This is one of those “random thoughts Sam vomits out at 5am” type of posts.
A lot of things have been swirling around in my head since my ill-fated birthday party (sorry, again, America… I promise to never again acknowledge the day of my birth!). One is that I DO have hope. Not necessarily for the next few years, but in general… and that is because I look at my son, his friends, and the young #Critter community I have gotten to know… yes the dreaded “millennials”. While they do tend to have some orgasmic affair with social media and selfies, they have one huge advantage that gives me hope for us all -they have spent a bulk of their lives in a much more tolerant and accepting society (I hate those words for this but couldn’t think of any others).
If we look back to my generation’s viewing pleasures, the only openly gay character I remember seeing on nighttime TV was Billy Crystal on the comedy, Soap… where he and his “lifestyle” (as it was called then) were the butt of jokes. Now we see loving couples raising kids and living normal lives (SHOCK! it’s not a lifestyle after all… it’s just LIFE). When we were in high school and college shows were congratulated for having one non-white or female lead… now if a show doesn’t its days are numbered. And while Hollywood is doing it for ratings (probably… we are a capitalistic society after all) at least (on TV) they are slowly starting to show the diversity that is the world. (now we just need some actual BODY diversity…. but that’s another morning’s rant). In the 70’s, 80’s & 90’s transgender men and women were not in the media at ALL… except maybe as the crazy cross-dressing uncle. (sorry, Hollywood…. those are 2 different things!). What I’m saying, poorly, is that even though Hollywood is still behind and slow, it is leaps and bounds beyond what it was when my generation was in their formative years. We didn’t see diverse faces, genders, orientations, or bodies AT ALL. (and let’s face it another element in the “who to blame for November” is my own group of white lower-income 40-somethings who just couldn’t vote for a woman).
I feel that the kids today are getting a MUCH better view of what the world really looks like and that can only help us in the future… as longs as we can keep them engaged and enraged. As long as we don’t write them off every time they pick up their phone. As long as employers, teachers, parents we show them they we ALL can make a difference if we interact. As longs as we treat them as the young ADULTS they are. I’ve gotten to know quite a few 20-somethings the last year and most of them are freakin’ awesome. Remember how GenX was written off 25 years ago as being lazy… that’d be the SAME Gen X that our current (for 2 more weeks) president belongs to. Gen Y (Millenials) have the next Obama in them, we just need to let them know we see it. We need to let them know that for the next 4ish years we aren’t going to let them down again (and yes, they too are in this clusterF*&^k of blame for November… not voting and voting 3rd party b/c they just didn’t “like” HRC).
I see my son, his friends, and MY young friends and have hope. I see his lunch table with straight, bi, gender-fluid teens. While they too are surrounded by racist, bigoted, sexist assholes… let them be little beacons of light. Let’s help them become much better middle-aged adults than we became.