I Snopesed it.
I wasn’t looking for facts, because the facts were so unbelievable I knew it couldn’t be true. I was looking for confirmation. Validation. Some sign that there is some sanity left in the world. But that is not what I found.
I Snopesed it, and Snopes verified. Under a new initiative by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, American health care providers may now refuse services to LGBTQ (especially trans) patients for religious reasons.
American health care providers. The land of the free. America. The great, shining beacon of liberty. America, where you now have to pass through a McCarthyesque labyrinth of distrust and suspicion just to get through the doors of your local emergency room.
I thought about posting a profanity-laden tirade, but no one would listen, and I’d likely lose my column.
I thought about offering you a political think piece about the Overton Window, and how a Democratic Party that just nominated a former segregationist and homophobe allowed this to happen just as much as the Republican Party that pushed it, but I don’t think we’re there, and this is not the time for politics.
I thought about another nuanced apologetic of the Christian scriptures, pointing out that this is NOT where any reasonable reading of the Bible would lead, but this is not the time to split theological hairs either.
The simple fact is that real people are hurting. Real people are dying. Real humans, with every bit the same inherent worth and dignity as anyone else.
If God has anything to offer us in times like these, it is this: sometimes it is okay to grieve.
By the rivers of Babylon—
there we sat down and there we wept
when we remembered Zion
Like the exiles in Psalm 137, I find myself in a foreign land. This is not the America I have come to believe in. This is not the America of separate church and state, or of the individual right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
How could we sing the LORD’S song
in a foreign land?
At this moment, I feel the grief and the anger and the violent imaginings of the psalmist. I feel the need to remember with nostalgia what America could have been. I feel, with the whole body, the need to lie down and weep, to release the moral and spiritual injuries perpetrated by the current administration’s hatred of my human brothers and sisters. But I can’t. I can’t process my grief fast enough to get to the weeping.
If you are out there, and you are in need, there is hope in the grieving process. If you need help making it through that process, there are resources available. Help that will not discriminate. Here are a few to get you started:
- The Trevor project offers LGBTQ+ mental health resources at thetrevorproject.org and at the TrevorLifeline at 1-866-488-7386. You can also text START to 678678.
- A number of LGBT youth resources can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/lgbthealth/youth-resources.htm.
- PFLAG offers links to a number of health resources at https://pflag.org/resource/health-resources.
- You can find safe provider referrals by clicking through the links at http://www.glma.org/ and http://www.aglp.org/.
- You can find trans specific help at translifeline.org or 877-565-8860.
If you know of other safe resources, please add them in the comments. Homophobic and transphobic comments will be deleted, and the perpetrators permanently banned. This is not the place for debating whether LGBTQ+ people are entitled to basic human rights.