Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. A day when we celebrate a man who was so committed to equality that he died for it. Set that against the juxtaposition of a new Presidential inauguration later this week of someone who ran on a platform of building walls instead of bridges. I have seen the pain and frustration from so many members of our community and there’s little that I can say to ease that, nor is it my right to try and take away your feelings. Today I come to you to remind you that you are not alone. As scary or lonely as this moment may feel - I assure you that you are not alone in this. So let’s support each other. And if you don’t like the state of things as they are, let your voice be heard - you can do this in small or large ways. Please remember that micro-activism - having one conversation with one person - is more meaningful than you can possibly imagine. Each conversation, each word, each moment has ripples that travel ever outward.
As I sat down to write this, I couldn’t help but think of a blog post that I wrote several years ago. It just felt relevant now. Here is a portion of that post, Mosquitoes Rise:
‘If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.’ - The Dalai Lama
...The concept that those who are different from ourselves, or “other,” are frightening and unwelcome is an ancient idea, and I say that it’s time has come - it is time for revolution. I am inspired to see that people have started to speak out positively about their difference - about their body-positivity, about their geek pride, about their sexuality, and their mental health struggles - they’re finding joy in being an “other.”
I hereby propose that all body-positive, mental-health-positive, queer-positive, whatever-the-fuck-is-important-to-you-about-being-a-human-being-positive people start letting their revolutionary banners wave under the same flag. And because this is the internet and not Les Miserables, I propose that this “flag” be a hashtag - #mosquitoesrise. Let others know you’re out there, so that we can find each other, support each other, and show solidarity that we - these tiny mosquitoes, these “others” - are strong. Together we can change the status quo.
I consider myself astoundingly fortunate to have found an incomparable group of people with whom to surround myself. People who think like I think about accepting each other; loving each other, not in spite of our quirks, but truly because of them. I love my life now, but I didn’t always. Let’s make it easier on the young “others” coming up in the world. They don’t have to suffer like we did. Let’s create a world where they can figure out how to be who they are without fear of rejection and reprisal. It starts with you and me right now - a hashtag won’t change the world, but it’s a start.
Who’s ready to be a fucking mosquito?
Viva la revolution.