It’s been a rough few weeks for Queer and Trans folks in North Carolina. I suppose it’s been a rough lifetime for the community. I have been to a conference with Southern Queers, I have spoken to parents, I have watched my identity and those of people I love become illegal, and I have been fighting against my desire to quit and collapse. Through it all I have seen the support of people that I love and that love me in return pour in from all over the country. I have read articles of people boycotting the state, of people creating new All Gender restrooms in public spaces, and it is in this moment that I am reminded of something that I too often forget.
We have forgotten that we are stronger because we are together. I don’t mean the kind of together that looks like agreement. I mean the kind of together that pushed me out of the closet at 19 and showed me that being Queer was a powerful place full of people who loved me simply because I was me. We have forgotten that the most powerful tool in our arsenal is Hope, and that is what the conservative republican governmental idiots want to take from us. But they can’t, not if we remember how strong we are and have always been.
We are constantly fighting with our sense of worth, with the ever-present total burn of shame that is the glue that holds us together too often. We tell others and ourselves the most horrific stories about how we live, how we are treated, and how the world tries to kill us everyday. These stories are true. These stories are real and they have merit. These stories are also not the only thing that we are. We can’t have a future if we have no Hope. We can’t have a present that is worth living if we have no Joy.
We can mourn our dead, and lament our troubles, and nurture our anger at stupidity while expressing our Love, yelling our Joy, and demanding our Happiness. I want a different kind of future for us all, but I don’t want one that is built upon despair. I want my Queer family to be proud of who we are, and to show each other how much in love we are every day. Without Hope we have no future to look forward to, so lets work and hope and love and live in joy so the future is even better than we could have imagined.