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Friday, November 11, 2016

Why we are killing ourselves over this - and why you need to understand it.

Hello, Darlings. I want to share this. It's a response I typed to a friend this morning who didn't understand why people were killing themselves over these recent political events. This is a person I respect and love (in a friendy way), but who is not one of the groups affected most by this election. It occurred to me after writing it that maybe it would be help some others understand better, too. 

P.S. This comes straight, unedited, from my personal FB wall. It may lack the usual wittiness and charm you've come to expect from this blog, but frankly, I'm not feeling terrifically witty or charming today. Hopefully some other day. If we make it that long.

(Re: A bunch of people killed themselves when Elvis died, and John Lennon.) Let me explain why this is so VERY, very different...

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[name withheld] - about Elvis and Lennon I don't disagree a bit. But this could not be more different. This presidency is something that is already having a direct and immediate disastrous impact on many, many lives, and will continue to do so literally every single day that that man is in office. Probably not your life, which might be why it doesn't seem like a big deal to you. But to those of us who are already at risk, our 'daily danger rating' just went from 5/10 to 11. I'm not being dramatic or exaggerating. LGBTQ people, non-white people, people of non-Christian religions, and even handicapped people have just in the past few years begun to feel more safe in our daily lives - safer because it seemed more people in the world were beginning to see that we have just as much right to be unharassed and left alone as anyone else does. We were beginning to feel like we might someday be fully accepted and get the same rights that white people, particularly white men, have enjoyed in this country for the last 200 years. (Not special rights, just the same ones.) During this election cycle, and exponentially more so now that the man won, all of that has changed. Not only is it 'acceptable again' to harass and yes, commit violence against people, it's been encouraged by the man about to assume the highest office in our country. In the 3 days since the election, real-life violence against us has skyrocketed. It's like field day against the 'others' - and anyone non-white, non-Christian, non-straight, and anyone who supports those who are those things, is a free target. If it's this bad in 3 days, count on it continuing to escalate. Now instead of going out and doing my grocery shopping, I have to worry if someone will take offense at my existence and shout slurs at me. Or pull me from my car and hit me. Or decide a good raping is what I need to 'straighten me out'. I have to worry that people I love may be dragged out of a restroom, or beaten, or killed, just for the crime of needing to pee while not in their home. I have to worry that someone will spray paint swastikas on my car, or set it on fire, because despite the appearance of a man and a woman together in that car, a sticker on the back shows that I think everyone deserves to be treated with the same respect and dignity - but I'll be damned if I'll let them make me take that sticker off. I have to worry every single time my boyfriend is gone longer than expected and doesn't text right away that one of these things might have happened to him, because of me, and his support for me, and his bad luck to be driving our shared car. I have to hear - multiple times a day - people gloating that they're 'taking their country back' and know they mean not only illegal immigrants, but 'deviants and perverts' like me. I try to live my life with love and kindness, while they feel they have the right to assault and kill us for not being like them - and *WE* are the perverts?!
This is going to be our lives EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. from now on, under that man's presidency. He hasn't even taken office yet, but his followers are already showing their intolerance and their extreme eagerness to show us that we are not welcome to live our lives here. Is it any wonder some people can't face that? No. And unless you yourself understand how our lives have literally changed overnight, you probably have a hard time understanding it. Unless YOUR life has changed in this way, every day from now on, you probably never will. But please try. We NEED people like you - who have good hearts and good, loud voices - to understand and SPEAK UP when you see things like this happening to people like us. Because you will. It's only a matter of time.

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If you are feeling despondent and considering self-harm, please know that people love and value you, and your life is worth living. Please let someone know of your feelings, and ask for help. Call someone.
The Trevor Project hotline
1-866-488-7386

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