Journal of the Plague Years 2021: An Angry Rant That Ends with Grace and Patience

I go to bed angry. I wake up angry. I don’t sleep much. Instead, I fume through the night. It’s hard to work, or read, or even eat.

Like a lot of people, I’ve been tormented by rage ever since the President of the United States incited a mob to attack the Capitol. The more facts come to light, the more horrifying it becomes. We were very, very close to having dead Senators, Representatives and staffers.

I feel it as a citizen and a voter, but it also feels deeply personal. I think it probably is for everyone. We all have personal, immediate reasons to be enraged and horrified at the attack on our republic and our mortal, fragile elected officials. My reasons are below. Yours will differ, but I encourage you to reflect on your personal stake, if you haven’t already.

Those of you who have followed the story so far know that I’m a trans man. My birth certificate and legal name are female; I’m in the process of changing that. I’ve identified as queer my whole life without being able to name it, because when I was growing up in the 1980s, the terms weren’t available.

Transitioning is a leap of faith. If you don’t transition medically, you’re counting on people to agree with the identity you’ve chosen for yourself. I’m pretty damn femme physically — ask any of hundreds of past lovers — so I felt I had to transition medically to help folks to suspend disbelief. Plus, it’s been awesome. I always wanted to be a guy, and it turns out that’s totally available.

That said, it’s not seamless. You’re counting on support from a variety of institutions, and you’re assuming that affordable, generic testosterone will be available. Neither seems obvious to me, as a child of the 80s.

So, yeah, a leap of faith. A part of me expects to be fired, beaten, literally crucified like Matthew Shepard was. There are laws against any of these three activities, but all that feels pretty fragile. The Supreme Court ruled that I have a right to employment just last year.

When I saw that the Capitol had been stormed by a rag-tag collection of conspiracy theorists and white supremacists, egged on by the sitting President, my response has been rage. Because that President, and the ass-wipes who stormed the Capitol, have made it plain who they think is the enemy: Democrats, black people, feminists, immigrants, fags, queers. According to their worldview, we’re hate-filled communists by definition — not because of what we’ve said or done, or how we’ve lived our lives, but because of who we are.

Reader, that makes me so fucking mad I could spit. Because black people, feminists, immigrants, fags and queers have worked tirelessly — not to overthrow the republic, but to enjoy the benefits of full citizenship.

All we’ve ever wanted was to vote, work, marry, and love without being beaten, shot or blown up for our presumption. That’s it. All I’ve wanted as a woman and a trans man is to be allowed to contribute fully to the country, state and community. I’ve spent a lot of time — too much time, clearly — trying to explain why rape, harassment, racism, police brutality and homophobia are ugly and limiting, and should be rejected.

So, yeah, I’m fucking angry. I love this country despite its imperfections, and I’ve played by the rules. It’s been damn hard to get to where I am, and lots of fine people don’t make it this far because of accidents of birth or a deficit of class or race privilege.

President Trump should be impeached, removed from office, and barred from holding public office in the future. He should be prosecuted for any criminal acts he committed as President, or as a private citizen. Any Senator or member of Congress who exploited the President’s lies for political gain by objecting to the certified election results in Arizona and Pennsylvania should be punished to the extent that the Constitution and law will allow. The 14th Amendment allows for people who advocate the overthrow of the government to be removed from pubic office and barred from serving. That penalty should be applied wherever possible. Any attorney who brought one of the frivolous lawsuits that was rejected or thrown out should be disbarred.

Look, when I was a professor, sometimes students would do silly shit like take phone calls or text in class. I threw them out. They whined and threatened to go to the Dean, or to the Chair, or to Mommy or Daddy. Fuck them. Because there were always many more students who came to learn, who valued their education, who were genuinely outraged at those little privileged shits and their entitled, childish ways.

Same with a republic. We’re a nation of laws. The mob assault on the Capitol was an insult to every person who has protested peacefully, campaigned, raised money, brought lawsuits based in fact and — damn it — just shown love and mercy and grace and compassion for their fellow citizens.

So, yeah. I’m angry. I’ll get over it.

Oddly enough, the best possible balm was signing on to work this morning and running errands this afternoon.

This morning a close work friend was sad because he and his wife lost their cat over the weekend. He told me the story over text because he needed to go through it again, and he didn’t want to make his wife relive it. I’m honored he told me, and prayed for both of them and for their pretty little Kitty, who used to interrupt our D&D games over Zoom.

After that I went to El Rio and picked up my testosterone and syringes. The line at the pharmacy was long and there was some confusion over what gauge of needles to give me, but it calmed and grounded me to thank the pharmacy tech and wave to the women at the front desk. They’ve been on the frontlines of the pandemic, and have taken it seriously from the start. It was a pleasure to show a little grace and patience.

Same thing at Trader Joe’s. A long line that moved quickly; grocery store employees who were funny and kind under pressure.

God bless them. God bless all of us.

The numbers are below. Deaths have topped 10,000 for my beloved home state. Predictable, but still painful.

Total Covid-19 cases in Arizona: 627,541

Current hospitalizations: 4,997

Deaths: 10,147




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