Winter is coming.
I’ve been putting off writing this post for some time. My mind is swirling and my thoughts are jumbled as I try to put into some reasonable context what Trump’s win means for me, my family and friends, women, the LGBT community, the world — everyone. One of the tricks the mind uses to protect it’s owner from thoughts that are too overwhelming to contemplate is to divert your attention away from catastrophes of monumental proportions. Hence, we often pay a lot more attention to the murder of one person on the streets of our city, than the murder of 1,000,000 Rwandans by their own fellow citizens.
So, I suppose my mind has been trying to protect me by keeping me from thinking clearly about the pain and suffering that is going to happen in the United States, and throughout the world for that matter, as a result of Trump setting up shop in the White House. No more, though. Time to actually confront the catastrophies of monumental proportions that await.
It seems a long, long time ago that we watched Canada’s newly elected Liberal Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, stand before Canadians of all stripes and beliefs and proclaim the dawn of an era of “Sunny Ways”. Canada had just exhaled its collective breath and breathed a sigh of relief as we bid good riddence to a decade of the angry and vindictive “Harper Government”. We cheered the bromance of President Obama and P.M. Trudeau as both their governments moved forward with enlightened policies and enhanced protections for the most vulnerable of us.
Well, the Sunny Ways are over. Winter is coming south of the border, and Canadians are already feeling the chill in the air. Those dreadful animals that prefer the darkness — racists, misogynists, homophobes and transphobes — are already sensing that their time has returned. They are coming out of their caves and are hungry for payback from people who would dare to ask to be treated as equals and given the chance to live their authentic lives. Even here in Canada, they are on the prowl. Visible minorities being told to go back to where they came from; Swastikas being spraypainted on people’s houses and shops; a Conservative leadership candidate promoting a “Canadian Values” test for immigrants (though, likely, only certain immigrants) — all of this only a taste of what is about to be unleashed in America.
I guess we could, as Canadians, try to sit back and ride out the storm down south. Don’t be so smug. An unstable, thin-skinned man will soon have the nuclear launch codes. He could kill us all in one misguided tantrum. And, if that doesn’t get us before breakfast, he could take the longer approach and simply continue denying and ignoring climate change as we slowly bake from rising temperatures or drown from rising sea levels. Drowning’s quicker, I suppose.
To keep the cheery thoughts going, let’s contemplate the border. Most Canadians live within 100 kilometres of the U.S. Ma & Pa Canuck love jumping over on a Saturday to visit Wally World and Targét. Theie biggest worries only ever involve whether they will be able to hide the $300 of groceries in the trunk or those new winter tires that they got dirt cheap in Tonawanda. But, what if your name is Mahammud Canuck, or your family consists of Ma & Ma Canuck. Things start to look really dicey for a whole lot of us. A nice, sunny piece of legislation waiting in the wings in Washington is FADA (the First Amendment Defense Act). This patriotic sounding bill would basically allow anyone to refuse to serve or interact with any person who interfered with their religious sensibilities. (Remember that vile woman in Kentucky who refused to issue marriage licences to same-sex couples even though the law said she had to?).
So, your border guard is disgusted by the lesbian couple trying to drive to Key West? Back they go. That paramedic that responds when you get hit by a bus while visiting Graceland, who happens to be freaked-out by transpeople? Sorry, SIR, but looks like you’re going to bleed out in the middle of the road today. You know, FADA and all.
I’ve always known that the U.S. isn’t the most hospitable place for anyone who isn’t a white, hetero, God-fearing guy. But, as someone who’s on the cusp of transitioning from male to female, it is obvious that America is going to become downright dangerous for me, in many, many ways. I know that I am blessed and protected here in Canada, possibly the best country in the world to live as a trans person, but I am still scared for what is about to happen. It will not be nice.
Originally published at sofiedenied.blogspot.com.