What god damned difference can I make?
This, I’m sure, is what millions of people are asking themselves after this disastrous election. Yes, I said disastrous, because that’s exactly what it is: DISASTROUS.
Am I being melodramatic? Fine. This is one of the rare instances you can pigeonhole me as a Stereotypical Gay Man overreacting on his feelings.
But I don’t want to talk about the election, believe it or not. I want to talk about what it’s done to me, and what I’d like to do about it.
I have often considered entering the political arena, even in the most marginal of terms. A volunteer. Handing out pamphlets. Joining a rally. Little things. But I’ve been needled by one uneasy question:
What difference can I actually make???
One person, I’ve learned, can make a huge difference. Influence, opinions, and stamina. Among other things. But, honestly, sometimes simply being involved is all that matters. Isn’t it? It’s easy to tell the chef he made a shitty steak, but what would you do if he gave you the kitchen and said, “Fine, go in an make one yourself”? Do you scoff and accept what was given to you? Or do you take the knife and make yourself a damn good steak?
As a gay man, Trump’s win frightens me. Perhaps I became too comfortable that the fight for Equality was won when, in truth, that fight was anything but won. It’s a fight that never ends. There will always be adversaries in the war for Equal Rights and understanding, even where we least expect them. Adversaries for all things that stand between you and what you believe.
So, as Donald Trump revels in the idea that he and his family will soon enter the White House, I take solace in knowing that I have a voice. I have the opportunity to become involved.
There is a lot of education ahead of me. I don’t pretend to know even a fraction of how politics work. I know the basics, but that’s not enough. What I do know is that education and information is key. Differences aren’t made my remaining sedentary, neither physically nor intellectually. Differences are made by actions, by taking the horse by the reins and shouting, “Let’s go!”
The first step of any task is often the most trying. Perhaps this is my first step, this blog post. But I do know I need to reach out to those I know can lead me in the right direction.
I am lucky to have friends who are not only politically motivated, but they know what’s going on – where to start, who to contact, what steps to take…and so on.
So, in the coming days and weeks, I will be educating myself on who my local legislators are and what they stand for. I will be sending emails. I will find out how I can help. These things will not happen overnight, but they will happen, because I don’t want to live in fear.
These are my baby steps. Because I want so badly to make a difference. I don’t want to watch the country go backward 50 years.
What I want, most of all, is to make a mark. To know that I made a difference.
“Where do I put this fire? This bright red feeling? This tiger lily down my mouth? She wants to grow to twenty feet tall.” – Paula Cole