My family is under attack by the very people charged with protecting us and our mental health is in jeopardy.
I uniquely have a very queer family. We have two folks who identify as trans, five lesbians, one bisexual, and one who identifies as queer. I am one of the lesbians. I am mother and grandmother to this motley crew. I am Momma Bear and I want to protect them. I want to ensure they are safe from people who aim to harm them.
When my daughter was a teenager, she was having a meltdown and said, “You just want me to be a lesbian,” I immediately told her, “No, I do not.” She was shocked. The reason I told her this is because being a lesbian is a hard life and people are very cruel. The last thing I wanted was for her to be hurt. Every parent wants an easy life for their child, and I knew what living my life as a lesbian had been like and I did not want that for her.
Being queer has been known to bring about mental distress due to societal and family pressures. My family has been no strangers to this. My trans family members have specifically struggled with this. They have been hospitalized and struggled with self-harm. No matter how much we try to accept them and let them live their lives as they choose, there are always outside forces telling them they are invalid and perverts who need to be stopped at all costs. I just want to encircle them and protect them from all the evil in the world and let them know that they are valued.
The current movement in government to erase the existence of trans people specifically children is frightening. They are doing irreversible harm. It appears they want to get rid of trans kids and stop them from living in their truth. They are pressuring parents to deny the transitioning of their kids are naturally doing. The rhetoric is thinly veiled as care for the kids, but the message is clear that they are perpetuating the trope that queer people are dangerous and perverted. That we are at the bottom of society and responsible for the degradation of society. Opposed to the legislators being the degradation of society.
In Republican-run states it is essentially becoming illegal to be trans or even a non-binary person. There are “don’t say gay” laws and bans on books that mention queer identities. Drag queens are being marginalized and trans children are being denied gender-affirming care. The hate (that’s what it is) is palatable. Everywhere you turn they are coming up with even more creative ways to oppress and stigmatize queer people.
As far as I am convinced, we are all under attack. No one is safe. If they can make queer people the villains, who will be next? Who will not be allowed to be who they are?
As a mother and grandmother, I am concerned about the mental health of my family. The constant negative messages in the news. The restrictions at school and the threats from the community. The efforts to erase us are also making us more visible and susceptible to violence. There were two Black trans women killed in my town just this week. They were described as open about being trans. This level of violence scares me.
I do not want to see all of us go back in the closet but what else are we to do? If we do retreat, evil wins and I just cannot see that happen. If more good people stood up and took action, this would not be happening. If we had the political will, we could stop this out-of-control train that has taken over our country.
I know we are better than this. We are better people and can do things together that reduce harm to the least of these. The health and lives of queer people are in jeopardy, and we stopped flat-footed. I am doing my best in my corner of the world to stop the hatred and push to erase us but I alone cannot do what needs to be done.
If you care about the mental health and physical health of our children and communities, I implore you to get involved to act to save lives and stand up for the vulnerable. Stand up because it may be your family next.
Image by Sheilaf22 via Deposit Photos
I am Black, lesbian, disabled, mentally ill, fat, a birth mom, mom and grandmom (grand ma Coco to be exact) and Funny. I am a woman who is constantly fighting for my and your liberation.
I have a history of working for those living at the margins mostly in activist and nonprofit spaces. I currently work in the mental health field serving those who have been convicted of felonies and are in mental heath court. I am also a writer. I write about disabilities, chronic illness, mental health, racial trauma, sexual violence and disordered eating. I am also a public community speaker on the same topics. Hit me up if you need my writing or speaking skills.
Please use she or her pronouns when referring to or about me.