This Pride is Difficult
United we Stand Up. Divided we fall.
This Pride is Difficult
This pride feels different. This Pride isn't like the ones that we've had before, where we were free to party and celebrate and give into the corporate overlords that just want to make money off of us.
This pride, we are under attack.
500 bills have been put into legislatures to limit what trans people can do. Drag bans are proliferating across the country. And yeah, it looks like the courts may come to our rescue, but we can't rely on the courts. This year, Pride needs to be a protest, and we're going to talk about that on this episode of project shadow.
I didn't really want to record this, but here we are. Hello. My name is Charlie, and I'm a non-binary Scifi fantasy writer. You can find more of my stuff over at ProjectShadow.com which is, actually, where this podcast is now being hosted from. Hope everything is going well with the transition there.
Yeah, I haven't been recording podcasts a lot lately. And a lot of that has to do with just everything going on.
It's hard for me to focus on any one topic, when I feel like we as a community are being ripped apart, torn apart, [00:02:00] and destroyed, from the inside, out from the outside in, from every angle that. Anyone can find to come after us.
It's been a hard time.
And I know a lot of us are feeling that.
It started with all the mass shootings.
It was hard to make a podcast and talk about this TV show that I liked, or this movie or this book, when people were literally dead on the street, and a school, and a mall, and the synagogue, and the nightclub.
It was hard to bring that spirit and energy that I really like to have on this podcast, and talk about all of the things that I love to talk about with all of that going on. [00:03:00] It felt frivolous hollow. Like I was somehow mocking the dead.
So I said nothing.
And then the attack, on our rights started, and it was even harder to talk.
In my state, right now, it is. Illegal, for me to transition.
Illegal. I can't do it. The doctor would get in trouble. See, I'm autistic and, you can't provide gender affirming care to autistic people, and nobody really knows what that means. Can I get laser hair removal? Is that gender affirming care? Is it not gender affirming [00:04:00] care.
Would it be gender affirming care if I were not trans. What does that mean? What does any of that mean?
And that's taken some time to think about, and deal with. I don't feel safe going out of the house. I don't feel safe in the community.
I can't afford to move. I can't afford to live anywhere else.
I have too much debt from the business that needs to be paid off.
Yeah, I don't know what to do.
I don't know what to say.
And that's been a big problem with the way that I've handled a lot of these issues over the years.
I always wanted to have something to say. I always wanted to have [00:05:00] an answer.
Something that I could offer that would make things better.
And so I stayed quiet.
And that silence is hurting.
That's silence is breaking me 'cause now. I have guilt. Now I have. This overwhelming guilt that is washing over me because I haven't been saying as much as I want to. I have this guilt washing over me because I haven't done, anything, and it hurts. It hurts so much. And I wanted to record this podcast [00:06:00] because I know a lot of you are also feeling this and I've gotten to this point where it's okay not to have answers.
It's not okay. We have to find some way to fix this. We have to find some way to make things better, but it's not our fault. If we don't know what to do.
It's not our fault. If we don't see a way forward.
Other people are also working on it. The world doesn't rest on our shoulders and, eventually, we'll get to where we need to go. Someone won't figure it out there. There's a lot, a lot of big brains out there, struggling through these same issues and looking for the answers. So I have faith that we will get [00:07:00] to a good place.
And I know this sounds like a downer, and a dark topic and a dark place to be in, and it is.
I'm not going to lie. I'm not going to sugarcoat it, 'cause, that's not gonna help any of us.
We have to except what we can and cannot do.
The one thing that I can't do anymore is remain silent.
I don't know what that's gonna look like. I don't know if you've been over to the new project shadow.com. Lately, but I have been writing essays about art, and protest, and pride, and the sense of hollowness that I have been struggling with. I've also been putting [00:08:00] out stories over there. If you want to check out either the Shadow Phoenix Saga, or Blinded Angels, they're both over there.
Yeah, it's a struggle. Right now.
And every time I talk to people, it's a struggle because they're feeling it too .
But I think the real catalyst for recording this episode and the reason I am here talking to you all today is I was asked this week to give a talk about Pride to a predominantly cis-gender straight audience.
And of course I said yes, because if I didn't do it I didn't know who would, but it hurts.
It hurts to talk.
