Society is not polite, so why should I be?

I thought that today I would have an easy time of this, because today is an internet festival day – The Toast (RIP) decided to come back for one day only. (!!!!!!)

“THE TOAST!!!!!” I intended to scream, before going back to my novel edits, my job, my dog, my leaky roof.

But it isn’t as simple as that, because there’s also the un-ignorable news about the new anti-trans military measure to contend with (not to mention the health care bill! Call your senators!). This is just – it’s disgusting, and cruel, and sad. The main “idea” seems to be that the medical costs of a military person’s transition are too great a burden for the military to bear, and therefore no trans person should be, also, a military person.

I can’t see how this isn’t simply an attack on trans rights – and that’s because that’s what this is. The thing is, though, it’s also an attack on military personnel rights: if you say you don’t care about the medical welfare of a trans soldier, then you’re saying you don’t care about the medical welfare of soldiers. I may have my problems and disagreements with the military industrial complex (I do!), but I respect that those who enlist and serve are putting their bodies and lives on the line for the country they believe in: it doesn’t seem like so much to ask that we also take care of those bodies, those lives. (Here is a great Twitter thread about an outstanding airman whose position in the air force is now threatened for absolutely no reason. An excellent, service-minded, brilliant flyboy who now is not allowed to risk his life for his country? What?)

I’m sorry, do we have too many soldiers? That has not been my impression, from the media.

Anyway, when I heard that The Toast was back up today and clicked onto the homepage, I expected to be happy, and I was – but I also burst into tears. I feel like I say “Omg I’m crying!” now just because I tear up or feel misty, but this wasn’t that: I actually sobbed into my hands for ten minutes or so, overcome with the emotion of seeing The Toast live and in action, even just for one day.

And why? Is it just because I like the jokes? I do like the jokes, but no, it’s not that. The Toast was a place where I trusted the goodness of people. It was a place full of hope, and full of people like me. It existed at a time when the trajectory of goodness in our country felt upward, and where, even if we were sometimes angry and enlivened by debate, we felt confident that a lot of things could get better, and would get better, and were getting better.

I cried because I don’t feel like than anymore. Seeing The Toast was like having a younger, more innocent version of myself tap me on the shoulder, and then take my hand. Comforting, but brief, and possibly illusory.

Still, I’ll take it. Even if it’s only today.