#1896

[ I wrote this prayer in response to the Trump administration’s reversal of the transgender youth bathroom directive. It could easily be adapted for someone who IS trans and wants to invoke this protection personally, of course. ]

Inanna, walk with them; show them that no matter what they must give up, their pride cannot be taken. Show them how to hold their heads high even as they descend into darkness, for You have walked that long road and wait for them on the other side.

Bast, walk with them; show them each step is a piece of a precious dance and every breath a note of a sacred song. Show them they always have a home and a mother in You, for You are the lioness who protects Her children with tooth and claw.

Wepwawet, walk with them; show them there is always a way forward, if only they can muster the strength to take the next step. Show them they never walk alone, nor can they ever be truly lost, for You are ever their shepherd through both life and death.

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#1846

Dear Xavier,

I don’t know what memories you will recall from age three. Maybe they will be snippets of moments, sharply focused on insignificant details, or simply blurry colors and sensations. I doubt you will remember this weekend and how you took hold of my hand and your aunt’s, pressing them together so our engagement rings kissed. I doubt you will remember how she asked you to be her best man, or how your family asked me so many eager questions about the ceremony. I doubt you will remember eating apple pie in celebration.

Above all, I doubt you will remember the following Wednesday, a day that will remain infamous throughout the annals of history. I doubt you will remember the day your birth country elected a spiteful, bigoted, xenophobic man as president.

I wish I knew what the future holds for you, little X. Will you grow up in an America striving to better itself? Will you grow up feeling this is undeniably your country, your home, even if your family came from somewhere else? This place can be beautiful. This place can be a beacon of hope. But it takes a lot of struggle, a lot of perseverance, a lot of small victories and big losses. Right now it’s my generation fighting the good fight to preserve equality and peace – some day it will be yours. This day that has left so many millions of people reeling, both across America and across the world, you’ll read about in history books. It won’t feel entirely real to you, even though you’ll know you were technically alive for it. When your aunt and I talk about it, it will be with immense bitterness. When you ask how it could possibly happen, we’ll say, “It’s complicated”.

Part of me hopes you will remain in the safe majority – that you will grow up to be straight, cisgender, and pale enough to pass as one of the “good” minorities. You have been part of my family since you were born, and I would do anything in the world to protect you. At the same time, though, I know that’s not in my power. No matter what world you grow up in, you will still be a minority of one kind or another. You will still come from an immigrant family. You will still have queer relatives. You will still be full of love and goodness, and there will still be people in the world who want to crush that.

I hope you don’t let them. I can’t know what the future holds, but I can promise you I will keep fighting to make that future worthy of you. Freedom, equality, clear water, clean air – everything I fear we’ll lose might be truly lost in my generation, and in yours. But I will fight for every scrap of that future until the very end. Don’t read about this in your history book and think it happened because no one cared. We care. We’re still fighting.

– Tita Elyssa

#1843

Sometimes history’s repetitions are comforting, the knowledge that others have come before to fight this fight, to suffer this suffering, to stand with arms linked until the tanks or the tear gas or the water cannons mow them down. Sometimes it is enough to know this moment’s horrors aren’t unique, that we will never be the first to want these things and can never be the last to die before they are won. Sometimes being able to stand back and watch the great wheel turn, turn, turn through all of humanity’s existence offers the necessary perspective, the needed distance to see the wisdom of the larger picture.

And sometimes the wheel’s inevitable turning crushes us beneath its rim, presses us into the mud to join the bodies of those who came before. Sometimes knowing the wheel spins in place, ever turning and yet going nowhere, is a cruelty we cannot bear. Sometimes fighting the same old fights, suffering the same old sufferings, facing the same old tanks and bigots and┬ábullets is just too much, and we wonder if there’s any point when those who come after us will face these things as well. Maybe we haven’t figured out how to learn from history yet – or maybe as long as the wheel spins in place, we can’t help but repeat the past.