August 20th, 1920. All women in the United States are GUARANTEED the RIGHT to VOTE.
June 8th, 1975. I am born into a family where I am taught not only is voting my civic duty, but what I do with that vote matters. In my immediate family we are a deeply blue team who live in a deeply red state. Yes, occasionally in the local races I’ll cross party lines throw a vote a Republican’s way.
November 9th, 2016. This morning Donald Trump is declared President Elect. But that was just a formality. The writing was on the wall around midnight so I called it a night and decided there was only a few things I could do before the next election about it.
Accept the defeat of my candidate, Hillary Clinton with as much grace and dignity as she did. Then turn around and pick up the mantle of what I was most passionate about. Mental Health Advocacy and Women’s Rights. Clearly we have an incoming President-elect that is a huge question mark in terms of policy. But in terms of personal action and accountability is seared into my mind on exactly where he stands.
As an artist in all forms, author, screenwriter and filmmaker I know I can no longer sit idly by in silence in the face of such a clarion call from angry whites in this country as a coming out of sorts for a racist and misogynistic Naltionalist Party. And frankly, it terrifies me. I must pick up my ink pen, take a piece of paper and make my voice heard.
Will it be heard? Only if other women of every stripe and ethnicity pick up the banner for women and those who champion the mentally ill band together to see to it to those of us with targets on our backs aren’t the next ones to go down.
Because allow me to explain. Those medications I take, those psych appointments I’m able to keep, those therapy talks I get every week to keep me from triggering into a nasty state of mind that would make people unhappy, leave me miserable, and perhaps, in a worst case scenario at the mercy of an ignorant law force out to protect themselves and themselves alone.
People hear entitlements and they think cut them. Without mercy cut them. Really often it’s the very ones who need it the most that say cut my own throat because I deserve them, I need them. There’s a general idea of fuck you I got mine in certain parts of this country combined with a toxic mix of I need it and I alone can determine if you deserve it.
I tell you, as a woman who is on Medicare with Obamacare supplemental insurance and monthly disability I went to bed feeling like a moving target. I also have Diabetes. I don’t pretend to understand why there is so much anger targeted towards women and other minorities. And I really don’t understand how a woman can vote against their own best self-interests.
I watched one woman say we’re taking our country back in Michigan and my heart sank. While I will continue to respect the office of the President of the United States that does not mean I will stand and do nothing as he attempts to wreck our country.
To my friends in the LGBT community, your fight is also my fight. And while my focus is on Women’s Rights and Mental Health Advocacy I am very much a Human Rights fighter.
To everyone who thinks I’m the enemy please understand I am not. I am just one woman, one voice who loves my country deeply and I do not wish to see it rip itself apart.