Part of my struggle with my depression is the occasional bouts of extreme angst and sadness that overtake me. Occasionally these are triggered by sad personal memories, but more often all it takes is a small reminder of the vast injustices in the world.
Last month I was sitting in downtown Chicago at a nice-ish shopping mall and I saw a homeless man meticulously cutting up Aldi bags to sew/tape to his clothing to weatherproof it. I wanted to help him. I was angry that I couldn’t help him. I was angry that our society allowed him to get to a point in his life where that was a thing that he needed to do. I was livid that our society exacerbates an endless cycle of poverty. We don’t lift each other up. We push each other down and trample one another in our constant race to get ahead by even the smallest amount. Basic human decency is thrown out the window in the race for a captialistic “utopia” that does not exist. We, as a whole, do not advance by growing on the backs of those we push down into a state of hopelessness. I never in my life should have encountered someone who could honestly tell me they stopped dreaming, just hoped for a job that wouldn’t fire them for wearing the same thing and being a little late because he couldn’t afford the train and had to walk in the rain.
More recently I had one of my trans friends tell me they had no parents. Not that their parents were dead, but that they weren’t welcome anymore. This person is one of the strongest people I know. I have numerous trans friends at this point in my life, and while I’m sticking that label in this sentence to emphasize that, I don’t normally call it out. They are just friends, like all of my friends. Humans that I love. Who the fuck cares what’s in their pants? I see a person who brings light and love into my life. It makes me furious to know that anyone could possibly look at these same friends that I have and think that they deserve to die for being who they are. That they deserve to be discriminated against or assaulted because they don’t identify with the gender that was assigned to them at birth. My trans friends are the STRONGEST people I know. They know when they come out that the world is going to be cruel to them, and yet they choose to live their truth anyways.
Right now I’m crying, but really I shouldn’t be the only one crying at these injustices. We, as a whole, should mourn our society. Kill it, bury it, reinvent ourselves. Create something that values everyone for who they are rather than what they should be. It won’t fix my depression, but it would go a long ways towards helping many many more people than myself. This world is fucked, and until it fixes itself I’m going to cry for it. I can only do so much as one person, but I’m going to fight for what’s right and stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves.
If you (or anyone you know) needs the privilege of a white woman on their side, hit me up. I’m your girl. I’ll cry with you, and I will fight for you. We live together, and while I will never claim to suffer as many do, I will always try to do what I can to relieve your pain and suffering.
Share this message in your own words, or share my words if you prefer, but I encourage everyone reading this to stand up for injustice in this world. As one of my dear friends loves to post “Those who are neutral in situations of injustice favor the oppressor.” Unless those of us in positions of privilege take a stand, nothing will ever change. Be the change we need in this world.
I posted two national charities below, but I encourage you to research your local LGBT and homeless organizations to make an impact in your own area.
National Alliance to End Homelessness – (Charity Navigator score of 91.42)
Transgender Law Center – (Charity Navigator score of 88.85)