Things are scary right now. Things seem out of control and terrifying. But there is no end in sight. If rules are overturned, if laws are changed, that does not mean it’s the end.
As a historian, I’ve seen empires come and go, studied how they crashed, and saw how pressure builds. France is an excellent example, with its multiple republics. However, every fall, every crash, every explosion, comes with an after. There is a moment after the chaos ends where everything continues. Hell, even when in the midst of chaos, life moves on.
This is not to say to be calm or relax or take everything less seriously. What’s happening in our world is tragic and awful and terrible. It’s hard on everyone. The future may be uncertain, but what I’m getting at is that there will be a future. There will be a tomorrow. It may look different from today, but as a species, humans are good at adapting.
I’m generally a pretty pessimistic person. I don’t think the best of people. I don’t think the best outcome will happen, I don’t tend to hope a lot. But, one thing I do that helps keep me from spiraling down into a depression, is that there will be a tomorrow and there will be a future and whatever it is, I can face it head on.
I may be a bit idealistic and I know everyone isn’t like this, and it's hypocritical of me to try and provide hope for others when I don’t believe in it myself, but I know that we are strong and good and able. It will be hard. It will be a struggle. It will be violent, but we will survive. We will persevere.
For every one that dies, there will be ten more to replace them. We are a mutually beneficial parasite to society. One after another we will latch on and bleed out the impurities. Society cannot survive without us.
The world is bleak. The times are tough. But the future is tomorrow. Perhaps we don’t want to be living through historical moments. Perhaps we don’t want to be on the cover of future textbooks. Perhaps we are tired of fighting. But tomorrow brings something new every day. Something powerful, something hopeful, even amongst the bad.
One day, everything will be alright and perhaps we will never see it, but we will surely plant the seeds or even water the fledgling saplings our ancestors planted. One thing is certain, we will not go without a fight, we won’t let them cut our trees down before they’ve even grown. One day, there will be a forest, but for now there is a sapling that we’ve been charged with protecting.
Some will not rise to that challenge and that’s alright. Just living is enough. Just existing is plenty. It’s okay to stay out of the fight, but do not be unaware of it. Ignorance may be bliss, but it is also a death sentence. Others will rise to meet this challenge, to face it head on and protect that sapling. Some may not survive, others may, and they all will go down in infamy.
I fear for my own life, writing something like this, trying to write everything that I can about our queer past. I know it's dangerous, fighting things head on. I know they are difficult, but I have not gotten by in life by doing the easy thing. I want to do the hard thing. I want to help others do this hard, hard thing.
I implore those who can to fight when they can and be safe when they can. I beg those who wish to stay out of the fight to stay informed and do what they must for themselves and those they love.
I hope that tomorrow will be brighter and that in the future this will all be the wistful ramblings of an old man with a lot of time on his hands and grandkids to entertain.
Tomorrow will come, and we will be ready for it.