Dan Lopata

Live, Love, Listen

Where did the friendly Sky go?

Last Friday my oldest daughter got married. This wedding was a huge milestone. As a kid she went through many many struggles which included many trips to the hospital and tons of therapy. She is content with a full time job that she likes, a townhouse that suits her needs and found the perfect nerdy compliment to her and married him. My wife just posted a really nice picture of me with my kids at the wedding, but I can’t ‘like’ it. It’s missing one. It’s missing my youngest who was not able to attend. 

He is in the hospital battling similar stuff that my oldest battled. As an addition, he’s transgender which adds to the severe social anxiety he deals with. 

I miss him, I’m worried about him, I don’t know how to help him. Chances are good he’s going to a long-term inpatient program located an hour and a half away.

My heart, being filled with joy for my oldest is completely broken for my youngest.

I’m depressed, literally (I take meds and do therapy for it), and I’m lost.

Most of you know I’m also very much the activist for progressive causes; BLM, Gun Control, Economic parity, Universal Health Care, and LGBTQ rights. So when I’m dealing with my son I’m completely immersed in Transgender issues. When he came out, I swore that I would not let his gender identity consume me and become the primary signifier of my identity. That is impossible. 

Jeff Sessions has decried that gender identity is not a protected class and employers can fire people purely because they are trans. Trump has issued an E/O barring transgender persons from serving in the military. Bathroom bills are passing in states across the nation, further alienating my son and those who are gender non-binary. The suicide rate of transgender individuals is close to 50% and transgender individuals are murdered at a higher rate than any other class of people. Because they aren’t a protected class under Title VII or Title IX, their murderers cannot be charged with a hate crime.

The cards are stacked against him for simply being himself.

And there’s nothing I can do to make it better. There’s nothing I can do to make him better from the internal issues he deals with and there’s nothing I can do make it better for him externally.

The only thing I can do is talk about it, write about it, and try and educate people in order to help change the oppressive culture we live in.

It’s hard for me, it’s lonely for me, I can’t even fathom how hard and lonely it must be for him. 

Knowing all of this, you’d think it would be easy for me to call out offensive language and behavior toward minorities, women, and the LGBTQ community, but it’s not. The behavior is so ingrained and accepted in society it’s hard not to feel like “the bad guy”, “the over-reactor”, and guilty for calling people out. It’s hard for me, even when I’m so close to those being oppressed.

I need your help. I have no energy left. I need you to pick up the slack of calling out the language and behavior of repression while I focus on what’s best for my son. Can you help make the world better while I help make my son better?

All I want is for my kids to find contentment and comfort with being themselves like my oldest has. You can help.

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