She said. End quote.
I don’t enjoy conversations with my mother. It’s generally because of reasons like this. At least on this side of the looking glass, I believe her views are idiosyncratic with that of a chimpanzee. I do realize that is quite harsh and perhaps mean-spirited. Do I find myself a more enlightened individual, because I listened devotedly to NPR (shoutout to Meghna Chakrabarti: if you’re reading this, I love you) and make at the bare minimum an effort to research topics beyond my current scope of understanding? Yas kween, I sure do.
We got on the topic of politics. Again. I don’t actually want to fight with her. I don’t enjoy arguing, especially with a less informed opponent. A debate on equal footing is another case. But we’ve come back to hot topic, big issue discussions. While I was surprised, I was more humored than anything else. Joe Biden is a Communist. Joe Biden is a Communist. No, it’s not surprising to hear that from the 56 year old, white, Christian, cisgender, heterosexual, middle class, female-identifying Boomer that is my mother. And while the statement is personally hilarious and I took my moment to actually laugh out loud, the secondary reaction settled in. Disappointment. Pity. I have continued to believe my mom was better than this. Than succumbing to a herd mentality, not challenging what’s being told to the masses. I’d like to think she was better than this. I keep being let down.
Of course, there was more than just this statement. I was losing ground even with my fast fingers Googling counterpoints and factual information to disprove her false beliefs. She would only pause a moment, and respond “yeah, well…” and present another falsehood from her evidence locker. I gave up, eventually. The conversation was pointless now and my impassioned exclamations weren’t appreciated. What’s disappointing is that despite her continued claims of loving me, she believes in institutions out to destroy me.
It’s now beyond who one voted for or whether or not you watch the news. It’s about ethics. It’s about morals. It’s about privilege. I find it hard to interact with people who are “tired” of the pandemic and feel that wearing a mask is optional. Concrete evidence falls on deaf ears.
Fact is, I will continue to face workplace discrimination that still chips away at my self confidence because I’m trans and don’t meet conventional gender norms. That I’m not sick enough for help but not well enough to function. That I am a part of a system meant to oppress minorities and no amount of “well have you tried…?” will fix that.
But there is no argument here. Basic human rights need to be met. Everyone deserves healthcare, education, housing — without the fear of debt. Everyone deserves life, and we have a responsibility to each other, our fellow human beings, to give them that.
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