Peace on Earth. I hope. ~ Outside the Margins with Diana Copland

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Diana Copland OtM

PEACE ON EARTH. I HOPE.

I love December.

I always have, not least of which because my first born arrived on December 16th. My Chris was a precious baby; he slept all night the first night home from the hospital. One his first Christmas he received a giant teddy bear. Mr. Bear is still with him, still sleeps on his bed, and Chris turns 34 this year. Bear also gave him a black eye when he was about a year old, but that’s another story.

December was the time of year I always took my kids to Disneyland, and once I was old enough, probably junior high school, I took over all of the wrapping and decorating at my mom and dad’s. I was their ‘elf’, and I loved being it. Once I had a home of my own, and kids of my own, I went crazy on my house but I still did my parents. Oh, to be young again. Now I do my own little apartment, with my own little tree, but my daughter has picked up the torch and her house is now ‘Christmas central’, the family winter wonderland. She is so my daughter.

This has been a rough year for a lot of us. I don’t think I’ve ever felt quite as out of touch with my country and my fellow Americans as I have for the last eighteen months. And I won’t lie, it’s been very weird to me since November 8. Not to be obnoxious or anything, but I’ve kind of watched the news since with a sinking sense of… what the hell happened here? I just never imagined that the message we’d be sending the world this year would be – that message. That we’re intolerant, that the gains made in the rights of all Americans really aren’t that important to us, that more than anything we’re afraid.

On the Thursday night after the election, I had church choir practice. I sing for the Cathedral choir at St. John the Evangelist in Spokane, Washington.  It’s honestly a pretty remarkable group totally aside from the fact that they’re almost to a person really talented musicians. They’re also the nicest people. There’s a gay couple in the choir who are both extremely talented, and when they got married three years ago, in the Cathedral, I guess the whole choir was invited. THAT is my kind of group, you know? Ah, Episcopalians, I do love them.  I love that when they say ‘all are welcomed here’, they MEAN it. On that Thursday night, they were sad. Really, really sad, and it helped me to be somewhere where all of us felt the same. When they say misery loves company, I guess they weren’t kidding, huh?

I won’t go all completely political on you, because honestly, in the big scheme of things what does my opinion really matter?  I’ll just say I think we all need to be…vigilant. I have friends, beloved friends, and family who fall somewhere on the LGBTQ spectrum. Mr. Trump ( I just can’t call him president elect; I know he is, but I just can’t make myself do it) says that the SCOTUS ruling on marriage equality is ‘the law, it’s been decided’. But that doesn’t reassure me. When he picked Mike Pence, he picked one of the most openly anti-equality governors in the country. This is a person who rerouted money ear-marked for AIDS research, which is something near and dear to my heart, to conversion therapy. Conversion therapy DOES. NOT. WORK. Not only that, it’s akin to torture, trying to brutalize young people into changing something about themselves that’s hard-wired into their DNA. It’s sanctioned cruelty, and he took money from researching a disease that killed my husband and routed it into torturing people’s children. That isn’t Christian. It just isn’t.  Totally aside from all of my gay friends, who I love, I have three young people that have honored me by allowing me to part of their transition. Lexie, Kieran and Landon are in truth three of the bravest people I’ve ever known. Making that decision, to be brave enough to live your own truth and to change who you are so that the outside matches the inside… God, I can’t even imagine the courage it would take to do that, live that. They humble me. And I will do whatever I have to in order to protect them from a resurgence of blind hatred.

I hope the folks who voted for Trump didn’t take the LGBTQ community into consideration and then simply wrote them off as collateral damage. I hope they didn’t. And I hope the man means what he says, and that he keeps his Vice President away from the issue. But I don’t trust him. Not a bit. He’s going to have to prove it to me, and I intend to hold my elected representatives feet to the fire so that they, in turn, do it to him.

But for now, in this season where we should stop and take a deep breath, and be grateful for the things we have and the people we love, I’m going to try to do just that. I’m going to love my friends and my family.  I’m going to honor Lexie and Kieran and Landon’s courage. And I’m going to hope, with everything in me, that when our … gulp … president elect says something, he begins at some point to mean it.

Earlier today I saw an add that made me stop and think. Usually I ignore commercials on tv, but I couldn’t ignore this one. I’ve seen it before, and loved it before, but today it brought tears to my eyes.  I think it’s message is timeless, perfect, and even though it’s a commercial for diapers, this year it feels like so much more. I hope you’ll watch it, and maybe some of the peace it started to bring to me will touch you, too.  Whatever your situation, whatever you believe, I honor that. Thank you for reading, thank you for being a part of my life. And Merry Christmas.

 

~Diana Copland

About Diana Copland

Diana Copland began writing in the seventh grade, when she shamelessly combined elements of Jane Eyre and Dark Shadowsto produce an overwrought Gothic tale that earned her an A- in creative writing, thanks entirely to the generosity of her teacher. She wrote for pure enjoyment for the next three decades before discovering LiveJournal and a wonderful group of supportive fanfiction writers, who after gifting her with a “”Best New Author”” Award encouraged her to try her hand at original gay fiction.

Born and raised in southern California, Diana moved to the Pacific Northwest after losing a beloved spouse to AIDS in 1995. She lives in eastern Washington with four obnoxious cats, near her two wonderful adult children.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

Brandilyn
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