Here's to everyone continuing to challenge governments, businesses and organisations where they can. Here's to everyone that would like to be doing it more but it's not currently safe for them to do so.
Here's to everyone that feels left behind. Here's to everyone that feels betrayed and belittled.
It's hard to keep pushing for better when it feels like progress isn't being made. It's been weighing on me recently, so I've been focusing on challenging more than changing.
Now make no mistake, we need change to come. And we need it now. I will continue to fight for it. But when that's the sole aim of my efforts it can be hard to keep plugging away at it when you're being actively ignored.
So my immediate aim is to challenge. Anywhere and everywhere that I can. To keep challenging, over and over and over again.
Challenging leads to change. It's the only way it happens.
In many times of overwhelm I look to the words of people such as Judy Heumann:
"I simply refused to accept what I was told about who I could be. And I was willing to make a fuss about it. I didn't accept the idea that we couldn't change things. I just didn't at all accept feeling permanently left out of the world."
I'm a privileged person, as a white slim cis person it's safer for me to challenge dangerous practices. That shouldn't be the case, but it is.
I'm determined to continue to push for change as much as I can. Because so much of what is currently being normalised isn't right, safe or moral.
So here's to challenging that, when and where and how we can.
I'm sure many will label you "negative" for doing so. I know I've been labelled that many times because I'm angry about how Covid has been mishandled for example, and I've not shut up about it. I'm still talking about it, and advocating for better.
I wholeheartedly disagree with the idea that's negative.
To me, it's more negative to just fold over to the current situation. With the amount of people that are dying and the amount of people now living with a whole host of symptoms they don't need to be dealing with.
There's so much wrong with the world. Like all social justice issues, I think it's important we fight for change. I think that's a positive thing. Surely it's a positive thing to fight for a world that's better than the one we're currently in?
You have to have at least a semblance of hope that the world could be better in order to fight back with what you have. You can't challenge something unless you're willing to admit that it's there, that you're willing to acknowledge there's a problem.
It's not negative to believe things could be better. It's not negative to say "You know what, I don't believe this is as good as it gets. I don't believe you. And I'm going to fight with everything that I have so that this world is better for people that need it to be".
If we're not helping to push for change then we're simply passing the work to someone more marginalised than us, and putting them at additional risk.
We have to keep talking about these things. We have to keep showing up. We have to keep challenging.
It matters. Every single time you do it, it matters.
Just because something is normalised, doesn't mean it should be.
Here's to making a fuss.