Friday, December 19, 2014

A New Sensibea*lity, Pt. III

Finally, on healing.

In the wake of now many injustices in such a short time, fury rightfully inhabits many people.  The misplaced, racist bullets of more than a few stupid cops have rent families, friends, and lovers into incoherent parts.

It is a fury I know to a lesser extent, but nonetheless well: when I went to the Passport Office this summer or my University Registrar this fall and was forced to answer personal questions about my body and identity that were not other people's business, but because they had power over me I answered them anyway, despite the humiliation; when I touched back down in Chicago from Berlin on September 16th, and only a few hours later, endured in silence the prolonged and hateful comments of a woman who probably did not realize how much we had in common; or even just a month ago, now, when I stepped outside a cafe to take a phone call, and a woman walking by saw the person who was standing there and heard the person's voice, and her observations of these two things did not presumably coincide, and so she looked back at me three, four more times, to check. Am I really that nonexistent, I have to wonder, that I must so constantly explain myself or be punished for being unexplainable?

This fury runs deep.  It is the sense that everyone around you is walking blind to the wounds hanging open and bleeding from your dissimilar flesh.  How are minorities to be expected to live contentedly like this, in danger?

Maybe living contentedly for anyone who is not a straight, white, cisgender, able-bodied, middle-class-and-up male means letting go of expecting equality in the present.  As hard and as backwards as it is, maybe it means we accept the present as wrong but real, and take the extra, unfair precautions we have to take in order to keep ourselves safe, and we hope and strive for a better-looking future without hating the world and ourselves that we haven't yet gotten there.  Maybe it's balancing rage and patience and action and happiness, and fighting for what should be ours but remembering to come home, and to hug the people around us who fight too, and who also know that the fight is hard.

The rage is real and we need to let ourselves mourn.  But I for one don't like to envision a lifetime spent only ever furious and grieving.  I'm a still a human being, and even when I've been fighting the good fight and making some strides I still get overwhelmed, and need to cry, and collapse, and rest up, before I go at it once more.

So for the love of humanity let's scream in the streets and organize for the fallen and call government officials and write petitions and have conversations with the people who don't get it yet.  And when we're done for the day let's take care, of each other and of ourselves, please, in the name of healing and for the love of humanity.

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