Love Will Out – Thoughts From The Brink at the End of 2016
It's really been a year, hasn't it? I know I've been quieter than usual, at least here on the blog. I've been outspoken to the point of blithering loudmouth elsewhere, though. Including a misguided, if impassioned, attempt to reign in someone trolling in a Trump hat on election night at #SSDesire.
I feel unmoored. Unstuck in time and space. And not in the good way that post-Desire usually brings. Unmoored in that I truly don't feel I have a handle on direction just now. I don't know how to get that back, or how to return toward my goals. All I have now are abstract thoughts, and I struggle with all of them.
As this is a website about sex positivity and inclusiveness, I try to err on the side of compassion. It doesn't always work, of course, and I'll make comments that alienate others. Hell, I know #NotAllChristians, so I don't need to be reminded of that anymore. I'm uncouth, I'm outspoken to a fault, and truly, I often speak before I think, and write before I think.
I've wanted to write about my feelings post-election, a dispatch from the #NewNormal, but have been unable to, thus far. I've started many times, and just given in to my darker despair urges, thrusting my fists against the posts, railing and ranting, gnashing my teeth and wringing my hands. It has, at times, been cathartic, but mostly just fed the despair.
Today, though, the day the electors vote, I felt that I wanted to say something different.
It's about love.
We all know that it's about to get bad, potentially devastatingly bad for so many we care about, for so many in our marginalized communities. Today (unless something insane happens) Donald Trump will be voted as president-elect. He has appointed some of the least qualified people to the most important offices in our country (why shouldn't his cabinet reflect him, after all?) and many actively oppose the posts to which they've been appointed.
It's tempting to say this is part of the Left/Right dance, that this is “same as it ever was.” We've been here before, with W. It's comforting to feel that way, and to those who want to, I don't fault that feeling. Just do so with eyes wide open. Because it may be similar, but it's definitely not the same.
Fascism isn't an instant thing, where one day we wake up to totalitarianism. It's gradual. Many will say it's been coming for decades and that may well be true. But with the outgoing NC government working to ensure that the new governor will have far less power, we see that a new playbook has arrived. The rules have changed. The darkness has become emboldened. We see them now, shoving at the margins of polite society.
Where Barack Obama was a symbol of hope and potential to so many communities who've always felt they could not be president, so now we see Trump as a symbol that you don't need to be “politically correct,” that telling the “truth” is a great way to get away with being hateful.
We need to watch that these margin pushes don't become the norm. Eyes wide open means watching out for yourself, your family, but also for those that you don't share race, sexuality, creed, or beliefs with. The poorest, the most vulnerable, they're more important now. We need to take care of them as best we can, because things are about to get bad.
So, go ahead and try not to stress out about the oncoming storm, that's alright. But when you see something happening, speak up. When people say horrible things, racist, sexist, homophobic, classist, or downright ignorant, say something.
Continuing to say something is the only way through. Quiet on the side of good is what has brought us here.
The quote that has, bizarrely, meant the most to me throughout this whole horrific ordeal, comes from Twin Peaks:
“While I will admit to a certain cynicism, the fact is that I am a naysayer and hatchetman in the fight against violence. I pride myself in taking a punch and I'll gladly take another because I choose to live my life in the company of Gandhi and King. My concerns are global. I reject absolutely revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method… is love.” – Albert Rosenfield
We must continue to love each other. Love will out. It must.
Let's take care of each other, and make 2017 the year this horrible wave finally breaks and begins to roll back.