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    Things I Haven't Been Able to Reconcile in My Lifetime So Far (In No Particular Order)

    1. That little-to-nothing has been done in regard to the thousands of sexual abuse cases within the Catholic Church, and that people still show up on Sunday morning and put a dollar in the basket. Children's lives being ruined forever seems to be of no major concern to many.


    2. That there are people who think we should show a higher level of respect to clergy members and military personell than we do to other fellow humans. Both are about personal choices. Both are about belief systems we don't all share. Yet, the respect is often demanded, and shame is applied if we don't comply.


    3. That people like Harvey Milk, Sylvia Rivera, Marsha P. Johnson, and Cleve Jones (to name a few) aren't heralded as national heroes, with statues, memorial holidays, and unwavering respect from all parts of society. We honor war heroes, but what about Stonewall's heroes? The NAMES Project? The Movement?


    4. That because I was born into a female body, I'm automatically of less value than my brother, my husband, my father, and my male peers. This is shown to me on a daily basis by men, but also by other women—including women I know and/or am related to.


    5. That the band Handsome didn't make a second album. I like them a good bit more than I like any of the members' other bands.


    6. That men say and do dismissively sexist things in plain view, and yet people still like them and hang out with them. Cognitive dissonance.


    7. That some women hate themselves so fiercely, it projects outward onto other women, and men like Trump are voted into positions of power.


    8. That we grow up with alcoholism and have information about the family disease, and then run right out and become alcoholics and addicts as soon as we're able.


    9. That people fear Alcoholics Anonymous but not organized religion.


    10. That Amos Lee is quite famous, but Doyle Bramhall II is not.


    11. That people still act like praising James Brown is acceptable, even though he brutally beat women and we have that information in great detail. Somehow funk music is more important than women's lives and dignity to many—including people I know.


    12. That we assign positive values and personal qualities to musicians because they dress the part and shut up and sing, never questioning their actual positions on things like equality and individual freedom.


    13. That professional athletes are paid more per year than most musicians and artists will make in their lifetime.


    14. That racial justice is such a misunderstood issue. It shouldn't be.


    15. That Poly Styrene remains largely unknown and uncelebrated, even though she broke ground for women in punk.


    16. That people know so little about themselves that they accuse others of doing what they themselves do.


    17. That there are people in America who seem to only take offense with football players not standing during an anthem. They have no outrage for violations of LGBTQ rights, women's rights, children's rights, the murder of people of color by our own police forces, racism, sexism, rape, homophobia, or transphobia. These things filter through their minds as unimportant, but "goddamn it, people better STAND for the FLAG."


    18. That people use the Facebook crying reaction for anything other than animal death. That sadness and fear are easier than anger and action for many.


    19. That John Waters hasn't been able to get Fruitcake funded and released. He's a living legend and cinematic elder, yet that film might not see the light of day in his lifetime.


    20. That there are so many warring factions within feminism, and there have always been. It limits our power and impact. It tests our maturity and exposes our motivations, most of which seem selfish and ego-based.


    21. That my mother might not see a female president of the United States in her lifetime.


    22. That there are at least three monuments to Nathan Bedford Forrest in Tennessee, none of which will ever get taken down, but people move here all the time and act like this place is some sort of cultural mecca. That people employ denial and pretend so heartily because it's easier than naming the current truth.


    23. That narcissism is celebrated and rewarded. All the time.


    24. That people think it's acceptable to be on their devices during entire face-to-face interactions with other humans. That parents allow children to do this and then those children become adults with no social skills whatsoever.


    25. That we are so fearful of not being liked by others (even others we may not like), we can't be honest about what's right for us in many situations. It creates a culture of Non-Truth and People-Pleasing. 


    26. That doing something with a celebrity will unquestionably be of higher social value than doing something on your own, even if it's your life's work. 


    27. That Tennessee Walking Horses are a legal thing, and that no one seems to care that those animals are being brutalized. Right now. 


    28. That being of service in the community isn't the norm. I had higher hopes for my generation.


    29. That we've made so little progress with projecting shame around issues like HIV and AIDS.


    30. That no one calls out the very questionable beliefs and leanings within the Country and Bluegrass communities. In 2017.


    31. That fear sets in so deeply at some point in adulthood, most of us would rather keep our heads down and just do the job in front of us than try for whatever the dream is/was.


    32. That it's easier for many women to like and support men than other women.


    33. That men still think it's acceptable to tell a woman about what she's doingeven men who think they're evolved. That it's normal in our culture for a woman to say she's making or doing something and then for a man to contribute a fact or lesson about it, and feel totally fine doing it. The woman is the problem if she rejects the lesson.


    34. That they closed the Pop Shop and removed that mural by Haring inside. The fact that it wasn't historically protected is one of the craziest things I've ever heard in my life. I still feel grief around it.


    35. That people who claim to love animals can eat animals.


    36. That people still feel comfortable casually dropping homophobic and transphobic slurs around other people. I can't believe we accept that as a society.


    37. That our collective misogyny allows for public shaming and criticizing of women like Hillary Clinton and Marcia Clark, not because of their professional performance, but because of their looks and wardrobe.


    38. That we celebrate financial gain over artistic mastery or creative revelation.


    39. That it's the cultural norm to focus on our outer appearance instead of our inner wellness and peace.


    40. That a man and woman can take the same stand, and the man will be heard, but the woman will be disliked. And we perpetuate that every day.