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relentlessly-gay

I am sure many of you have seen the resurgence of a two-year old letter making its way around social media in which a queer individual is accused of decorating her yard in a “relentlessly gay” fashion. Regardless of the legitimacy of this viral post, it can serve as a reminder of the ignorance and prejudice that is crawling out of hiding in the current political climate. Yesterday’s Republican confirmation of an unqualified, sexist, racist, and homophobic person  to our Supreme Court is a stark reminder of this. I am sure I am not the only person who felt physically ill when the notification popped up on their phone’s screen yesterday.

This is not, however, the time to sit back and give up. What we are experiencing is the backlash by the threatened, privileged group who have been in power for too long. It is evidence of the fear they have about the progress the rest of us have made. How else can we explain away the fact that they have sunk so low?

They are reacting to the eight glorious years of progress we have made by attempting to push women back into the kitchen, queer people back into the closet, and people of color to the back of the bus. We all must RESIST this effort and we must RESIST it TOGETHER as one group of relentlessly gay, femi-nazi, black panthers. There are more of us than there are of them, especially when we factor in all of our white, straight male allies.

Every morning as you drink your coffee, apply your eyeliner, lace up your Doc Martens, crank up Public Enemy or Ani as you prepare to continue to fight.  We cannot let the hope we had for two presidential terms die. We have to dust it off, hold it up, and #resist.

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In season four of Friends, Phoebe, a vegetarian who’s pregnant with her brother’s babies (don’t worry, she’s a surrogate), starts to desperately crave meat.  Joey, known for his love of meatball subs and pepperoni pizza, offers a karmic, equal exchange with his friend; he’ll give up meat until the babies are born, so that Phoebe can satisfy her yearning. This way, no extra animals will die, and Phoebe can eat them without much guilt.

I’m proposing a similar exchange in our efforts to support each other as activists against most of what the new Republican administration in the United States is lodging. From banning refugees, to appointing incompetence, racists, and misogynists to key advisory and cabinet positions, to threatening to build billion dollar walls across our border, to the Dakota Pipeline, to impending LGBT discriminatory legislation, cuts to the arts, wiping of climate data from government sites, and on and on, this regime has come out with their guns blaring against progress and most of what makes being human have meaning. In states like New Hampshire, we also have new threats like “Right-to-Work (for less)” and our own version of Betsy DeVos pending.  Many are beginning to realize that this rapid on slaughter against all that we hold as valuable is no accident of trying to accomplish too much too soon. This is a calculated attempt to distract and wear down those of us committed to fight. We cannot let this happen.

But, we’re exhausted. So what can we do?

Last week, I had an appointment with my PCP. This was just a week or so after we’d glanced over and realized we were standing next to each other at the Women’s March in Concord. We knew each other’s politics and most of my visit was about how the current political climate was affecting my well-being. She reminded me to keep a slow, steady anger brewing, so that I do not fall into despair and inaction. I believe she was also giving this advice to herself. At the end of the visit, she  encouraged me to take occasional time off from news and prescribed Zoloft. She’s worried about my serotonin levels.

So, what does this all have to do with Joey, Phoebe, and Friends you may be asking? Well, let me tell you. We’ve all got to be willing to let someone else figuratively give up eating meat for us for a day or a week or maybe more, so that we can take care of ourselves.

As activists, let’s support each other by offering to hold up the torch for those who need a news-free weekend, or cannot take the day off to attend a deliberative session or a protest rally. I know that I can turn off news notifications for a day, if  I’ve got others paying attention while I’m not. And I, in turn, will do for others.

There is a post traveling around Facebook about how musicians carry a long note and cover for each other so that they have the chance to breath while singing. We must breath. We must support each other. We must persist and resist.

Now I know, better

Than ever, why you exist.

(Tyranny, Militia, and the like)

 

So, my question becomes

What will be my weapon

Of choice: Poetry

or an AR-15?

 

This morning I laced-up

My Doc Martens.

Your mother wears combat boots.

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