It’s subtle

I’ve been watching people around me silently for a really long time, probably since Jan 6, 2021. I’ve seen some subtle changes over time.

Jan 6th used to be a super special day for me. Way back in 2000, that was the day I went to Air Force Basic Training. It was the beginning of the rest of my life, which is a silly thing you say when you look back and realize exactly when some journey started. I didn’t know at the time that I would stay in for 20 years. I didn’t know I would commission a little over two years later. I also didn’t know that I would get out to go to ROTC for one year without even being enlisted for two years. But Jan 6th was always special to me.

In 2021 and late 2020, I could feel the charged energy around the election. I could feel something coming. I also was aware of all the threatening things the local guy was saying as he was preparing to head to Washington, DC, to “forcibly” take his country, if needed. I felt a little scared, actually. What would crazed individuals do if given the chance?

Around that time and definitely after, I started paying a lot of attention to how people are driven by fear. Fear for losing something if someone else gained something. Fear for their children. Fear for their way of life. It hit me one day in 2021 that politicians on both sides were using fear to stir up their base to act in a way. I felt myself “unplug” after that. It’s SO EASY to rile people up with what “might” happen. It’s even easier to get people crazy if you can point to something that actually happened.

But when you stop and really think about it, what has actually been lost since 2021? Has there been any meaningful gun legislation that protects us from senseless death? Are school shootings slowing down? (hint, nope, just had one today.) So the losses have been lives at school, mostly children, bodily autonomy for women, inflation, freedom of speech and freedom to parent as you see fit, and many people’s sanity.

I saw a video of Jon Stewart last night, talking to a politician about drag queens reading to children at libraries. The politician kept talking about needing to protect children from drag queens and then Jon Stewart became enraged and brought up the fact that no one is talking about children losing their lives at school. He’s right, though. How can any politician claim to care about children so much that drag queens reading at libraries is a huge ordeal (even when the parents are the ones taking them to the library and making that parenting choice) but school shootings don’t matter? How much sense does that make?

Same thing with all these anti-trans bills preventing children from getting gender affirming care. I am SO SICK of all of that. No one is “mutilating” children. Surgeries ARE NOT performed on children, period. Are puberty blockers dangerous? Maybe? I don’t know. But I also know that adderall, albuterol, nexium, and clonidine all present various risks to children, but you don’t see anyone protesting those medications. Boy #1 had breathing treatments as a baby because he kept getting upper respiratory infections. Boy #3 had to take nexium as part of his treatment plan when he couldn’t stop vomiting. It could’ve caused bone loss and stunted growth, but his stomach was basically raw from chronic gastritis. We used it as minimally as we could (with the doctor’s help) to help him heal and then he was weaned off of it. Why would the state need to get involved with that? So why does the state need to get involved with the medical care that trans kids get? I am so tired of seeing people write shitty comments on social media like, “Thankfully I wasn’t born around now because I was a tomboy and I got over it. It would’ve been a mistake for me to transition.” Ok, duh. That’s not the same thing. Stop comparing it. So you were just a tomboy. Move along, no need to comment with something shitty like that. You’re not trans, congratulations.

The changes I have seen in our society since Jan 2021, Nov 2020, or even during the election season in 2016 are not good. People feel compelled to be mean, to argue, and to make sure everyone knows exactly how they feel about situations that have nothing to do with them. If your kids aren’t trans and/or don’t have complex medical needs, congratulations. It’s easier to move through life for your kids. But you don’t get to make the rules for other parents who ARE dealing with those issues. Just because you don’t agree doesn’t mean you get to decide how they will parent. Like I personally think bikinis on toddlers are gross. But I don’t ever say that to my friends who put their daughters in bikinis. I don’t feel like I need to butt into their parenting with my opinion. If they asked me, I don’t even know if I’d give my opinion then, especially if I know it’s something they like to do. Why can’t more people just keep their opinion to themselves if no one is asking for it?

Just live your own life and stop worrying about everyone else and what decisions they’re making.

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