I’ve geeked out over a lot of things in my 26-and-a-half years of life.
Animals were my first fandom. My favorites were whales, tigers, horses, and endangered species.
Mom fed this passion well. She bought me all the animal toys she could find and CD-ROMs about endangered animals, which I poured over for hours a day. I dreamed of being a marine biologist, a farmer, a veterinarian, and a horse trainer. I wanted to do anything involved with caring for and protecting animals.
But I didn’t become a little animal activist because I cared about sustaining ecosystems and global warming. Those were concerns, but they weren’t my primary ones. I cared that these animals were allowed to exist for the sake of living. I fell in love with them and wanted them to be allowed to live and keep their beauty in the world.
As I’ve gotten more involved in politics, local and national, I’ve thought a lot about my passion for animals. I’ve thought about it as I’ve seen efforts made by the GOP to revoke protections for endangered species and the EPA as a whole. I wonder if they ever had a passion like mine and if they became children again, maybe they’d be appalled at their actions and stop them.
I think about love and passion, and how it comes up in my actions as an adult, and it’s brought some clarity.
I thought I only protested because I’m angry, which I am. But first and foremost, I protest because humanity is beautiful, and I am in love with us.
I protest because I love my Arabic family and want other families like them to live in a world that loves their beautiful culture. I support Black Lives Matter, because black culture is beautiful, powerful, and needs to be honored and upheld. I stand up when LGBTQ+ rights are threatened and revoked, because these are beautiful people I love, with sacred stories, lives, and ways of loving which should be protected instead of cast away as “sinful” and “evil.” I cry out with many others #NoDAPL, because water truly is life, land is sacred, they and the tribes which tend them are worthy of protection. I try to make my activism intersectional, because the ways in which so many structures and identities overlap is detrimental to ensuring all people are liberated from all which holds them back, so they can live their lives as fully as possible.
I march, make phone calls, and share/write “political posts,” because people are beautiful, because life is sacred, and our government needs to do everything in its power to honor this sacred beauty.
I am an activist, and I am a writer, of all things related to anxiety, fandom, faith, and life, because I love life and want to honor all of the sacred life I can. I want to see with open eyes the beauty and pain in it all, bring it to light, show it to others, and inspire them to love and continue to love the life within them and the lives around us with all we have.