear. Find the little cracks that YOU can change- be it a targeted joke, throwing fair and informed punches in constructive arguments, or simply letting that car merge on the freeway- and patch them before they split wide open in a cataclysmic debasement of Us. I could care less who you are voting for in November so long as you know what you are supporting. The history books are counting on you.