in recent years

   

   

my president is black

I’ve been sad and angry and overwhelmed since the night of November 8th. I’ve cried and missed work and alternated between furious and hopeless and been both at once. I’ve even blamed myself for the results of the election because I let myself prematurely write a tweet about electing the first woman president. (My elementary school teachers regularly told me I’d be the first and I wanted to thank Hillary Clinton for making it seem like I failed because I was too young, not because I turned out to be a huge disappointment.)

I’ve been all those things because the 2016 election results are garbage. Because I’m angry that I’ve now lived through the Electoral College taking the presidency from the Popular Vote winner TWICE and this time by a margin so massive it embarrasses the entire institution. Because the election was meddled with by foreign powers and no one cares. Because the man who will be president tomorrow is a bad man, a stupid man, an ignorant, hateful, and petty man. Because misogyny won. Because fake news won. Because women and POCs and the LGBT+ community and disabled people have lost massively. Because people still insist that Bernie would have fared better. Because people are demonizing Clinton for losing, for running, for daring to try to serve her country further in the highest office. Because no one is adequately interrogating what they read and believe. Because the arts are going to suffer. Because the environment is going to suffer. Because real living human beings are going to die.

Today I am all those things, but I am mostly sad. I am enormously sad. Because, while President Obama’s politics do not align with mine perfectly and while I disagree massively with many decisions made while he held the office, I never once doubted that he had the best interests of the American people in his heart. Obama is educated and smart and supremely well-spoken*. He reads for fun and because he believes it helps him better himself. He’s a phenomenal writer. He loves his wife and his kids and his dogs. And he has always, always struck me as kind.

I just keep thinking about what the last eight years have looked like with the Obamas in the White House. How proud they have made me feel just by doing the best that they can with what they have. Eight years of congressional obstruction and we still got the ACA that saved my life. Marriage equality. A stronger economy and corporate regulation. Environmental protections. A record number of clemencies.

And it makes me happy and proud and miserable. Because our future looks nothing like the last eight years and the people I live and work with are responsible for it. I hope that we’re overreacting. I hope that it isn’t as bad as it seems. I hope and I hope and I hope. But I also #resist. I refuse to normalize. He wasn’t popular, he isn’t qualified, and he doesn’t have a mandate. And I will take whatever action I can for as long as I can to try to prevent him and those who have put him in power from destroying an America that functions for all the people who live in it.

After eight years, I am still surprised frequently that I lived to see the first black president. I lived to see the first black president. I lived to help elect the first black president. I lived to re-elect the first black president. I lived to see the first black president.

And I hope I live to see the second.

*I know that isn’t a compliment white people should direct at black people and I keep Googling, trying to figure out if it’s ever okay to say, but I would feel like I was leaving out one of the things I have loved most about him if I didn’t. Obama’s speeches have always been phenomenal, his off-the-cuff answers are sharp and thoughtful, and his actual speech-making is stunning, elevated without ever sounding pompous. I’ve never heard a president more skilled.

hell hath no fury like a lesbian under-represented or "am i an owl? or a rabbit?"

My girlfriend and I are not engaged, nor do we plan to be married anytime particularly soon. Nonetheless, I am currently infuriated/frustrated/banging-my-head-against-a-wall-repeatedly by/with/because-of the wedding industry.

I am in love with my wonderful girlfriend. I know how I want to propose and I know that, when the stars align and the wind blows right, I will do so. We have discussed marriage. It is something we want to do! And something we’re fairly enthusiastic about. When I realized this was the case, I started collecting bits and pieces of wedding inspiration, following wedding blogs, trying to find places that catered/leaned/considered-the-existence-of our unusual/unconventional/not-white-and-roses-and-parquet-dancefloor tastes.

There are some great blogs (Offbeat Bride and Halloweddings) that bend toward the non-traditional, but it’s still limited. I’m willing to go the extra mile and DIY the shit out of our future nuptial celebrations, but some more inspiration wouldn’t hurt!

But that’s not even the frustrating part, the frustrating part is how wildly hetero-normative the entire industry is! I’m a lady who loves another lady, there are a lot of us in the world, and we should be able to see some more of us out there, getting married, and doing it fabulously! (On a bright note see: So You’re Engayged)

Think of all the gendered aspects of weddings: the clothes, the cake topper, the invitations, the terminology; it’s all steeped in that “well this part is for boys and this part is for girls” attitude. Women are expected to care about the planning and the details, men are expected to shut up, roll over, and show up on time.

In thinking about some of this stuff, I actually found myself thinking, “Hmm, could my girlfriend and I be represented by animals?” so that I could build a theme on pairing two representative species or colors in a way that would suggest we were the same gender, but not identical. What kind of world is that?

All I want is representation.

Okay, that’s not true, all I want is the legal right to commit myself to my partner for the rest of my life, but representation in the industry would be a great second. There are same-sex couples getting married/committed/unioned all over the country, so why aren’t I seeing more of them?

This seems insane to me on a very base capitalist level: why isn’t someone making money off of it? I’m gay! I want to pay exorbitant prices for Jordan almonds and cake too!