Dear President Trump,
A couple of days ago we had another hot day and although it cooled off nicely in the evening and our bedroom ceiling fan made the air in there pleasant enough, in the closet it was incredibly hot and stuffy. I was in there changing my clothes with the door pulled part of the way closed and found myself thinking how awful it would be to be stuck in a hot, stuffy closet where there was no fresh air and everything felt hemmed in and restricted. Being me, my mind wandered to thinking about gay people who are stuck in such closets where they can only risk being themselves in incredibly small, cramped spaces and how you and Mr. Sessions are busily making it so more and more people are feeling as though it isn’t safe to be themselves out in the open. Your ban on trans people serving in the military, the removal of all the LGBT-oriented government websites, the conservative interpretation of federal anti-discrimination laws means more closets to punish gay people for not conforming or being sufficiently hidden and to allow weak straight people to feel more comfortable and righteous.
I realize I was just in my own literal closet getting some different clothes on and not retreating to a symbolic closet where I am hiding who I am, but for some reason it felt like I was experiencing a really unpleasant taste of what it must be like to live in one of those zip codes where it is not safe to be out. I have known intellectually for a long, long time that living on the West Coast affords me freedoms that thousands of people living in the mid-West and the South can’t even imagine, but the other day it was like a sucker punch to the gut trying to catch a full breath in that hot closet and feeling the weight of homophobia and your efforts to make the world a smaller, meaner place.
In the end, though, it’s not going to work. Did you know that enormous flocks of birds are led from the edges? I think the same goes for countries and peoples, those of us on the margins and edges who can see further and have different perspectives by virtue of where we happen to be standing are going to tug the rest of you along. It may take a long time, but we will because to stay still and unchanged is to die.
May we all be safe to breathe fresh air outside.
May we all be happy to let everyone breathe free.
May we all be healthy and secure enough to let people be.
May all of our lives unfold and intersect with dignity and respect.