I've been pretty quiet on this blog and on social media. I'm reluctant to mix my personal (which includes political) life with my professional life. Suicide and mental health are topics that transcend party lines--or at least they should be--and I don't want to drive anymore wedges into what's already looking like the Civil War, Part 2. So I'm slowing down, stepping back, and taking care of myself and my family. I'm calling my senators weekly, sending them postcards. Trying to stay informed without getting overwhelmed. Trying to listen, really listen, to multiple sides of the conversation without reacting. I'm also working on several advocacy projects, which have kept me pretty busy.
Oh, and I'm about to have a baby.
This female fetus and I are wearing red today in support of International Women's Day/A Day Without a Woman, because I feel as strongly about the bipartisan-ness of women's rights as I do about the bipartisan-ness of mental health. In fact, I think those two things intersect, which I've written about before.
I want my daughter to grow up in a world where she feels safe and respected. Where she is paid fairly, and equally, for the work she does. Where she can wear whatever she chooses to wear, and express herself sexually however she chooses to express herself, without being judged, labeled, or assaulted.
I want all this for my son, too.
I want both my children to be able to embrace vulnerability. I want them to experience emotions without shame. I want them to be able to share what they're feeling, and ask for help when they need it. I want them to be supported and respected by the people in their lives when they do this, and I want them to be able give the same support and respect that they receive.
Actually, I want this for everyone. And I think we can do it. I think it starts when we stop seeing differences as otherness. When we recognize the humanity in everyone--even those we don't agree with. I think it starts with equal rights.
Solidarity, ladies and gentlemen. Let's do this thing.