Save Me From Ordinary

It was ordinary people who told me my soul would burn when I told them I am an atheist.

It was ordinary people who kept me from recognizing my gender until my 20s.

It was ordinary people who promoted a level of homework that devoured my free time for most of high school.

It was ordinary people who saw everything about me that was not useful to them and demanded that it change.

It was ordinary people who kept me feeling excluded, misunderstood, and feared until I was an adult, and sometimes still.

It was ordinary people who lied to me for fun and jeered at me for believing them.

It was ordinary people who made the world too bright, too loud, too messy, too much, and told me I was wrong for noticing.

It was ordinary people who made it so that, when I am frustrated or scared enough, I stop feeling my hands.

It was ordinary people who cheered Donald Trump’s Supreme Court appointments.

It was ordinary people who waved bigoted signs at me when I marched in Ottawa’s Pride parade.

It was ordinary people who saw twelve years of Bushes and four years of Trump and then voted by the millions for the next red-party would-be leader.

It was ordinary people who watched Stephen Harper bring more of America’s worst into Canada and then voted for him in enough numbers to give him a majority government.

It was ordinary people who taught me to fear and hate anything less right-wing than Joseph McCarthy in the name of cultural pride.

It was ordinary people who cheered when the science and history lessons in American textbooks were twisted and broken to fit religious dogma and racism.

It was ordinary people who saw nothing wrong with the history lessons in Canadian textbooks glossing over centuries of anti-indigenous violence and double-dealing.

It was ordinary people who dragged Europe’s governments farther and farther right over the past 30 years, snuffing out lights one by one.

It was ordinary people who decided that the specter of a cis child caught in the trans healthcare pathway was so much worse than anything that could possibly happen to a trans person and structured the whole pathway accordingly.

It was ordinary people who decided that dying of a gunshot is violence but dying from healthcare neglect is not.

It was ordinary people who decided that taking $100 from the till is theft worthy of a criminal record and taking $100 from your employee’s paycheck is not.

It was ordinary people who made “refugee” a category that needs to exist instead of just letting people in.

 

It was ordinary people who shouted transmisogynistic abuse at me and my friends and partners in the street.

It was ordinary people who were not too embarrassed to try to recruit me into their cults.

It was ordinary people who tried to take everything from me, leaving nothing but the shell that could make more for them to take.

It was ordinary people who threatened to out me before I was ready to make my feminine debut, and regular people they invoked to make that threat frightening.

It was ordinary people who made me scared that I would not finish my graduate studies.

It was ordinary people who made me scared that I would have to leave the city and the country that I had made my home.

It was ordinary people who told me I was a cold reptilian hellspawn machine who would never know love.

It was ordinary people who told me, over and over again, that everything I am is an affront to what they have decided is good and just and righteous in this world.

It was ordinary people who almost made me believe them.

 

So when I remember that my own politics demands that every one of us, no matter how ordinary, have the needs of our thriving handed to us automatically as the purest expression of what it means to even have a society…

It takes everything in me to not ask myself,

“But why do they deserve it?”

And when I hear about people, smart people, well-meaning people, extraordinary people, who wish that more of the world’s power belonged to ordinary people…

It takes everything in me not to ask them,

“Have you met ordinary people?”

Because I have seen ordinary, and it is everything I have ever tried to escape.

 

"Sometimes I think there is hope for humanity and then sometimes I read comment threads."

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Save Me From Ordinary
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