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(TW: Mentions of violence and rape)

I’m pretty open about how I do not expect to come out of 2017 alive. I didn’t expect to survive more than a week past my birthday, aka the day after the election aka the Day Hope Died. I ask myself constantly when those racist/sexist/homophobic shit stains will finally get me. Every time I get on my train. Every day that I walk into my office building. Each week when I host my writing group.

When will I wind up with a bullet in my head from a trigger-happy cop?

When will I be left beaten, brutalized and/or raped along the riverside promenade?

When will I be pushed off of a CTA platform for having the nerve to exist in public?

The answer: I do not know, for this is something over which I have no power. I do have the power to do one thing:

I can tell my story.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the RIP (Racists In Power) have been working double-time to eradicate President Obama’s legacy. Like a straight-up, no-holds-bar, Ronald-Reagan-response-to-the-AIDs-crisis level of erasure of the first black president of the United States. Fourteen days left of the man’s job, and Congress had literally grabbed the ACA by the pussy and tried to force it into oblivion. And this is the shit they pulled against the most powerful person in the world.

So, what do you think they’re going to do to you and me?

This is why it is imperative for those of us who are able and willing to tell our stories. We must not let the last 8 years of albeit-nonlinear progression disappear. We must tell the stories of black children who were able to see themselves sitting in the big chair of the Oval Office. We must tell the stories of members of the LGBTQIA+ community who were able to celebrate their relationships before friends, family and the laws of their respective home states. We must tell the stories of the members of the PwD community who were able to shake off the industrialized stigma of pre-existing conditions.

We must encourage one another to tell our stories, for not all stories are ours to tell. We must not forget that, for 8 years, many of us [though sadly not all of us] were visible, truly visible, for the first time.

This is my resolution for 2017:

I will hold onto that visibility.  I will tell my story.

I will fight to ensure I am not erased.

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