I think the only redeeming factor for this day has been not seeing a single post by a friend celebrating the spectacular failures in Texas and Florida.
People don’t understand why I don’t want to live here and raise my children here. Maybe because they have a 50% chance of being born the “wrong” gender, being told from their earliest days that their bodies are shameful, disgusting, provocative enough to cause rape, and that they should be hidden at all times. They’ll be told they’re less intelligent, less rational, weaker, and less capable. They’ll be targeted with violence and harassment, objectified and limited, and they’ll lack ownership of their own bodies. They’ll be more likely to be raped and abused, more likely to be blamed for their own victimization, and less likely to have their feelings and experiences taken seriously. They’ll make less money, be held to higher standards of behavior and physical attractiveness, be less likely to be promoted, and they’ll be expected to work, have kids, care for their families while receiving little or no credit since it’s their “job”.
There’s an additional chance that my children will be autistic, so they’ll be misunderstood, mistreated, more likely to be abused. They’ll have fewer resources, be called ‘retard’, have their needs ignored, and be treated as dangerous thanks to media outlets who choose to portray people with autism as either mentally unstable, homicidal maniacs, or naive, insensitive, socially awkward geniuses who can’t function within “normal” society. They’ll be less likely to complete college, more likely to live in poverty.
Given my mental health, and the history of it in my family, it’s quite possible that they’ll have depression and anxiety issues. They’ll have the opportunity to go through life feeling insane, weak, and inferior, hating themselves, wondering when it will get better, and then finally realizing that it never will. If they talk about it or publicly struggle with it, they’ll be insulted and called names. People will tell their partner(s) to leave them. They’ll see themselves portrayed in TV shows, movies, and on the news as dangerous, unstable, irresponsible.
And genetics forbid that my children be LGBTQA (A here being asexual). They’ll be hated by large, very vocal parts of the population, and sometimes by the other communities. They’ll have to fight tooth and nail for equality in every sector, they’ll be more likely to kill themselves, and they’ll almost definitely be harassed, bullied, or attacked for their sexuality or gender identity. They’ll be told they’re less than human, sinners, hated by god, going to hell, pedophiles, perverts. They’ll be denied the right to marry the person the love unless they’re lucky enough to live in a state that recognizes their marriage as valid. They may be denied employment, housing, or services for not being straight. They may be prohibited from adopting, giving blood, or participating in community activities.
At least I know my kids will be white, so I won’t need to worry that they’ll be seen as suspicious and shot for walking home at night, pulled over for driving while a person of color, arrested for things most white kids are slapped on the wrist for, or sentenced to harsh, unfair lengths in prison. We’re more likely to be financially secure since we’re more likely to be hired and paid a better wage. We’re less likely to be judged if we have to receive assistance, and we won’t be treated like idiots or criminals by service agents and staff at stores and organizations. We’re more likely to be promoted and receive raises, and we have the benefit of having college education so we’re better off thanks to that.
The best I can hope for my kids in this country is that they’ll be straight, cis, neurotypical men without mental illness or physical disability. Then they’ll have the best chance of living a moderately successful life, not being impoverished, avoiding rape, assault, murder, or wrongful arrest. They’ll be better respected and their opinions will be valued above others. They’ll be fairly or overly represented in nearly every aspect of their lives, not have their history ignored or trivialized.
So why do I want to live elsewhere and have kids outside of this country? Because I don’t want to have to hope for my child to fit a certain set of characteristics in order to receive the rights ‘guaranteed’ by the Constitution. I don’t want to have to worry that my children will be denied human rights because of who they are. I don’t want my child to be raped and then harassed until she kills herself, tied to a post and beaten to death, jailed for defending herself against an abusive husband, be impoverished because she is denied access to reproductive health care, die because he isn’t able to afford a doctor’s visit or treatment for an illness, ostracized because his brain doesn’t work like most people’s, feared because she has depression.
I want my children to be treated as human beings first and foremost. That’s not something the USA can offer. And I’m not willing to spend my life fighting for shit that is already available elsewhere. Call me selfish if you want, I don’t care. I can’t fix what people stubbornly refuse to see is broken. If Texas and Florida aren’t wake-up calls, I don’t see what possibly can be.