Thursday, April 28, 2016

My privileged American life

Listen, I feel really helpless, too.

Beyonce released her new hour-long music video, Lemonade, and I don't know if I'm even allowed to like it, because I'm white and I don't understand her struggles as a black woman first-hand. But I'm learning through her, and through the conversation created by her amazing art, and I hope that I'll be able to make the world a better place with what I'm hearing and seeing and experiencing. I think she'd be okay with that. I think she'd be proud of that.

People are literally fighting about bathrooms right now-- about who can go into which bathroom. The horrible things I've heard people say about the transgender community literally makes my stomach turn. How lucky I am to be a cis-gendered, straight, white American female. I have never experienced struggle like the LGBTQ community has, and that's more of a reason for me to fight for their rights. I want these amazing, intelligent, strong, passionate, creative people to be able to have the same rights I was afforded at birth. If that means I have to be a tiny bit uncomfortable so they can experience even the slightest bit of comfort, I'm willing.

For the first time in my whole life, I have hope for my country because of Senator Bernie Sanders. I feel like my opinion matters and that I'm actually represented by someone who has my interests at heart. And he's probably going to lose the nomination, which bums me out and makes me feel totally hopeless. It's like living inside a vase and not wanting to see the cracks. I'd like to think they aren't there, but when Trump and Clinton are going head-to-head in the US presidential election, it will be proof that no one matters but big corporations and people with money. The rest of us? We're left to do the important work of making sure our transgendered friends can pee in peace and providing coats and hot meals for homeless veterans. All those cracks need gluing, and the big-bucks politicians won't do it. We are the ones that will need to change the dialogue about race and the rights of women because no one cares otherwise. If Bernie has taught this world anything during his campaign, it's that a bunch of little people with strong convictions can rally together and make amazing things happen for those around us.

I want to believe that the world isn't as big and scary as it feels. I want for this generation of "horrible millennials" to do something to continue to bridge the gap between the us and them mentality in this country. I want to care about the violence and poverty in other countries without being told that I'm un-American or unpatriotic. I want those who struggle with mental health issues to be able to receive care from a professional without having to starve while they do it. I want women to be able to make choices about their own bodies without being slut shamed or scolded. I want politicians to do what they say they'll do, and I want someone to hold them accountable when they don't. I want student loans to be manageable and starting wages to be livable. I want the Kardashians and Kanye to do something that benefits someone else for once. I want people to give a shit about animals and the environment, and I want to meet a boy with a beard who will bring me peonies and love me for who I am.

Maybe I'm an idealist, but I never ever want to lose that part of me that believes the world is capable of being a beautiful and better place.

Because it can.