Not because the audience that I have or the people that I'm going to be talking to or anything other than accepting.
But, for so long, for so many [00:09:00] decades. I have been in this. Loop.
I feel like I'm in one of those episodes of Star Trek, where they get caught in a time loop. And they've seen and noticed that they're in a loop and they know that they're in the loop, but they don't know how to get out of the loop.
And unfortunately, I don't have a Data with me that can figure out how to get out of the time loop.
But for so many decades of my life, I've had to justify my existence. I've had to explain to people why I deserve dignity. Just basic dignity. And to be left alone .
And you know what happens when you have to explain to people why you should just be left alone to live your life. You're not being left alone to live your life.
And it wears on you.
I know a lot of you feel that too. [00:10:00] I know a lot of us are struggling with this pain right now. A lot of us are dealing with this anxiety, this constant fear of what's going to happen.
And also this just dread of having to explain everything again. Oh, so here's the gender spectrum. Here's the sexuality spectrum. There's a difference between sexuality and gender. In fact, a sexuality is a lot more complex than you think it is. There's the aesthetic spectrum. There's the romantic spectrum. There's the I want to make love to you spectrum.
Yeah. We all have a script by now. Unless you're, particularly young.
And we've developed over the years that we can just go [00:11:00] road blind, and just recite it off the top of our head.
Just recite it. Just say the things that we know that people need to hear, because we've had to say it so many times before.
But there was a riot outside of a. School board meeting in Glendale, California, over whether or not they should declare. Pride month, in LA county, in California.
And I lived in California long enough to know that it's not a monolith out there. But. All right. Like people were attacked. Three people went to jail. And of course it's the usual suspects. The proud boys showed up and various other fascist groups showed up and instigated [00:12:00] violence. Terrorist violence.
And that's I think what has this most shaken? Terrorist violence was used against Target and target has capitulated. Threats of terrorism were used against Bud Light and they capitulated.
Threats of violence. I've been waged against children's hospitals.
And no one's calling it what it is, it's terrorism. These are terrorists .
They are enacting violence against a civilian population to achieve political aims. That's the basic definition of terrorism. But because we've accepted the framing of the culture war, this rubric that well, there's two [00:13:00] sides and you have to respect both. No, no, no. See, it's a culture war over whether or not you should be abstinent or be more sex positive. .
Culture is what fashion we are going to love, support wear. That's culture. Music taste is culture. Whether or not humans have a right to exist is not a culture war.
You see it, wasn't a culture war issue.
I'm not even going to go into it. This is not a cultural war.
You, I don't care if racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia.
Queer phobia. ACE phobia.
I don't care if any of these things are a [00:14:00] part of your culture. It's not a culture war issue. because that means that there are people that you should be listening to on both sides. And there aren't both sides to this issue. There aren't two sides to. I believe that these people have a right to exist. and I believe these people have to be eradicated.
One of these is genocide , and the other one is respecting basic human rights. And that's not a culture war issue. And it doesn't have to be treated with kid gloves. You don't have to respect any genocidal fascist point of view, or perspective, and I don't. Well, no, no, no, that's not true. I was going to say, I don't understand why the media would do that, but I do understand. I do because the culture war [00:15:00] exists to distract us from the real issues that are going on. As long as we're talking about this dangerous music or this dangerous dance trend or, oh no, there are sharks in the ocean. We're not talking about the existential threat from climate change. We're not talking about how the billionaire class is robbing us all of our wealth so that they can have more numbers. Because honestly, after a certain point, wealth is just numbers and it doesn't matter anymore. It's meaningless.
But number go up. That's all they care about is number go up.
And we're going to notice that our numbers are going down, but their numbers are going up, so instead of letting us realize that, let's weaponize, whatever we can. Who's the marginalized group of the week .
And it. If it [00:16:00] works. They double down. But of course they can't come across as just abjectly racist, sexist. Queer phobic. They have to dress it up. It's a cultural war. We're just covering the culture war. How can we know who is right. This group is saying that black people should have a right to live and exist. This group says that we should just police them all and throw the ball into prison because they're racist. Who's to know who's right. Well, it's easy to know who is right. The genocidal, racist people are wrong. The sexist people are wrong. The queer phobic people are wrong.
Basic morality, humanity. Ethics.
