Yesterday and Next Year
with gratitude to Alyssa Harley
was hard. The Supreme Court
decided I could marry
a man or a woman with impunity,
just three days after a Latina trans immigrant was booed out of the White House
for saying the struggle is not over
because she has bigger problems than a hers&hers wedding registry.
I did it too. I said to friends, to family, jesus, can’t we take one day to be happy,
can’t we let people celebrate and rest for a minute
and come back refreshed in a minute
ready to fight again?
Some people quietly agreed, and some shouted that thought down, and some quietly disagreed,
and I was angry. And I slept on it, and thought what do I have to be angry about?
Despite my intersectional identities I am sitting pretty high up on the privilege pyramid
(English as my first language, white skin, citizenship and
if I take it in any particular moment the ability
to pass as a straight cis man, if you don’t look under these clothes.)
I realized that yesterday I was angry because of my privilege,
the privilege even for a minute to feel that we have worked hard enough
that a break is coming, that I
will reach the top of that pyramid and sit in the sun.
There are people at the bottom holding me up,
holding you up. They are crushed under the weight
of good enough and not my fight and that must be so hard and next year.
They have fought the fights that were not theirs,
shown up for rallies and on picket lines,
paid their dues and listened to the promise of next year.
you can stay in this country
your rape will be prosecuted
your name will be your own
your body will be safe in bathrooms and bars and the streets
you can have privacy
you can make your own medical choices
your identity will be respected
I’ll sign the nondiscrimination bill
I’ll remember that Stonewall was a riot
next yearyou can be proud too.