I can't run no more / with that lawless crowd / while the killers in high places / say their prayers out loud. / But they've summoned, they've summoned up / a thundercloud / and they're going to hear from me. --Anthem by Leonard Cohen
I've waited several days before writing this post, because I simply haven't known what to say. Like many of my friends, I am aghast and quite frankly terrified, but fear is a funny thing--it can debilitate some people and galvanise others.
I'm in the latter category. In light of the upcoming administration, I've made some changes in my personal life, and I will be doing more in the coming weeks. I've seen some people advocating for what to do in two years, but quite frankly, two years is a long way away. I intend to begin now.
People who feel safe keep telling everyone to give Trump a chance, and that is fair. I intend to give him precisely the same chance and scrutiny that was given to President Obama. I cannot normalize Trump's or Pence's outrageous behavior and live with myself. Every policy Pence has enacted in his home state has been against women, minorities, and the LGBTQ community. Have no doubt that he will carry that agenda forward with him into the White House. He and Trump are the thundercloud and the darkness, but I refuse to let them be the end, or even have the last word.
Ring the bells that still can ring / Forget your perfect offering / There is a crack in everything / That's how the light gets in. --Anthem by Leonard Cohen
I am only one, but I am someone, and I will do what I can to bring light where there is darkness, and I will stand between my friends and those that hate them until I can stand no more. It's all I have to give.
I will call down injustice when I see it, and I will not normalize violence or oppression. If that bothers you, feel free to leave now, write me off, whatever floats your goat. If you dislike my politics, you will hate my stories even more, because fiction is where I explore these issues.
With that said, you should know that I will also continue to write stories with gay protagonists. Diago and Miquel will be fighting fascism on every front, and as he gets older, so will Rafael.
I am part of an anthology: We Are Not This: Carolina Writers for Equality. All proceeds from the sales of this anthology goes to LGBTQ charities in Charlotte and North Carolina as a response to the NC General Assembly's passage of HB2, the "bathroom bill." There is a Los Nefilim vignette in this anthology as well as my new introductory essay to the story.
If you are feeling vulnerable right now, you are not alone. Here are some Concrete Suggestions in Preparation for January. (NOTE: this file is really popular right now, so you may have to keep hitting the link before you get in.)
[ETA: In light of some recent issues, notably that of the KKK and other racist organization adopting the safety pin, I'm going to revert to stealth defense. If I see an aggressor harassing another person based on their gender, race, or religion, I'm just going to pepperspray the aggressor. That should solve the problem. However, I'm leaving my original suggestion in case anyone wants to follow it:] Just as the Norwegians adopted the paperclip as their non-violent symbol of resistance to Nazi ideology, I suggest we follow Britain's post-Brexit example of the safety pin. Wear a safety pin to let others know that you are a safe person to approach if they are feeling frightened.
Vote with your pocketbook. If you see pictures of businessmen and women involved in Klan activities, don't patronize their businesses. If the individual works for a local business, stop using their products. If members of the GOP are involved in voter suppression, find out the companies they own and don't do business with them.
If you have friends or family members that like to make racist, misogynist, or hateful jokes about the LGBTQ community, don't encourage that behavior. You don't have to be aggressive. Down here, we simply say, "We don't talk like that in my house", or "We don't appreciate those views here", or "That isn't funny" and that is usually enough to shut people up.
The key is to be alert and proactive. Don't wish the situation away, but stay on top of developments. News sources will try to normalize Trump's and Pence's behavior and their government, because they want to stabilize the stock market. Read "Autocracy: Rules for Survival."
Stop giving politicians the right to whisper platitudes while practicing oppression. If the GOP tells you they do not support the KKK, but they worked to suppress African-American votes, they are liars. Most politicians take silence for assent, so don't accept their banality as the truth. Call them on it.
Watch out for another.
And let them hear from us.