Things are pretty rough right now.
I get that there’s a certain degree of hopelessness that comes with just being? Because everything that is is just kind of busy with reasons to focus on pumping pain into your ear, because the alternative feels like complicity with things you can’t help or focus on?
I get it.
There’s this thing I’ve taken to saying to queer folks on their birthdays. It’s been more and more important as time has gone on since I started. The average age for queer folk is typically much lower than nonmarginalised groups – same for people of colour, and even moreso for queer folk of colour. It’s all kinds of bad out there when you look at the statistics. And we know for a fact that these are imposed, societal burdens. Queer folk aren’t living in worse areas because they like smog more – they’re being pushed to those spaces by diminished earning potential and exclusionary housing policies, for example.
The idea is this: Every day you live while the world is telling you to stop is a day you have stolen.
Every birthday, you are fighting to push back a number that is used to diminish the hope of others. Every expression of pride, every step forward, every refusal to hide and be polite about it, is pushing the average that people just like you, five, ten years ago, are going to be living into. Make your life better, make it happier, be proud of yourself, and be proud of refusing to die in a life that seeks to be cruel to you.
Right now there’s a lot saying no, stop. Be queer but you know, keep a lid on it. Be tidy about it. Don’t put your pronouns in your bio because that makes us uncomfortable. Why you gotta make a fuss about it? Why is Pride so flamboyant, why are people so out there about it, why do you have to post ‘girls’ twenty times in a day?
And whatever it is you love, I encourage you to embrace the lesson of the mermaid: