Friday, November 18, 2016

Do Not Go Gentle/Happyboy's Positivity

Yes, the election upset me. It's far too easy to fall down the rabbit hole of what could happen. My faith in people's belief in equality was shaken--and I'm not even close to one of the most marginalized groups. I'm a white girl whose husband has a well-paying job. But my family and friends are among those groups--from cousins who are people of color and indiginous people, to my children, cousins, and loved ones who are LGBTQ, to the many women I admire and count myself lucky to know. Like I said, worry for them makes it easy to curl up in a ball--but they aren't, so I won't. I'll take a page out of Happyboy's book.

This guy has been called "wannabe girl", "thing", and a couple of other names this year. He still rocked this Tshirt two days after the election.

My 13 year old boy gives me hope for this world. He woke up Saturday morning with a mission. He wanted to start a Gay-Straight Alliance at the Middle School level. He wanted to take action to show the kids around him that we should be and do better. He researched it. He made sure he had enough students and a teacher. When he didn't get permission at first, he went to the Vice Principal, who explained that it's something they're "working on." He didn't take that for an answer, and he researched and asked his sister for information and pushed and pushed and explained that we don't need this later, we need it sooner, because there are lots of LGBTQ kids hurting and lots of non-LGBTQ kids who want to do something positive and proactive to show those kids that they're wanted at school. The VP called to explain that they are moving forward with it, they just want it to have the right (knowledgeable) teachers, and they want to offer it to more than one school, and they want to come up with a name that is more inclusive to begin with (a less binary one.) Regardless if they were already (unbeknownst to Happyboy) working on it, I'm so proud of him for finding a positive way to deal with all this worry and angst-and not just his own, but that of all his friends. He asked to remain updated on the progress of the program, and I have no doubt that if it loses fizzle he will bring it back to its original verve.

There are so many things you can do: My huaband donates a portion of his check to the Southern Poverty Law Center. We are members of the ACLU. I volunteer with a cosplay group who has worked the Summer Games (Special Olympics), veterans' events, and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer among other things. You can volunteer to escort at Planned Parenthood, or if you're feeling snarky, join the other 44,000 people who have donated in Mike Pence's name, or you can do the same for The Trevor Project.. You can put up a sign that says I love people of all religions and none. You can join a local march for equality. You can wear a safety pin to let people know you support them. You can start recycling, or composting, or invest in and/or support clean energy programs. You can research valid articles on how to help and post them on your social media accounts--because to me, social media is how this election was won. So use that tool and help people with it. The point is: Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night...