In the words of Mrs. Peacock, “Our lives are in danger, you beatnik!”
Every time a group of people in our world gets unexpectedly murdered I notice that a lot of other people suddenly realize that their lives are in danger. When the towers fell people realized their plane could crash into buildings. Some people got shot at the movies and a few people saw how unsafe dark theaters can be. Whenever our kids get shot at school we remember that our kids are in danger. With the recent Orlando shooting the LGBTQ gaped that they are still a target. Then with our upcoming election and potential President Trump the transgender feel the gas chamber walls closing in around them.
When I reflect on my life I have always felt that it was in danger. I didn’t need terrorist attacks or tyrannical dictators to convince me of danger. I grew up in a generation where any stranger asking for directions was surely going to abduct you into child prostitution. Every knock on the door was probably bad news. The likes of Oprah, Phil Donahue and Geraldo scared us silly about all of the dangers throughout the common day. If you were not struck down by a mad man’s bullet, then surely some other malady would strike. Even if all went right with your day there was always God waiting to muck things up.
You are mistaken if you feel that your life is suddenly in danger. Your life has always been in danger. Someone can walk in and shoot you while you are innocently doing your job today as much as they could have ten years ago. You don’t have to be different. You don’t need to be transgender or gay or dressed as a unicorn walking down Main Street. You can be just as plain and drab as the rest of the country. Your life would still be in danger.
I imagine some folks wonder how people like me feel the way we do. I live every day knowing that something could happen. I know that every day is another day I risk my life just being myself. That is whether I am carrying a glaring sign announcing I’M DIFFERENT or not. For people like me I find myself wondering how you don’t feel threatened. I wonder how you just started to feel threatened.
It’s certainly true that the political and social climate is not helping matters. Yet if you ask me I’d tell you that it never has. We’ve been getting tied to fences for as long as I can remember. Nothing has changed as one regime fills the boots of another. Somebody is always getting tied to a damned fence.
So, you just live your life while you’ve got one. You fight for those rights and wave your banner flags. You keep calm and carry on. Enjoy the party and never forget to defend yourself in case there’s an asshole among the gathering.
Our lives are in danger. That all seems to go hand in hand as breathing has always been terribly dangerous.