Y’all, I am having Kavanaugh flashbacks it’s not OK. If you know the FH origin story, you know this podcast was born of the despair I and many of you felt during and after those hearings last fall. Kay Ivey signing the Alabama abortion bill into law on the tail of so many other hyper-restrictive anti-choice pieces of shit legislation passing has got me down in a SERIOUS way.
I’m also remembering why I started using the term cultural survival. (If someone else coined this phrase please tell me and I will credit you! I started using it organically, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t have a predecessor.) No, I am not sick or starving or being beaten or denied sunlight. I am physically surviving just fine right now (knock on wood), and I will be for the foreseeable future (unless the bill is enacted and I have a miscarriage or need an abortion, in which case I might literally die or go to jail, and if I go to jail all those things will absolutely happen to me—they are happening to millions of people right now. Oh, by the way, why aren’t you smiling? You look so much prettier when you SMILE!). But inside, I am having a really fucking hard time swallowing what our country is dishing up.
Cultural survival is the term I use to capture what qualities/activities/mojo I need in my life to avoid disintegrating into bitterness or paralysis. How can I resist the urge to engage in posturing and infighting on social media? How can I stop the anger storming around in my head that robs me of my joy and, more importantly, the energy I need to be creative about my own resistance and my ability to be there for my friends and for people who are worse off than me?
The answer for me has been community, connection, affirmation (giving and seeking) and putting my energy into this platform and this community. So that’s what I am doing even though I am mad as hell and all I want to do is scroll through Twitter retweeting the angry/snarky/clever comments other people are making. (I have also rewatched the entire first season of Pose and then the pilot again for the third time, which did help.) I let myself do that for a while, but I know that will not sustain me.
I made this podcast for you, for all of us, to get us through these times. I am sad and sorry and disgusted this is happening. My heart aches for abuse survivors who are having to hear and see the words “rape” and “incest” over and over again every day this remains in the news. But the march toward liberation is unsteady and it continues and it needs you. Let’s continue to lift each other up. And never feel bad about looking for some good news glimmering from between the steaming piles of bad. Remember, they want us tired and divided and not thinking clearly—but that’s not what’s going to happen because we’ve got each other and generations of badasses behind us cheering us on!
I love you.