The week that the news scrambled to memorialize Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain and hotline numbers began to populate my social media feed, I took my dog Daisy for a walk, carrying the YA Queer Romance book We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson.
How do I begin to describe how I was feeling that day, sitting at the edge of the rock with my ankles dipped in the lake as Daisy waded a foot in to cool down, trying not to fall? How can I explain the indescribable fury I felt toward a journalist I barely knew for giving up? Why did it feel like personal betrayal when I heard that Kate Spade, someone whose name had never passed under my radar before, did not seek professional help because she felt it would be bad for her brand?
We Are the Ants wasn’t helping, either; it’s about this kid who’s contemplating letting the world end because his boyfriend killed himself and he’s constantly bullied and in an abusive relationship. But then he finds himself falling in love with this kid named Diego and everything gets confusing all of a sudden. “‘What if I don’t give a shit about the world?’ Henry says to Diego.
“That would be fucking sad.’
“‘Because the world is beautiful.'”
The atmosphere that week of course triggered some of my own thoughts and memories, so it was on the mind. I texted anyone I could possibly think of that I had ever worried about to reassure myself.
You should know that I am most creative when I am in a dark place. Something about the messiness and chaos of the dark enables me to overcome my default perfectionism. So I started to craft ideas of how I could help. What if I published a zine called 50 Things to Remember When You Feel Like Giving Up and filled it with watercolors and paper flowers? Number one? The world is beautiful.
Maybe all you can do right now to change the world is to tell your story, and shout it loud.