merielle: purple passiflora on a barbed wire fence (Default)
Not talking about this on Facebook because I need to use that medium for professional stuff. But here, I'm just a private and relatively anonymous citizen, and I can say what I want.

So if you're on my friends list and you don't believe in universal health care and a genuine social safety net, get the fuck away from me. Un-friend me. Don't talk to me. Go the fuck away.

If you have never stood in your proud, ashamed, tearful, poor and uninsured friend's kitchen and asked that person to PLEASE let you pay for him to go see a decent doctor so maybe he will get back the use of the badly injured wrist he needs to work, if you have never watched someone you love struggle with undiagnosed and untreated mental illness for 20 fucking years and then finally begin to pursue her dreams of education and a career when she finally had health insurance and got proper diagnosis and treatment in her mid-30s, if you have never wept for a smart, creative, educated friend with multiple disabling mental illnesses and a physical disability who has to work graveyard shift at Taco Bell and clean people's houses for not nearly enough money (and not see her partner for days on end because they work different shifts) until her goddamn disability payments finally start, if you have never had to swallow hard and ask your partner's mother to pay the health insurance premium that you have absolutely no way to pay and which will make available to you the care and medication that literally make the difference between life and death, then I don't give a flying fuck what you think.

I don't care about your philosophy or your values or whatever other bullshit you use to justify denying other human beings the basic dignity of being cared for when they are sick or injured. I don't give a shit. Fuck off. Go get yourself a fucking clue. When you learn what life is really like for people with no health insurance and with truly disabling conditions, when you grow a goddamn conscience, when you can muster the decency to care about the totally fucking preventable suffering of other human beings, then you can talk to me again. Until then, please take your much-discussed bootstraps and shove them right up your ass.

Tomorrow I will probably be a calm, rational, policy geek again. But tonight I am completely fed up. I am absolutely fucking sick and tired of the cruel, selfish assholes who have never known real need, who have never had to face the raw, ugly humiliation of having to ask someone else for what you literally require in order to survive and know that they might decide your existence isn't worth it, who seem determined to retroactively justify their privilege and their lack of empathy by denying other people something every other industrialized nation defines as a basic goddamn human right. 
merielle: purple passiflora on a barbed wire fence (Default)
tyler clementi, an 18-year-old gay college kid, committed suicide after his roommate streamed video of him making out with a guy. basically, this kid was bullied to death. and he was the fourth this month.

RAGE sorrow sorrow rage rage RAGE. what the everloving fuck is wrong with people? why is it fun or cool or anywhere near okay to torment people like this? and where are the grown-ups in these scenarios? why didn't they see? why didn't they do anything? how do you miss kids acting out blow jobs and anal sex, which in any sane world would count as sexual assault, IN CLASS?

i already cried. now i'm infuriated. so here's what we can do.

- check to see if your city has a queer youth organization. austin has outyouth. see if they have a program going on this. volunteer, join a speaker's bureau if you're able, donate if you can.

- do your local high schools or colleges have gay-straight alliances? if so, see if they need anything: speakers, mentors, supplies, money...

- belong to an organization that is pro-queer? get them involved. have an announcement at your meeting to raise awareness. have a moment of silence at your religious service. make some flyers and pass them out. organize a group to go volunteer at your local LGBT group. pass the hat and raise some money.

- remember that donating doesn't just mean money! donations of stuff (known in the biz as "in-kind donations") are great, too. look at organizations' wish lists - they might need office supplies, web design skills, cookies for their volunteer night... there is almost certainly something within your budget of time and resources that can make a difference.

- US peeps, help GLSEN out with advocacy for the safe schools improvement act.

- US peeps, see if your state LGBT organization has something like equality texas' safe schools initiative. if they do, sign on, go to a lobby day, donate if you can. if they don't, ask why and let them know you want them to work on this issue. help them get going.

- talk to any teachers in your life. ask them if they have ally training or anti-bullying training. if yes, tell them they fucking rock. if no, help them find some. your local GLBT organizations can help. GLSEN also has a great page of resources.

- talk to the young people in your life. offer support to the queer/questioning. ask the straight kids what it's like for queer kids at their school. if it seems like they can handle it/is appropriate, ask them if they know about these suicides and what they think and feel about them. help them think through things. hell, remind them that gandalf/magneto is gay, and he's a damn superhero/wizard/omg ANGEL.


merielle: purple passiflora on a barbed wire fence (Default)

February 2016

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