At first I thought this was a bad habit to get into.
I have people I work with and want to work with on my social media, as well as friends, and I had that whole professional image thing in my head and thought I should try and maintain that. So maybe I should hide that from them.
As an artist my art, my life and my politics are intrinsically entwined as they should be. I don't want to work with someone who is transphobic. Hell, I wouldn't want to work with anyone who is homophobic, racist, sexist, classist, ableist...anyone who is bigoted in any way. Especially as in the past couple of years I've been making more specifically queer work, the more of which I make the more important it becomes that I am making it.
I also felt bad (at first) that I was bombarding a lot of friends with quotes, articles and rants on queer issues and that they'd just switch off and stop listening to me. Yes, I was worried about losing friends. And it has happened, even close friends have stopped talking to me or come forth with problematic views that has lead to a clean-cut severance of our bonds of friendship.
At the same time a magical and interesting thing happened that I had not expected - People listened. Friends, who I had genuinely worried about being the 'not everyone in the world is out to get you' speech kind of people, started to listen, and learn, and become...dare I say it...allies.
People were coming forward to me in real life and telling me they were reading a lot of the articles I post and the rants I go on. That they are learning more than they thought they would and were beginning to check their privilege, which as we know is an essential part of being a good ally. Hell, part of being a decent human being.
I found that a surprising number of my friends who are not queer or trans DO actually give a shit about trans and non-binary rights and even want to work to make the world a better place for me and other queer folx. Who'da guessed?
I also felt like I was just spending my time preaching to the choir of other queer folx on my social media who already feel the same as me, have the same politics and are screaming the same things I am, but to know that others are actually taking the time to engage and fight alongside is a wonderful thing. It's not quite as echo chambery as I believed!
So. As tiring as it can get sometimes (well most of the time, but I'll save self-care & activism for another time) I want to continue to be a shoutin', screamin', angry queer and because of that I have one request to make of you -
Keep on being an ally.
It's a (life)long journey but I promise it's worth it.
Here is where I write about art and about life.