POLITICS

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Submitted Date 07/03/2022
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Originally, I was gonna post something at the start of pride month.

I mean, this is a queer blog, that's my whole thing--so, I should have jumped on pride month, and I was going to, but the whole month (paired and assisted with some mental health issues I will not be getting into) ended up sneaking up on me, so then, I was going to turn to one of my worst habits when problems arise: ignore it completely.

I'm no role model, obviously--yes, I was about to pretend this whole month never happened, like I could ignore the guilt of disappointing you lovely readers (I know you're out there. I see you.) who were surely, completely relying on my wisdom for this rainbow-splattered month, and I let you down! The horror! Forgive me, my loves!

But then... it happened, and I figured, why not make a blog post on it? What is there to lose?

Before I get into the issue, I want to say, for all purposes, this blog is political. I'll try and explain it the best I can--but queerdom in this world is just about inherently political. Literature? That's about art, and words--books are a product of their creators and their times, leftover from history, and history? Is political. There's a lot of things that should not be political in this world--and who you love, and your harmless hobbies, and all sorts of things shouldn't be political, but unfortunately, in this day and age, being who you are and being open about it is a political statement. If I could, I would shut off the news, and I would open a book store full of nice chairs, and espresso machines, and shelves full of indie authors, and queer authors, and authors of color. My walls would be filled with books and pictures and flags. I would bake tons and hand cookies to newcomers and my favorite regulars alike, I would talk about new book ideas with my customers, What would you like to read?, and I'd donate to charities for the impoverished, or for mental health services--I'd donate to the Trevor Project and Doctors Without Borders, and talk shit about Autism Speaks, and I would do so much with my life, I could be happy.

But I'm here, the whole world is falling apart, and sometimes, I don't honestly see a future where I could run a business with too many rainbows without being hatecrimed.

By all this, I mean that everything is political. Your boss is wringing you dry to get every inch of profit--they make a dollar, you make a dime, those dimes go to a greedy, greedy landlord who might be working just as hard as you to escape inflation and the rising costs of gasoline, and the earth is growing hotter and hotter, the sea levels are rising, and still you're scrounging up change to get that full tank of gas because you need to get to work, still, and you know you're not helping, but the more sustainable options just aren't affordable or available to you, and even then, you might constantly live under the threat of poverty because you have zero savings, and if tragedy strikes, or you lose your job, or goddamn, anything happens, you lose your home and your way of life as you know it. (1) Maybe not all of this rings true for you, but chances are, at least one of these things is something you're dealing with too. My fellow Americans, we are having a time.

Everything is political. A lot of people will say that they're not into politics--but they'll be dealing with the same problems as us, and that doesn't mean they're unaffected by those politics. I will say that a lot of people might just not have the capacity to care about politics--sometimes it's hard to know your state official's name when your soul-sucking 9-5 is barely enough to actually provide for you, and I get that. I really do--but I think, for each and every person who doesn't got the energy to care, there's tons of people who outright refuse to care, and those are the people who benefit. Those are the people who don't turn off the news because they just can't take any more of it, but because it's too uncomfortable for them. They're the wealthy, or the white, or the straight--the ones who benefit from the patriarchy, or capitalism, or modern-day colonialism. Privilege is a complicated thing in the U.S.--but one of the worst ones is the ability to just ignore the problems.

By now, it's probably obvious where I'm getting at it, but let me continue to be vague for a little while longer because all feeling has left my body, mind, and soul, and I'm gonna get a little personal here.

My father was born in '69. He's old--ten years older than my mother, too, and he's a complicated man. I don't want to vent about my daddy-issues on my blog, but I don't have it in me to hate him--and that doesn't mean that the harm he has caused anyone is any less true, but this man was born to my abuela. She was young when she had him. And I mean super young. I know little about that side of the family--I know my dad's half-Mexican, I know his mom was young when she had him, I know that side of the family adores him, and I know it probably wasn't easy to be that young and a mother, back in '69. I know my father took part in some less-than-legal stuff, and I know he went to prison for it. He met my mother before she was even an adult--and he was ten years older. One of the many, many differences between them is my dad was born before '73, and my mom was born after '73.

My mom was not as young as my abuela but she was still young. She was also living a lifestyle she's done everything in her power to keep her kids from--the type you'd shun a kid for, and the type parents never want for their kids--and she got pregnant, and my father ended up going back to prison, but when he came out, him and my mom were together with their oldest, and originally, it was just gonna be the three of them. My mom was on birth control.

