Winter is Here
It’s a dark day, literally and figuratively as I write this from my parents’ house in Western Washington. In the other room they’re listening, gleeful, to crowds celebrating the affirmation of The Great Orange Disappointment to the Presidency of the United States. I do not know what the coming year will bring, but I am devastated.
I am afraid.
I’m 27 this year, having come to age during a time of amazing progressive democracy. The 2000s and 2010s have been by no means perfect, but in many ways they have brought so much joy and pride and hope to me as I watched the LGBTQIA+ community make so many strides in visibility and policy. But this fall has shown me that, for as many strides we have taken, there are just as many people who would tear us back down, and those people now have a majority control of the United States.
Even more than that, our tenuous social contract called democracy has been irrevocably tampered with.
I heard someone say once that Democracy is not about a result, it’s about a process–a process by which we, as the people, come together to bequeath governing power to our government. That process has been tampered with. I think that’s a fairly safe comment to make, when even the FBI concedes it happened–keeping in mind that for all intents and purposes, the FBI’s pick for POTUS was elected. That act of tampering has broken the sanctity of democracy in this country.
I never imagined myself to be sitting here in my lifetime, contemplating the end of democracy in America, but here I am. It is too horrible a moment to let pass without some acknowledgement.
Why My Identity is Political
Some people would argue that for my own business interests I should keep my mouth shut and keep my politics away from my work. Book writing is my business. This is my full time job. And there is not part of my writing that is not political. There is nothing about me, as a person, that hasn’t been made political. It’s not only my desire to discuss this, but it’s my duty to be informed and to discuss it.
I come from a conservative Protestant background. My entire family is radically conservative Christian. I was indoctrinated in Christian private schools from kindergarten until I graduated high school. I struggled with religion for most of my teen years. I’ve never shied away from saying as much to peers and friends, but it’s the more intimate details that I’ve guarded more closely. It’s only in the last couple of years that I’ve begun to come out to a very few select people–and only those I know will never encounter my family.
All I’m doing is trying to write the words and those are so hard I’ve spent a half hour staring at this blank page trying to form them.
It’s always seemed easier to just be vague than try to explain, but as I try to unravel why my identity as a person is intrinsically a political identity, I think it’s important here to do so.
I am demisexual. I’ve dated women and men. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that I tend to only form really strong connections with women. The last couple of times I’ve tried to form deeper connections with cismen, when it came right down to it we were philosophically incompatible, which for me, is a no-go in the romantic department. I feel most comfortable labeling myself “queer” as a catch-all term (because I’m not technically bisexual and while I’m demisexual, I’m more gay-demi-romantic, and that’s just a mouthful to try to say when someone asks). I’m cis. I use she/her pronouns.
I’m an atheist.
I write gay fiction (for now, it’s my plan to include more letters in my writing in 2017).
All of these things mean that my entire life is tied to politics because all of these identities are under attack by politicians. And that is why I think it’s important to talk about what’s happening both in the USA and around the world.
The fact that I am white is literally the only thing about my identity that is not in some way radical. Subversive.
Hard times are ahead. I don’t have a lot of hope for the next four years. I’m afraid, both personally and professionally. And while I am afraid, I’m also aware of how privileged I am to be white and unlikely to be pushed out of the closet in front of my family.
I am looking back to my contemporaries from times past, who too experienced these sort of regime upheavals. The only thing I know how to do is write and speak, as loud as I can, in the circles that I can. My corner of the internet I hope to be a safehaven for other queer radicals. I will not suffer any Trump apologists.
As we move into 2017, all I can do here is continue to work in my own radical way. I feel this deep, fearful drive to write as many of the stories in my head as fast as I can. Before my voice is silenced.
You can follow me here on the blog or join me on twitter @LiaCooperWrites. I wish I could say it’s a fun place, but winter has come, and there are dark days ahead of us. To all my readers I want to send out a big *hug* and remind you that despite any forces arrayed against us, we have each other. I love you all.
Thanks for letting me vent here a little.