On Becoming Political

The disorder peculiar to my country (the United States) is its citizens’ inability to care about anything but themselves. I blame this on the Christian principles of “aspir[ing] to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs […] so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one” (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12).

I just gagged, too. But to know it is to understand it–and everything that is wrong with one-issue voters.

Politics by their very nature are at once an intensely personal matter as well as an obviously public one. The thought that one can “live quietly” and “mind [one’s] own affairs” while also partaking in democracy is mind-boggling because when you vote, you’re necessarily voting in your own best interest (or at least you hope so) while also necessarily attempting to either shift or maintain how others will be/are forced to live.

So when–hypothetically–someone says that she is just minding her own business and voting the way her sister/her church tells her to vote (i.e. for whoever claims they’ll make abortion illegal), she doesn’t care that her vote for the pro-life candidate is also a vote for the schmuck who argued that it is legal to fire employees for being gay, to deny service to LGBT customers, and to discriminate against LGBT couples seeking to adopt children, among other offenses, not to mention the whole host of anti-trans positions and policies he encouraged while in office.

To me, being queer and voting blue out of necessity is not the same thing as voting red “because the Bible says so.” I am voting for my life, while they’re voting for someone else’s… and against mine.

The fact that people I love (and who supposedly love me back) vote red because they’re concerned about the wellbeing of a cluster of fucking cells more than they’re concerned about my rights and wellbeing hurts me so fucking badly that I don’t even have the words to express it. (And, not for nothing, worrying about what other women do with their bodies and the clusters of cells in their bodies doesn’t really sound like “liv[ing] quietly” or “mind[ing] your own affairs,” now does it?)

The fact that they refuse to (or perhaps cannot) understand my argument against voting for potential life over the wellbeing of people who already exist and suffer every single day under the guise of Christianity is exactly why I loathe this religion, this country.

The fact that they’d rather blame my woes on “taking politics too personally” or “too seriously” than recognize that their individual votes work toward stripping me and my LGBTQIA+ siblings of more and more rights and opportunities is the reason why my family falls away from me more and more with each passing day. It’s the reason why half my family has disowned me, why I’ve also disowned them.

Wouldn’t you take politics “too personally” or “too seriously” if someone was trying to make it illegal once again for you to marry your partner of nearly 8 years? If that someone’s Vice President

The fact that they vote in favor of their own economic interests over my rights makes me feel less than the dirt stuck to the shit on their shoes. How does one come to a point in life where they can look someone in the eye (someone they’re very closely related to, by the way) and say they’d rather make even more money than work toward protecting you? Even when you tell them the righthand man of said schmuck has dedicated himself in a roundabout way to funding groups that do the work of conversion therapy? Even when you have to explain to them what conversion therapy is–that it is, in fact, still legal in 30 states, even though they’ve never heard of it before and thus do not care about it and/or believe in it.

Even if I weren’t queer, I’d care deeply about women’s right to choose and about queer individuals’ rights. I’d like to think that I wouldn’t selfishly vote for my own interests. Voting blue is not selfish–I’m just asking for equal rights, which, for some, is “too much” and “unfair.” Remember, civil rights are free–they’re not confined to the logic of a pie, from which everyone must take equal slivers of sustenance. Granting rights to marginalized groups doesn’t mean taking away the pre-existing rights of those who already have and enjoy them.

I wish I had the privilege of not caring who gets elected–the privilege of being absolutely fine no matter who ends up in office. But I don’t. As a neurodivergent lesbian married to a neurodivergent Dominican bisexual with African and Indigenous ancestry, I can’t afford the luxury of blindly trusting a book or a religious institution to make these life-altering decisions for me, my wife, our future children. Yours.

Can you?

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