Most people who would read my blog have heard of the massacre in Orlando, Florida. Here’s my take and two of the better links. Both I hope will frame this death in a better than average journalism context. First, one of the good things.
This is not self promotion, believe it or not. When I started this little blog I wanted a professional therapy site (for myself and others) to tell others how I think therapy applies to my life and how it may help others. Sure, if I were practicing full-time, I would hope that others would follow-up with me. I still do, but that is for the future. It is my title I want to discuss. “Hope gnosis” is an obvious play on words, but I wanted to put hope in there for more than positive press: it is an important word in a time when everything has, or will, come into doubt that once gave lives direction. Further, I already see many positive “memes” and ideas floating among us. Yet, when some human created horror comes along to kick out butts and our spirits, hope comes into question. Suicide is already a big problem with transgender persons, especially youth, but it is a plague that can and does haunt the LGBTQ+ community. The reason I hope is this: the future is dark. Really? Yes! Read on.
Here are some posts for your knowledge and edification:
What causes hopelessness, I believe, and I know this is based on experiments, but that’s for another essay, is in great part a prediction: it is a prediction about the future. The prediction is that nothing will change my past and especially current misery! In fact, if anything changes, in this mind-set, it will probably change for the worst. There is no solution, or, one solution: harm others, or especially, harm myself. In fact, I wonder if those who are super optimists, who may also think the future is set in a certain direction, aren’t vulnerable to the kind of pessimism that leads to despair. One doesn’t need to be depresses to know pessimism, despair, or both. However, mix long term sadness, melancholy, or depression into pessimism, add despair, and the risk goes higher. Do Not Jump to Conclusions: people who are depressed are at greater risk, but there are many other risk factors for suicide. It is important to see these and help others, or yourself, get help. So what about Orlando, Florida?
Everyday on social media I will see a few individual triumphs, yet a lot of negative reports about some right-winger, or conservative, or even an occasional “radical” feminist, attack transgender people via their words or political actions. And I do not go further to see the war against trans people elsewhere in the world. It is unfortunate in the USA that we often are very isolationist in our thinking. Nationalism and universal love do not mix well. When trans women in Brazil get killed weekly, even daily, as they are in other parts of the world, I know that there are those who are not reported. And in my country, women of color die or get harmed in some way, much more often than I or my caucasian friends, do. Now I have been bullied and assaulted and verbally attacked. I have been threatened, so if I am getting this, what are women of color getting! What are my allies in South America enduring?
My hope for all of this is the future is dark, that is, not seen, and if not seen, the possibility is that it is open. There is no fixed outcome. There may not even be likely outcomes. Some people in this country are still treated like slaves. But how many generations ago was slavery legal and accepted? Not many. Before that, my ancestors often arrived as indentured servants, a situation that could go on for life. That is gone now, and if it occurs, it is covered up cause no longer accepted. Yes, human trafficking goes on even here, but when it is exposed no perpetrator holds their head up for long. Not long ago, women were chattel. Technology still seems dominated by the military, yet there are devices now that were only science fiction when I was a child. Everyone smoked when I was a kid, and I was encouraged to do so. Some thought it healthy! Now smokers all seem to say they want to quit, even if they don’t really want to. Think about it. It is abstract, yes, but it has affected all of us. And I bet will affect even those we know call “Third World.” The future is dark: because it lies open for us to write it and fill it with light. That is not guaranteed, but it is not hopeless.