I will be back to Twitter very soon – I’m gathering strength by baking cookies, texting and emailing loved ones, and thinking, healing, decorating for the holidays, and reminding myself what it feels like to BELIEVE.
I was in my early twenties the last time a diseased-brained figurehead led a Republican administration as it laughingly ignored a plague which seemed to target me and other gay men, a population Ronald Reagan and his criminally ignorant administration determinedly demonized and cheerfully watched die, encouraging by inaction and carefully parsed propaganda an incendiary hatred against us, insisting we deserved what was happening because we were somehow undeserving of human rights and equality. Reagan didn’t so much as mention AIDS until six years into the epidemic, and he and his equally inexcusable wife had many, many close friends who were gay. That’s what hate and ignorance and the Republican party (and too many Democrats as well) did, and now . . .
. . . 35 years later, here we are again; only this time, the disease-brained figurehead/ Republican party are themselves the plague and the target is not just gay men and the LGBTQ community, but, equality itself. 35 years later, here we are, having somehow watched ascend to power a party led by homophobes, racists, misogynists, xenophobes, anti-Semites, anti-Muslims, anti-planet, fascist religionists, sexual predators, nazi/white supremacist sympathizers. These suited up old-white-men and their armies of jack-booted bullies and brainwashees are determined not just to tyrannically dictate and rule, but to undo and set aside all the hard-won gains we’ve made in the past decades since we came out of silence.
They would silence us again.
Not this time.
I’ve now spent a week in mourning, and am still stuck in disbelief and denial; but I feel myself waking. I do not want to be mired in and acting from the sort of hate that fueled this victory. I have lived and loved and survived enough to know that hate is born from fear and great sorrow; thus, I want to have empathy for the people responsible for this. I know that is the right way to be, to live, to see things from a foundation of Love and Light.
So, I’ve started putting up the winter holiday around our apartment. And daily baking cookies. And doing something kind for someone else every single day. I’m in healing mode. I’m in recovery mode. What I don’t know is whether or not I am evolved enough to accomplish this fully, right now, in this moment. I am experiencing a lot of anger and misery and horror and hurt. This really, really hurts.
But, here is the thing, what has my adult life spent working to spread and embody the principles of Love and Light meant if I surrender now to hate and despair?
I won’t. I can’t. It’s not who I am at core, at my center. So, I’ll be coming back to Twitter, very soon. And speaking up in ways that are motivated by Love and Light. Very soon. Right now, I’m still a bit in shock, a bit afraid, but if you look carefully in the mirror-shot of our holiday tree, you can find my reflection there on the wall. I’m here. I’m strengthening my spine and self-caring and one more time I will be joining in the effort to make a world where everyone is welcome, where inclusion and equality are the foundation, where embrace and empathy are the languages we speak.
I am trying every day, in my own small ways. I don’t have much money, but I have not renewed my subscription to New Yorker Magazine, instead, sending those funds to The Trevor Project — click on the name/here to check it out yourself. I wish they’d existed when I was a young and terrified and desperate gay kid considering and trying suicide.
Hell, who am I kidding? I was considering suicide just this week — but thinking what that would do to my dear ones, and knowing that I could still help some people survive this, that I have the wisdom of the experience of having fought through hate and discrimination my whole life, talked me down from my near-lethal despairing.
We can’t surrender. And maybe, just maybe, in the same way Reagan and GOP assholery and hate prompted a new energy in the fight for LGBTQ equality, this travesty will also bring about a re-birth of activism and invigorate and motivate those who operate from Love and Light to go about changing the world every day.
Maybe we STOP asking to be included in patriarchal constructs and systems slanted to advantage white men in power; like marriage. Maybe we change the world so our priority isn’t about who is inside what borders, but, rather, doing away with borders altogether. Maybe we stop worshipping gods and religious organizations/systems that operate from judgment and hate and disinclusion. Maybe we stop asking to be let in the door, and instead, dismantle the locked, barricaded buildings and erect cities of hope where everyone is welcome.
Maybe we get radical in a Loving and Light-filled and Affirming way and stop trying to conform to flawed schemes and philosophies, instead creating new ones that work for everyone; we feed everyone. We welcome everyone. We don’t label and limit.
But today, we decorate trees. Bake cookies. Reach out to those in pain we can assuage — even a little.
Thank you for hearing me. Thank you for holding me. Thank you for not giving up on me, so that I could make it through to a place where I wasn’t giving up on myself.
Love and Light, dear ones. Love and Light. I’m still here.