She got pregnant again anyway.

She got pregnant with twins.

If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm talking about Roe v. Wade--the court case that gave the American people the right to choose, and I mean the right to abortion.

The thing is, in my family, it's really common to do things... too young. My abuela was too young when she had my father, and my father was too young when he was arrested, and my mother was too young when she met him, and when she had to become a mother, and it didn't even stop there. My older sibling stepped up as a second parent for me and my twin--only seven years older. Too young, too.

So, you can understand that I don't want to fall into the same trap, too? I think I want to be a parent, sometimes I have it all planned out in my head--I'm thirty or so, and I have a stable income, and maybe I even have a partner, but I adopt a teenager, and it's not some spur-of-the-moment decision, because this is a kid I'm thinking about, and that's a big deal, and I've refused to bring a kid into my house before I'm ready, because I want to take care of another person. I have spent the last few years reading books and watching videos from adoptees, doing everything that every adoptive parent should do. I want to be educated and aware of the choice I'm making, I want to be prepared, and I want to welcome them into my home and into my life, because they deserve love--because they deserve to be loved, because I want to make that choice. The idea of not getting that choice terrifies me--the idea of having a kid before I'm ready, of being a bad parent, of harming somebody else because I didn't make a choice, or I didn't make the right choice. It's terrifying. I can't hate my parents, I don't have it in me--but I've been praying to whoever's listening that I don't turn out like them, as people or parents.

I am devoutly, one-hundred percent, a thousand-percent pro-choice, because I wish I had been a choice. I love my siblings--but there's been this quietly acknowledged truth that we've kept our parents from happiness, that we've locked them down on something they didn't want. Sometimes, I don't think my father ever grew into being a parent, I wonder if he ever grew out of being a kid. It hurts.

Enough with the feelings--I want to talk facts.

The treatment for an ectopic pregnancy is abortion. When a fertilized egg is stuck inside your tubes, you need an abortion. When you're having a miscarriage that's killing the fetus inside you but just won't pass--you get an abortion. When you're disabled, or weak, and having a human being either shoved and pulled out of your vagina, or being cut open to have it pulled out of you will kill you, that is a medical problem and the treatment, if you choose to take it, is abortion. When you already don't have enough money to provide for yourself and your family, and you can't feed another mouth, and another baby is just a problem, the solution is abortion. When medical bills are too expensive and there's no way you can afford childbirth, let alone a child, an abortion is cheaper (but not always affordable). When you're raped and get a positive pregnancy test and you can't stomach the thought of your rapist having some sort of tie to you, or taking care of their child, abortion is a possibility.

You might be thinking that rape isn't that common--but that's not true. Statistics show one out of every six women are raped--but, as always, it's the disabled, and the POC, and the queer community(2). It's also worth noting that tons of these rape victims don't make police reports--why? You ask. I can only gesture vaguely to the US justice system--you know, the same one that overturned Roe V. Wade, and one of the justifications for it was something to do with the "domestic supply of infants" as if fighting for the children means reducing them to a product that can be supplied ot the people. Tons of rape victims have tried to go to the police--only to be asked the usual questions of what they were wearing, and if they were drinking or inebriated in some way. Sometimes, it's insisted that the whole thing might be a misunderstanding, or that the victim is lying. It's also worth noting that most rapists are not just the creepy men hitting on us at bars, or asking for our number on the street, or figures bathed in shadows in alleyways--very often, it's someone the victim knows, and being asked to recount just how you were betrayed and harmed, trying to prove the crime while people scoff and challenge your testimony again and again, just so the person can likely walk free is a traumatic experience. I would also argue that not just rape victims deserve the right to terminate a pregnancy--abortions are not given to the violated the way blankets are given to people in shock.

Abortions are not cheap, either--people do not get them for fun. In my state, it can be from $700--$1000 dollars without insurance, and that's not including time off from work, travel, childcare (we'll get to that in a minute), etc. I would also like to point out that while it varies, the average cost of raising a kid is over $200,000--but if dropping a few hundred to a grande isn't an option for you, then you'll likely end up being forced to opt for the $200,000 dollar option--and this is only talking money, but we all know there's a lot more that goes into raising a kid than money, right?

