What's there left to say?

If we wrote about every mass shooting in this space, it’s all we would write about. 

How f*cked up is that? There have been more sh

ootings than days in the year. 

Beyond that, it’s a challenge to write about, because what can you say that we haven’t said before? 

It’s so clearly disgusting that we are a country OK with removing barriers from people who want to murder children and teachers — and not just when it comes to driving trans children to suicide, gunning down Black kids, or putting refugee children in cages at the border. It can also mean murdering white cisgender Texas children too. 

I know now from all of the time I’ve spent with Lisa Cron that there’s no amount of talking about this that does much good to change anyone’s minds. Those who are outraged are outraged. Those who are responsible for the conditions that allow this to k

eep happening are already shifting the narrative to suggest that the shooter was here “illegally”…and twisting it to allow them to satisfy another part of their agenda. 

I similarly haven’t written a single newsletter intro about what’s happening in this country with abortion. The time to be outraged was in 2016. We knew that the GOP has explicitly run on this issue since the days of Richard Nixon and the Southern Strategy. There was no subterfuge. Hillary Clinton explicitly said that Roe V Wade was on the ballot. It was. A bunch of liberals who wanted Bernie Sanders didn’t care. A bunch of white women voted for Trump. That’s when the die was cast on abortion. That’s when it happened. The rest has been on auto-complete like a computer game of Solitaire. 

We are living in a failed state of minority rule, and the GOP is doing everything it can to make fewer votes count because it’s working for them. 

Acceptance doesn’t mean you are OK with something or that you stop fighting against it. It means seeing things as they are and not wasting your time fighting against seeing a terrifying reality; this means you can fight the actual terrible reality instead. We have to see that we are a nation that is fine with children being killed to support a political agenda. 

Yes, it should outrage us every time. These aren’t stats; they are lives. Close your eyes and imagine your child gunned down at school when laws could have prevented it. That whole lifetime you had envisioned for them is gone. You have to live every day knowing your child was mere collateral damage for political games and misinformation. You can only imagine the terror of what their last moments would be.

But this is not a bug nor a fluke; there’s no wake-up call happening. Twice as many children could get shot today, and it wouldn’t change minds. 

This is America, where only unborn children’s lives are sacred.  

What do we do? Well, yes, we should vote. We should vote like our kids’ lives depend on it, because they do. And yes, we should donate to organizations that do work on this. 

But speaking as the mom of a transgender child whose life was already at risk in the state of Texas before yesterday, I am also looking out for my kid by not living there. I don’t care how low the taxes or cost of living is. And I’m truly sorry if saying this offends people. (This is why I’m loath to write about these things.) 

Whether we ever enter another Civil War or not, we are already two countries: One where women have rights to their bodies and one where women do not, one where children’s lives are a priority and one where they are not. At some point, as parents and as women, we have to decide which America we are going to live in. From there, we can fight all of those battles. 

The physical and emotional release of knowing we live in a city with a transgender mayor in 2022 America…I can’t put it into words. There’s the idea of safety as in “Can we legally make healthcare decisions for our child?” And then there’s the idea of safety in the sense of “Do you live somewhere where your children have rights as an undisputed statement of law?” And then there’s the idea of safety as in “Oh, f*ck, City Hall gets this. It’s not a side battle for our mayor.” 

Living here — even compared to San Francisco — has allowed my child to get her childhood back. 

This is heartbreaking to me as someone born and raised in the South who knows first-hand the multitudes and complexity and LOVE that is in those states. It’s so core to who I am. The South isn’t some redneck monolith. This is what’s so insidious about minority rule: We as a people do not want this. Everyone I know in the South does not want this, even many of the conservatives I know. 

But the reality is red states, and so our country with it, are ruled right now as if they are a monolith, and it’s one that would happily score donations and votes and tweets by threatening my children’s lives. I don’t have the space to be polite and nuanced about it if I want my kids to live — or if I want to have the basic human right of autonomy over my healthcare and my daughter’s healthcare.

Is this a privileged situation? Yes. Sadly it is. And I’m happy to donate any extra money from my privilege to organizations like HRC and Everytown to fight for those who don’t have that privilege. But my children will never set foot on the soil of a state ruled by politicians who don’t value their lives. This is a personal decision for everyone, and I respect and am in awe of ferocious Mama Bears who are fighting these battles in these states. But on a personal level, I lived the damage of being raised in the evangelical South and saw what it did to queer members of my family — and that was 40 years ago when we comparatively had way more common ground. 

My heart breaks for everyone impacted by this. I am so sorry.

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