Here lately, I haven’t felt the urge to write. I’ve been in a “funk” of some sorts and have let the best side of me lay dormant. This morning was an awakening on my ride to work. I’ve come to find out these last few years that coffee or tea and music is what my soul needs to find itself again.
As I was sipping my coffee, driving down the interstate, Rise Against came on while my phone was on shuffle. I wasn’t in any particular mood for music, so I thought why not, I haven’t listened to this song in ages. It was Make It Stop. As I listened to the lyrics of the song I found myself crying because of the hard message behind the words.
I’ve been struggling lately feeling as if I’m not enough. I’m too loud, too dramatic, too stubborn. I’ve focused so much on what I feel like my faults are and not the wonderful things I bring to the table. I’ve hit low points in my life that I’m sure other people have also hit and this morning, the lyrics made me feel hopeful. Like I did something right by choosing to stay and fight for a better world.
“From a nation under God, I feel its love like a cattle prod, born free but still they hate, a born me, no I can’t change.” This part of the song hit me hard this morning. Daily, I, and other people just like myself feel the “love” from our nation like a cattle prod. Where we are told as children, “You have the freedom to do what you want, love whoever, and be whoever!” This is blatantly false. There are still brutal murders of our trans brothers and sisters and hate crimes committed daily by people who simply refuse to accept that these people are just like you or me. We all feel, we all have people we love and are loved by others, we grocery shop, we watch the same TV shows, we all work and pay taxes. How are any of us different? Walking past me in the grocery store, trying to find the best option for dinner, you would probably never guess that I sleep beside a woman every night. The same one for nearly 6 years and I wouldn’t want it any other way. We are truly no different; who you sleep beside every night is none of my business and it should be the same for everyone.
The ending of the song reads off several names of teenagers. These young, sweet lives are the victims of this violent hate. It pains me to hear these names because I remember how it felt when I was their age and the fear and anxiety of what the future would hold for me and my family. It was a paralyzing fear and it’s hard to prevail from it. How many more lives have to be lost before people realize that EVERY life is precious, and hate is not the way?
I realize that most of my writing has to do with the fact that I identify as a member of the LGBTQ community; but it’s changed my life. Good and bad. I’m finally free and no longer hide who I am, but I lost my blood family due to this. I don’t regret being out and if I can help one person be comfortable with who they are or change someone’s mind about the hate; then I will die a happy woman. Every person is so much more than what society attempts to define them as. I am motivated to get this change started. Be proud of who you are, where you came from, and what wonderful things you will do.
“This life chose me, I’m not lost in sin, and proud I stand of who I am, I plan to go on living.”