Embody – Your Existence is Part of the Resistance

I have been preparing for this revolution for most of my life, knowing our system isn’t sustainable, that the foundation is rotten and so is most of the support structure. Knowing we are in danger of destroying ourselves, and possibly the whole world. Living on borrowed time, on stolen land, on the backs of so many who are punished if they stand up.

I have been preparing for so long that my bones are brittle with it. I have been fighting so long that my body is worn down from it. I cannot march, I cannot sit on the ground, I cannot throw myself into the fray and make of my broad shoulders a shield. And this is not about me, except the part where it is. Where I need to do my part, need to be involved, need to find a way to make reparations even though my pockets are empty most days.

I am watching from home, and my clenched fists can hardly punch the air, because shoulder joints. Because decades of lifting things that didn’t belong to me. And I am still one of the lucky ones. No forced labor in my life, no hazardous journey to escape death and desolation, no clouds of poison or explosions from the ground or the sky. I have an easy grasp on the language deemed proper in the United States, as if there were ever only one language spoken here. As if this language wasn’t as much a tool of colonization as the bible, and the body shame, and the brutalization. As if every lie and every broken treaty weren’t made of those self same words.

I am watching from home and I am fact checking and I am sharing and I am encouraging and I am refuting and I am soothing and I am feverish and I am sorrowful and I am rageful and I am not out there like I thought I always would be.

I am not looking for reassurance. I am not looking for pity. I am not looking for absolution.

I am looking for ways to be involved, to do my part, to be a part of this long time coming, long overdue, long road ahead of us revolution.

I am not alone in this. The system was built to grind us into dust, cram us down into molds, and make bricks to wall each other in. That so many bodies are yet able to lift and march and yell and resist is as much a miracle as the fact that we’re finally, collectively, waking up to the need to do so.

‘We’ is a misleading word, a word we’re working towards but many of us haven’t yet earned. ‘We’ ignores the truth of racism and classism and ableism and transphobia and homophobia and xenophobia and misogyny. ‘We’ is a claim of solidarity that hasn’t been lived long enough to be solid ground.

What I mean to say is that white people are finally realizing their privilege, and affluent people are finally realizing their privilege, and cisgendered and able-bodied people are finally realizing their privilege. What I mean to say is that because the corruption of the new administration is cracking open the complacency, people with privilege are finally looking beyond their own comfort and seeing the world as it actually is.

I am sitting with my feelings of inability and fear and sorrow and horror and disgust as the bully leader of our bully country drags the entire world into his violent delusion and punishes us for not cheering it on. I am working through those feelings and pushing myself to make ways to be involved, to make a contribution, to make a difference.

I am in pain, and I am struggling with dissociation and depression, and I spend most of my days doing work that is both sacred, and scarring. Queer and trans bodies are in constant danger, are left to suffer without adequate or respectful care, are on the front line just for existing. I spend my days on that battlefield, offering up my heart in one hand, and a sword in the other.

I am not looking for reassurance. I am not looking for pity. I am not looking for absolution.

I am looking for ways to stand up for the fact that people of color and immigrants and refugees and indigenous people deserve justice and sanctuary and respect. Deserve safety and the sanctity of their bodies and faiths and cultures and choices to be upheld.

I will never stop fighting from every chair I occupy. I will never stop fighting for every body in danger. I will never stop, even in those moments when I crumple into my own soft and scared center and try to remember how to pull air all the way down in there with me.

If you are also struggling with how to be involved despite mental or physical disability, or in how to include folks with disabilities in your activism, there are some great resources to support your efforts and help you get started. Remember (as I am attempting to do) that you are a part of it all. That you can make a contribution in your own ways, and that it might look like many things not reflected in our media and communities. That your existence is part of the resistance.

Do your best to stay safe, to stay aware, and to stay involved. Find places of comfort and laughter and passion and let it fill you up. Prepare yourself to face this as the long, hard road it is sure to be.

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Sossity Chiricuzio is a writer and columnist based out of Portland, Oregon. She is a regular contributor for PQ Monthly and focuses on social justice, communication, community, and changing the world. You can reach her at sossity@pqmonthly.com or follow her online @sossitywrites.