A joke I commonly make with my gaming friends is that whenever something bad happens, that we’re in “the darkest timeline.” Meanwhile, authors I admire have been making the comment for months that we are already in said timeline. For some reason, that truth hit home for me today. And it scares me more than a little.
I’m Canadian, and we turned back our own tide of xenophobia and anti-LGBTQ racism here in 2015. But those forces, emboldened by what’s going on in the United States, are still lurking around here. And even if they weren’t, I’m a queer, progressive guy. It feels like in the space of less than a year, that the world has become a darker, more dangerous place for people like me and people like me.
What really gets to me, though, is that this is the world that KRH is going to have to grow up in. No matter what happens in 2020 in the United States, or in whatever European country is going to face down their fascist party next, these forces aren’t going away. I’ve heard it commented that it’s no surprise that fascists are re-emerging as the last of the veterans of the Second World War are passing. Whoever those people are, they hate people like me. I hope they’ll hate who my son is going to become, but I also wish I could spare him from this timeline completely.
I think it was today’s news about Transgender people being banned from the US military that did it for me. This doesn’t effect anyone that I personally know, and may not even be enacted. The reminder is that there are a lot of people who hate and want to hurt those who are vulnerable. For those people, there’s no right won that can’t be clawed back, and no way to small to injure or damage people who are LGBTQ. And I have to oppose them, because the world I want KRH to grow up in is one that’s kind, compassionate and one that takes care of the most vulnerable.
For me, this feels so stark because KRH arrived mere weeks before November 8th, when this timeline came to a head. In a lot of ways, nothing has changed, because there have always been those who oppose making the world a better place. But in a lot of ways I was insulated from that, and in others I was protected from seeing it so often. Now social media delivers fresh nightmares to my eyes daily, and it does it far closer to home than ever before.
So how do I keep my sanity in this dark timeline? I already outlined my personal manifesto for resistance. My job is to follow that as best I can in the days, months and years ahead. I won’t always be perfect and there will be times when I can’t. But this timeline is too dark to do anything else than my absolute best. The risks are too great. Everything is at stake. And I have something to fight for.