I’ve seen dozens of think pieces, of Facebook posts from friends and strangers, telling me how I should feel about myself and my outlook on this year. I should feel lucky, I should take a good hard look at myself and realize that it’s all my damn fault that I’m not happy (forget about the fact that we have no control over some very serious shit that can happen like death and poverty and mental illness and abuse and it’s a very victim-blaming way to think about it to tell us we can just snap out of it.)
Personally, I’ll admit that 2015 was the bigger dumpster fire for me. That was when my depression had gotten its worst ever, and shit hit the fan with my marriage. 2016 has been a year of growth and rebuilding my life.
But for this country, 2016 has thrust me into a huge amount of worry. But that’s out of my control in many ways.
So what are my take-aways for 2016? What have I learned? How have I changed?
CW: Trans murder rate, murders of POC, this damn election
I don’t even know where to start. It’s not hyperbolic when I tell you that I am deeply grieving for My America right now. The America that was just beginning to acknowledge people like me as worthy of rights like marriage, adoption, protection from being fired because of my identity, and other things that so many people take for granted.
I could fill this page with empassioned wailings about how concerned I am for the safety of myself as a queer woman and my other LGBQ friends, my trans friends, my friends who are people of color, Muslim, immigrants, disabled, lower income, single mothers, people with uteruses, women…
Yes, these concerns exist and are so visceral I feel it seething out of my body, feel myself getting hives, unable to eat, bawling all day at work, and feeling like a tightly coiled spring.
Ever since college, I wanted to shave my head. In one of our theatre department’s productions, a woman was cast in the role of an androgynous sorcerer, and was designed to be bald. Initially, the plan was to use a bald cap on her, but either due to allergies or just frustration with the length of the application process, the actress decided she was going to shave her hair off. She was gorgeous and strong and proud with her bald head. She rocked it, she owned it.
And it was then that I decided that, at some point in my life, I would do the same. I had heard women talk about how liberating it was, how cleansing, how it taught them things about the way they viewed themselves and the way the world reacted in turn.