I would also like to point out that the vast majority of folks seeking an abortion already have children--I'll admit that a disturbing amount of the pro-choice folks try to label all pregnancies as unwanted, all fetuses as parasites they don't want, but that is ignoring the people who are most heavily impacted by these types of rulings, and how they are often family-orientated. Families and religion are not what we need to be waging a war against--this is an issue with corruption in the government and people trying to control bodies that aren't theirs, period. I stand by somebody's right to choose--if that's having a kid, I want them to have the support necessary. If that's having an abortion, I want them to still get the emotional support necessary--and you might think that these folks who already have children should be using protection, and I want you to know that they probably are. Plan B, and condoms, and birth control--are not all effective. Pills and condoms can expire. Condoms can tear. You can forget to take it--this is ignoring just how much birth control can really fuck with your hormones.

Have you looked at the news? A ten-year-old, a child, a rape victim had to cross state lines to get an abortion. A pregnant woman flew from her home to an island where abortion was illegal, and when she started to miscarry but the baby she had wanted so badly still had a heartbeat--so they refused to perform an abortion on her, and needed to wait for it to stop before she could receive treatment--to the point where she was considering asking her husband to punch her in the stomach to speed up the process. She nearly died. People will cry that it is state rights, an issue only concerning the state, not the federal government--as if it's okay for somebody in Texas to have less rights than somebody in California, simply because the local government decided so.

Miscarriages are being investigated as homicides, because the parent might have taken an abortion pill. Grieving parents are gonna be interrogated for crimes, because the government's decided that a clump of cells inside them (that looks more like a shrimp than the child they've claimed it to be) and their death is a cause for concern--not for the wellbeing of the parent, but for the possible crime.

The U.S. is going to be dealing with a huge increase of forced births that we as a nation are not ready for, and this is just barely after recovering from a shortage in baby formula. This is also in the midst of a pandemic that has not ended. Present and potential parents are not receiving the support necessary for this--the idea that adoption is a simple, cure-all solution is ridiculous. You can't honestly believe that it's a simple, painless solution to people not ready to be parents to pop a screaming infant out of their bodies and then pass it off to somebody else--do you think that's good for the person who just gave birth, for the child? Who does it help, other than the people suggesting it as the solution, allowing them to continue to believe they're doing good when all they're achieving is harm? But it's claiming a life! Pro-lifers exclaim, like we have any memory of actually being in the womb, like a heartbeat has ever been indicative of life, like life at conception can even be remotely proven, like they have not turned their backs upon a system where thousands die and everybody is suffering to continue to push their own agenda. What about the life of the person carrying the pregnancy, and how they will be affected by carrying it to term?

What if your mother got an abortion, they ask--mine would've been so much happier. I woudn't have cared--my body wasn't even properly formed, I didn't have a brain, I had no notion of bodily autonomy or life or death. It was a decision that should have involved her and only her, and if I could sit here and confidently say that I had been a choice, I would be so much happier.

What if my mother's birth control worked? What if she had sex with my father any day other than the day she chose? What if she hooked up with another man, or stayed single, or my dad wore a condom, or my mom packed her bags and stole off into a nunnery for the ultra-religious life she randomly decided she wanted, just then? What if my father pulled out, what if my mother got her period, what if she did decide to get an abortion? Do you think I would have cared?

But these people deciding to terminate their pregnancies now aren't going to Thanos-snap me and my siblings out of existence. even if your parents might have wanted an abortion, somebody else's right to choose very likely won't affect you at all. Anything in this world could have changed anything else--I know I would be blissfully not present for this post, for this decision by a bunch of unelected and horribly cruel individuals who have no concern for the people they are affecting, but only care about the moral grandstanding they can do now, believing to be some sort of saviors while turning their backs on the downtrodden.

I think it's also worth noting that all these abortion bans will be doing nothing to stop abortions--they will stop safe abortions. People will start throwing themselves down stairs, purposely drinking, using hangers where hangers should not be used, connecting with out-of-practice or inexperienced (and possibly outright malicious) doctors who might be able to offer them the only thing that can really help them. Suicides will increase--worse than that, homicides will increase. Plenty of folks will kill them selves to avoid carrying a pregnancy to term, but what of the reason they might need to terminate that pregnancy? The number one cause of death for pregnant people is homicide.