I know it's a gauche term nowadays to say compassion because it feels so overused because it's the [00:17:00] one thing that we're lacking.
But we need compassion one for another. We need to be able to stand up and speak up for our siblings, sisters, and brothers. And if we're not going to do it, then we're lost.
That's the thing right now. They need to divide us. They need to divide us really hard. That's why Abigail Schreier wrote her book. And Joanna Rowling is doing all of the things that she can to make our lives a living hell internationally. It's pure evil. If you can divide women from queer people, then it's easier to take away both women's rights and queer rights. If you can divide people on race, then it's easier to take away the rights of the people that you don't want to have them.
And that's the trick. [00:18:00] That's the thing that's being done to us right now. Oh, no, there's drag queen story hours where drag Queens put on wholesome drag, and. Basically play a clown, and sit down and read kids a book, maybe dance while lip sinking one of their favorite pop songs.
Oh, how scary.
But of course they have to make it scary because if it's not, oh, we might notice what they're actually doing, what they're actually up to. And I know this sounds conspiratorial and it sounds like I've got my tinfoil hat firmly placed on top of my head, but that's the way it is.
We have to stand up. We have to speak out. We have to realize that this is what they're doing. It's divide and conquer. It's the oldest book in the [00:19:00] art of war. How to win, against your enemy divide and conquer. Get the women's scared of the gays. Get the men, hating the women, get the men hating the gays.
Hazzah. Now you have an army of disaffected men who hate women so much, that women can't stand to be in their presence that are now upset, that they can't have all woman. Oh, look, ready-made army.
The oldest trick in the book. It's the oldest trick. It's the only trick that they have. And they're using it again and they're using it successfully and it infuriates me.
But I feel like a broken record cause I say this all the time.
Nobody listens and nobody cares.
We just move on. I'm not saying that you don't listen. I'm not saying that you don't [00:20:00] care. But that. cisgender, heterosexual group of people out there that hegemonic whiteness. That just believes that it's right, because it has a liberal lean. They're not listening.
They don't want to listen because if they actually hear. The pain in our voices. If they actually see the harm that's being done to us, our country, our world, our environment, it would shatter them, and make them have to get off the fence, and have a position.
And the scariest thing for anyone who has a comfortable life. It's having to have an opinion . What if that comfort is [00:21:00] taken away from you. What if that comfort is an illusion . What if that comfort is built off of the pain and suffering of others. Oh, no. I can't see that. That would be bad.
And so they turn away, or they convinced themselves that it's just the culture wars.
People are getting hurt. People are dying .
We can remain silent, and let them win.
Or we can find the ways that for us, a safe to speak out.
This pride is hard. This pride is hard cause honestly like the rest of you, I just want to go and dance and sip some alcoholic beverages and maybe partake of other legal substances that are [00:22:00] present around the country.
But yeah. No this year, this year, we have to fight. Like we had to fight last year, but nobody listened. And the year before that, and nobody listened.
We have to shout so loud, they hear us.
And maybe, just maybe. Actually take the time to listen.
And want to be doing that in a couple of different ways.
One. And would we be doing this podcast again, over on sub stack. If you're hearing the sound of my voice, then you have already had your subscription moved over to sub stack. So don't worry about that. You're good. But you could always go over there and subscribe. You'll get an email. Every time I post a new chapter of a story, a new essay or [00:23:00] a new episode of this podcast, the Non-binary Writer, or any of the other things that I do.
And yeah. Maybe. If you can, think about supporting me over there with either a monthly or an annual donation. I say donation, it's a subscription, but it really does help me , carry on. Times are hard right now, and I know they're hard for all of us. If you can't afford it, don't do it. If you can only afford a one-time donation, check out my Ko-fi at ko-fi.com/cedorsett.
We're going to get through this. We're going to find a way through this. And, I'm going to find a way to bring some joy. Back to my life and hopefully to yours. Yeah.
We can't do this alone . We have to do it together. That's the other nice thing about the [00:24:00] sub stack, because you can join the chat over there. And we can actually talk about things. Make plans. And you can tell me what stuff you'd like me to talk about on the podcast and the blog and everything else.
All right. Thank you for listening. I hope you enjoy the podcast.
And until next time. And I know I say this at the end of every episode, and hopefully now with everything going on, you understand why.
Don't forget to have the fun.