Dire Predictions

I’ve been sitting on this article for a day or two because it honestly depressed the shit out of me, so if you’re feeling especially overwhelmed by the grief and dread of the political landscape right now, you might want to put this aside for when you’ve got more fight in you.

Briefly, it’s an argument that the appointment of Gorsuch – and the likeliness that Kennedy or Ginsberg will retire – and what a Gorsuch Court (ugh, those words) will mean for LGBTQ rights.

In a nutshell: an ongoing onslaught of cases that will interpret any big wins for gay rights in the narrowest ways as possible – such as what just happened in Texas – with a simultaneous liberal (by which I mean generous) interpretation of the RFRA which will keep states, employers, and cities from enforcing non discrimination rulings because a religious person’s right to discriminate – against women who get abortions or go on birth control, against gay people, trans people, etc. – will be upheld instead.

It’s all depressing AF.

But that, combined with Jamelle Bouie’s recent piece on how this wished-for impeachment will do us little good, tells us something slightly less pessimistic: we are going to fight on every small stage we can. It will change the look and the landscape of LGBTQ politics, and women’s politics, as the intended result of current Republican rule is to disappear both national identity and so called “big government”.

So the one thing I have to ask myself, and ask others who are like me, is that we have got to snap the fuck out of it. I’ve been walking around in a haze for months, feeling like I’m in a dreadful and unsought alternate reality. Honestly, I’ve even been watching Star Trek because they always seem to find a way out of theirs. But this new reality is not going away. People aren’t going to eventually just “be okay” with gay people and trans people or with women’s rights.

White capitalist supremacist patriarchy is baring its teeth all over the country in small and violent ways, and we know it is.

We are going to have to demand that our good liberal friends radicalize, and fast. We are going to need people who are made of steel to help create safe places and welcoming communities in small ways all over this country.

Ultimately, there is this: we have not entirely undone all the cultural work that was done. People are still far more accepting of LGBTQ lives than they were before Obama’s presidency, and far far more than they were before Clinton’s. That is, for those who have lived through it, this will not be worse. It will be what we already knew and what we fought hard to change.

But for younger people, who dream of a new and different world where everyone has autonomy and respect from others, this is going to be challenging. What I need to say to them – and what we need to keep saying – is that we have done this before and we can do it again. We had joy and beauty and celebration the whole time. But we have got to stop blaming millennials for everything, and we have to get the Boomers to care as much as they did before they had houses and 401k plans. (Gen X will keep doing what we’ve always been doing, sighing and slogging through.) We need to find ways to work together.

I have not yet decided where to direct my own efforts but I do know that I am done feeling sad and angry and now I just want to get to work. Join me.

 

Helen Boyd

is the author of My Husband Betty and She's Not the Man I Married.

7 Comments

  1. The key is the 2018 mid terms and from what I have seen, the dems don’t have their shit together. Instead of focusing on the fairytale of impeaching trump, they should be focusing on unseating house and senate republicans. They are not. They are lost, adrift and in some cased behaving like chicken littles and babies. Time to put on the big girl pants and get to work on what will work.

  2. I agree, Trudie. That’s why I found that article I just posted in another comment so intriguing. Just bought that book, too.

  3. So right! The Republicans realized control lies in the local districts and got control of so many states when they are not the majority. Democrats need to get back to basic politics and win theses elections. Hopefully the people will wake up and find a way around the gerrymandering to get this done. Thanks for posting this!!

  4. The mistake we Democrats(and writ large, lefties in general) make is making perfect the enemy of good. I look at the coalition that #blacklivesmatter has put together and wonder what in the fuck is wrong with white people? Yes, we need to win districts, one at a time and support the candidates who will win. Even here in CA, we know that every congressional seat we flip is one more person to stop The Stupid Machine from grinding all of us up. I’ll be working to flip the district North of mine, and if we need a pro-gun Democrat to do it, that’s fine with me.
    Also, time to show teeth to stupid fucks like Bill Maher.

  5. Right on Divadarya. Coalitions work. There’s too much expectations to conform to certain political and social beliefs in the LGBT community that have nothing to do with it. It’s like a fundamental religion at times. The truth is that if you did a survey, I’d bet we’re more diverse than the public presentation and talking points lead some to believe. Look up the Pink Pistols for one. Instead of building walls and dividing, we have to build bridges and expand the tent. As long as we have a strong but short list of core beliefs, I think we can do it. It comes down to less tribalism and the idea that people are other. Ultimately, we’re all in the same boat.

  6. Yes, all the battles must be fought again, and again, and again. The women’s movement found this out. The libs are finding it out now, but the Rs & Ds are both hoping we’ll get tired and go home.
    Don’t do that!

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