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How “Cool!”

Stop posting links to tiny victories in social justice news with the comment “how cool is this!” Like Germany allowing parents to not assign a child to a binary gender on a birth certificate is some new radical concept out of nowhere. Like a marriage equality bill passing after so long and hard a fight is just some trivial interesting thing that drifted across your consciousness, like all the oppression that opposed its passage has now melted away because we’re all so cool and groovy together.

This is the stuff of my life, and you are one of the people not listening when I educate, when I rant, when I yell that I want to be recognized, I want to be equal, I just want you to stop oppressing me while telling me I’m creating problems where there could be solidarity. It is not “cool,” or hip, or radical, it is the most infinitesmal step on the road towards true justice and equality, allowed because it will appease the allies, without whom our marginalized voices fall into ever deeper obscurity.

And particularly, when it’s happening in other states, other countries, don’t “this is cool!” me when you aren’t lifting a finger to help the fight here, where it actually affects me.

Try “a step in the right direction,” or “it’ll be interesting to see how it works out, maybe we can use it as a model” or anything, anything that suggests you understand and appreciate exactly how long people like me, my forebears, have been working towards tiny victories like this, how much more we need to live comfortably and equally in our society, how small a step this truly is and how sad to have “allies” like you hailing it as an end to the war, when really it’s just the first tiny skirmish we’ve won.

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