Sometimes when I fall asleep I have such beautiful dreams, sometimes they take my breath away with the picture they paint, they soothe me with glimpses fleeting of another world. Sometimes I wake, and I’m leaden with sorrow for the distance between me and that world, I feel heavy hearted and like my body could sink through the mattress itself with the weight of all the waiting for it to maybe one day become true.
One day, my dreams say to me in voice sweet and sonorous, maybe things will be different.
I hope so, says waking me, still groggy and three-quarters asleep. I hope so. Maybe one day, who knows, maybe soon, though I think it not, no one will ever have to ‘come out of the closet’ again because there will not be a closet to come out of. Maybe no one will have to announce their pronouns, because maybe, goodness maybe, we’ll all use the same ones, we’ll all be the same things, one thing, proud and united and safe and free. Maybe.
This Sunday, this Signal Fire, is the final one of Pride Month, and I wanted to close out the month of celebrations, of awareness, of inclusivity, with a thought experiment that was born after long conversations with people I love dearly, and trust with all I’ve got. We spoke of gender identity, we spoke of gender fluidity, and we spoke of what a hot-button issue it seems to be across the world and most specifically, these not-so-United States. All around the country, legislation has been passed, almost-passed, and even just introduced that sought to further and further restrict, pigeonhole, and outcast those who did not subscribe to the belief that there are only two genders and that we’re all born into them and there is no flexibility, no fluidity, no deviation from this. They believe a man is a “man” and a woman is a “woman” and there is no transitioning, no transformation, that can change that. They believe men should be stoic, should be hardened, should be often crass, rude, or exuding the tough-guy mentality popularized by just about every horrible movie cliche that’s ever been. They believe women should be princesses, should play with dolls, should be subservient to their male counterparts. They believe love exists only between that man and that woman, and only those that fit that mold are entitled rights of any kind.
I am tired of this, I am angry at this, and while I’ll always fight, sometimes, my dreams wander and I imagine a world where this is not the case, where this is not the end of our evolution.
I’ve never subscribed to this nonsense, not even growing up in a state like Montana, not even being almost 42 years old and going through my formative years right in the thick of that belief being the dominant one. I’ve always been a bit “fluid” when it comes to my expression of my own personality. Lady G’s daughter Adela jokes with her friends, when they ask why I’m always part of her “girl’s night” with her Mom, “Tyler is like 75% woman anyway.” She says it with pride, she says it in a voice that says, louder than all the others, this is the normal that we should aim for. In Montana, still, it’s just not, and she absolutely gets some strange glances from her friends, and even more so from the parents of some of them if they are within earshot when she says this. Why?
There is so much on this earth that goes wrong, there are so many trials, tribulations, tragedies, and constant tests of our patience, our endurance, our base ability to survive, where did we all go so wrong that we focus our precious attention less on those, and more on such silly things like what gender someone wishes to call themselves, what identity they most relate to, who they choose to love, or the pronouns they ask to be called?
Of all the things I believe humanity will look back on, years from this day, and feel cringe-worthy embarrassment and humiliation for, I don’t know if I can think of any higher than this. Sure, we’ll all look back and laugh in disbelief that we used to burn gasoline to make a car go, that we didn’t harness the immense and rising power of the sun earlier, that we pissed away our beautiful forests, that we wrapped our foods in plastic, but I don’t think we’ll ever truly get over the shame in how we treated those that strayed outside of some bizarre societal ‘norms’ that were nothing more than majority rules nonsense. At the very least, I hope this is true, I hope we hang our heads and look back with utter shock, appalled at our ignorance.
I rant sometimes here, I ramble and wander, as a mind tends to do. Mine just does so out loud here, and I’m lucky that you all show up for the rambling. These thoughts come from dreams I dream, and I cannot help but wish they were true. I know it cannot be now, I know we’re not there yet, not here in this land of such divide and anger, hatred and fear, but maybe one day we will be, maybe one day soon.
Until then, we fight those fights I spoke of at the beginning of this Pride Month, we don’t stop those fights when those months end, we don’t only begin them when they kick-off. We fight by how we live, by how we teach those that listen to us, that trust us for the teaching, we fight by how we refuse to back down to the loud, ignorant, repulsive, hateful people who have nothing better to do with their time, their lives, their precious dreams, than devise new ways to hold others down. We fight, because we must, because someday, some hopefully not-so-far-off day when we all look back with a collective groan and sigh of humiliation, we are those ancestors few that are looked on with pride and appreciation. We stand, together, on the right side of history, and wait for the day where we are all just one thing, where there are no closets to come out of, no long and terrifying talks with those in our lives to explain who we are, who we love, and how we feel inside.
We just are, and we’re all better off for it.
Maybe one day soon
the lines between us will go,
we’ll all be one thing.