News & Politics

When The Personal Is Political

purchase gabapentin With the election season behind us, many people are looking forward to going back to “normal” life.  They are unblocking friends on facebook (who were exiled for too many election related posts), watching TV without being bombarded with campaign ads, and no longer afraid to answer the phone or the door for fear of being reminded to vote for the millionth time.

For most, politics is not something they usually wear on their sleeve – and it can be uncomfortable when the whole world is suddenly talking about it – or maybe it’s a thrill to jump into the debate for a few weeks and then hang up your boxing gloves until the next round.  Either way, for some it’s easy to put these issues back on the shelf or go back in the political closet.

Then there are those of us who aren’t able to neatly separate the issues from our daily lives.  This is true for queer families.  It’s true for undocumented workers, families on public assistance, women – It’s true for many of us.  Naturally, we may have more layers of privilege to pad us from the sting, and we may feel the political presence in our lives some days more than others.  Still, these issues that have been argued relentlessly over the last few months  are not merely ideological debates to many U.S. citizens.  The policy makers elected will affect our rights, safety and access to resources.   We are politicized.  We ourselves – our bodies, our families.  It’s not possible to walk away from that.

During the height of the election discussion a friend of mine posted on twitter wondering why a business would ever post a political sign in their window.  “You are alienating half of your potential business,” she wrote.  When jb and I had a business we posted political signs in the window – and we didn’t think it was a big risk.  The truth is, we had probably already alienated some “potential business” just by being a queer owned business.  I don’t think anyone was shocked that we were supporting Obama – and we still had customers with differing political views as regular customers.

Despite the lack of civility that seems to happen on social media when people aren’t looking into the faces of the people they are addressing, I think there are many people still willing to have thoughtful conversation with someone they don’t agree with.  The signs in our window were sometimes the first step toward that conversation.  Often we had to agree to disagree – but other times I think that we may have changed some hearts and minds.

If you are among the ranks of people who live the issues that our nation recently voted on, I hope the election left you a little better off than before and energized to keep those meaningful conversations going.


No Comments

  1. I get so irritated by the “it isn’t personal” and “I’m not voting against YOUR family” comments. The fact of the matter is, yes….yes you are. We are one of the few populations of people left who are at the mercy of the voting masses for basic rights. We are a minority if people denied the equality of caring for and providing for our families and I want to kick the shins of everyone who just doesn’t get that!

  2. This was an election in which Civil Rights were held in the balance. It was the first time in my life when that was such a clear fact.

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