Where Would You Like To Be? by Heidi Hirsch
Wanda Baker, our wonderful Founder of LGBT Daily Spotlight, recently reminded me that I have been writing this Blog for over five years. I couldn’t believe that! My first Blog was posted on June 20th, 2017.
Looking back on the last five years, we have had a heck of a ride. Here are just a few of the stories that made headlines:
Once again, a new President was selected by the Electoral College, not by the popular vote of the people. Twitter went crazy and women marched. The fashion of the day was Pussy hats. Our new President had made headlines for grabbing women by their private parts, and Harvey Weinstein finally paid the price. Our political swamp was poached by thugs. Confederate statues came down. Scaramucci was fired and became a celebrity. Eighty heroic bystanders formed a human chain to save a drowning family on a Florida beach. A man saved dozens of lives during the deadly shooting at a music festival in Las Vegas. Mass shootings and Fake News became the norm.
Brett Kavanaugh cried and got rewarded. Bill Cosby cried and got outed as a serial rapist, and USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced up to 175 years in prison. The #MeToo movement went global. Some Royals got married and then cut loose. Trump defended separation of migrant families. California passed Gun Control Bills. Trump publicly sided with Putin over U.S. intelligence agencies. Democrats win back the House. More mass shootings. Hurricane season was marked by a record number of storms. The Trump administration disbands the White House pandemic response team.
Donny “T” got impeached — fat lot of good that did. The most diverse class of lawmakers in history were sworn into the 116th Congress, including the most women ever. Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman did a little time in the “thinking chair.” Obama-era climate changes were overturned. Trump officially ended the Clean Power Plan and rolled back regulations on waste from coal plants. A Federal Judge kept the Trump Administration from ending no-cost birth control. The deficit of the United States was the biggest in seven years. The first black openly gay female becomes Mayor of Chicago. The epidemiologist embedded in China’s disease center is eliminated by Trump. Youth-led climate activism goes global.
There’s a mysterious pneumonia outbreak in China. No worries, it was in China. In March, we shut down because of that outbreak for two weeks while we “Cleared the air.” Regarding Covid-19, Bob Woodward later revealed that Trump knew in February how dangerous it was and stated, “It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flu…This is deadly stuff.” In May, we shut down the streets and protested the death of George Floyd. In September, we lost an iconic leader, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In November, after four years of insanity, we caught a glimmer of hope, Joe Bidden was elected President and we had the first woman, Kamala Harris, become Vice-President of the United States.
January 6 saw our nation’s Capitol attacked by a mob of organized Trump supporters. We had the inauguration of a new President. Wall Street was forced to pay attention to retail investors with the GameStop frenzy. Trump becomes the first outgoing president to boycott his successor’s inauguration since Andrew Johnson in 1869 and to this day, still lies about the outcome of the election. Endangered species are making a comeback. Covid-19, a disease, becomes political. President Biden signs executive orders to push Americans to get vaccinated. Juneteenth becomes a federal holiday. Twitter permanently suspended Trump, citing ‘Risk of further incitement of violence.’ And, don’t forget all those fun-loving billionaires that got to float in space.
We are now in 2022 — Republican State legislators are passing voter restriction laws — the only way they think they can win. Boris Johnson has resigned. Chris Rock got slapped and Will Smith got banned. Elon twitted that he’s out of Twitter. We’ve had more school and other mass shootings and we’re back to “Don’t say Gay” again. The pandemic has been downgraded to an epidemic. February brought on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Investments in our infrastructure are on the way. The religious zealots of the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Women’s rights are now back to 1972! But in August, the red state of Kansas voted overwhelmingly to keep the right to an abortion in their state constitution. President Biden made a statement, “This vote makes clear what we know: The majority of Americans agree that women should have access to abortion and should have the right to make their own health care decisions.” Scientists revealed that cheese isn’t bad for you.
All these news stories and events are just a few examples of how the last five years will be seen in history.
Enough!!! I submit to you a much-needed addendum.
In the last five years, a lot of positive changes came about. We stood up to racism and slapped the status quo silly. We proved the power of the right to vote. We let predators know, no matter who they are, to keep their fucking hands off of our bodies. During the worst of the pandemic, we found that sewing circles were not a thing of the past. Folks from all over the country made masks and shields for healthcare workers. The definition of heroes changed for the better.
We told the celebrated privileged that they are not above the law and “doing time” applies to everybody. We were forced into a social correction and found out that spending time with our families is more important than putting in time at the office. We came together as a world and realized that sharing and caring for others is not just a well-crafted marketing slogan.
We have lots more to do. We can and we will. The insanity that a group of people can take away our rights to decide what we can and cannot do with our bodies is about to be blown to smithereens. We must stand up to racism, anti-semitism, misogyny, and gay-bashing. Let’s call it out for what it is — a despicable excuse to demonize others.
Today, as I am writing this, Lieutenant Uhura has left us. Nichelle Nichols, died at 89. As an actor, she broke color barriers and helped redefine roles for black performers. To me, she was the most important woman on the Star Trek Enterprise Bridge. She served as communications officer and second in command. It was not unusual to see her rewire or repair her own communications board during a crisis.
So, the question still remains.
Where do I want to be five years from now?
I want to be thriving, learning, exploring, and waking up in the morning eager to see what the new day brings.
I want to wake up to the smell of fresh brewed coffee. THEN, I’ll give some thought to the new day.
In Gratitude and Proud
Heidi Hirsch lives in the Los Angeles area. She is the Executive Producer for Invitation To Tomorrow Today a newly launched consulting firm. When she is not working towards bringing the future to the present, her domestic responsibilities include attending to the demanding animals which at last count were, Koi and two very noisy birds, Sweet Pea and Charlie Parker.