But maybe, you don't like abortions. Maybe you're pro-life, and all these things I'm saying are genuinely horrible, and you're thinking, abortion for that reason is justified. If their life is in danger, they can get an abortion. If they're a child, they can get an abortion. If they're in a domestic abuse situation, they can get an abortion. In that case--you need to look at the laws being passed and realize that an abortion ban is a ban on all abortions, even your "justified" abortions. People are dying because of these laws.

If you're able to brush that off because they're 'tHe MiNoRiTy Of AbOrTiOnS aNyWaY', you're still sentencing folks to die to save a fetus.

This is not a religion issue. This is not a children's issue. This is not something to brush off because it doesn't concern you,a Dan you should not be shrugging it off because your state is blue, and this is not something to scoff and say, 'well, they should've made better choices' because right now, you have a choice.

First--don't offer your bedrooms on the internet for people who might be looking for abortions. If you're on Twitter saying, 'oh, I got a bedroom open for anybody in the south, who may or may not need help to make any appointments that may or may not be legal in the state they're in', that's mostly performative, and you're mostly putting anybody who does need that in danger. Tons of people who say that will not mean these people well, and if somebody does take you up on that offer, then the state will have avidence of them leaving the state for access to an abortion, and you helped them get evidence against that person. Even if you really want to help, it's just a bad idea, all around.

Second--please, please, do not shrug this off because you don't live in the South. I get we all want to make fun of the south, because we think every southerner is a gun-toting, MAGA-wearing, bible-thumping white man that might beat their wife, that will disown their kid if they come out, that probably has a confederate flag on their house--but our hatred for that man should not stop us from offering support to his wife, should not allow us to turn our back on the closeted child facing his mistreatment, should not encourage us to ignore the message he is spouting to his black neighbors. The people affected by these laws are our people, through and through. These are victims of abuse, or the impoverished, or BIPOC folk, or queer people, or the less-fortunate, or all of the above. They need our help.

Third--emigration is not the solution. So many Americans look at Canada as some sort of paragon--ignoring the raging Islamphobia, or the mistreatment of their indigenous people. Moving to Canada will not help, the same way moving to London or anywhere else won't help. When people say they want to move, I feel like they mean they want to go somewhere where they have no ties to their home, where they don't feel the need to fight for change--a lot of people might move simply in that they don't feel safe here anymore, which s perfectly understandable, and believe me, I would love to be able to stop fighting. I would love to put down the posters, and sit down instead of march, I would love to rest. A mass emigration elsewhere will not solve the problems here, and you will not solely leave behind the bad--that'd be leaving the people who, for whatever their reasons might be, can't leave alone to suffer under a power we should be dealing with as a country.

I would say, though, celebrate this country--celebrate it in the most patriotic way possible. Tomorrow should be a day for protests, to contact elected officials and remind them who voted for them, and who they should be protecting. Harass politicians--we are not their people, they are public servants meant to help us. Donate to abortion funds, and planned parenthood, and if you really want to stop abortions? Go to the source. We should be fighting for a higher minimum wage, for universal healthcare, for better mental health services, for more paid time off--for the things that help with the problems that abortion is ultimately a result of.

Most of us agree that now is not a time to drink beer, kick back, and watch the fireworks--and the way I see it, it's not the time to look for plane tickets elsewhere, or silently hate this country. When your roof is leaking, you do not move out--so with the realization of how shoddy the walls that keep that leaky roof over our heads really is, we should seek to improve them, not by strengthening the walls themselves, with how they've failed us, but by replacing them, or carrying that roof on our own hands, when the walls seem intent to drop that roof and crush us all beneath it.

More important than all this--be kind to one another. It's been a rough couple of weeks, months, and it's all been a part of a rough couple of years. Now, more than ever, is a time to care about each other.

I'll get to telling y'all about the rainbows in my books when I'm able to see through the grey.

Thanks for reading--now, go read up on why you should be pro-choice, and consider donating to some abortion funds.

 

(1) I told myself I was gonna try and tone down the American-ism, but this just screams America, doesn't it? I mean, this whole post probably does. I would also like to say that not all these issues are American-only things, but I am speaking from my own experiences, and this feels like something I should be discussing on my blog.

(2) This is especially for gender non-conforming or trans folks--corrective rape is legal in some places in the world, and in the media there's some sort of disgusting fascination with transfolks' bodies. A lot of cis people tend to think they're somehow entitled to know what's in our pants--and then people will turn around and accuse us of being the perverts.

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