November 17, 2016

Seahawks 31, Patriots 24

If you voted for Donald Trump, you may want to stop reading here. Hell, if you voted for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson or no one, you might want to find another source of overly personal Seahawks commentary peppered with dorky pop culture references.

OK, you've been given fair warning. I don't write this blog for clicks or for profit. That train sailed off looong ago. I really don't care if conservatives, misogynists, racists, homophobes, transphobes or white nationalists stop reading my blog. A Seahawks blog written by a leftist, polyamorous, queer, atheist trans woman? I'm guessing if you had an inkling to vote for Tangerine Mussolini, you already stopped reading my stuff back in like 2012 at the latest.

(I will say this - I do believe that we on the left should partner with Republicans who are willing to join us in opposing Trump and his agenda. If we join together to cause his nefarious strategy to fail, we can sort things out amongst ourselves later.)

On that Monday night before election day, after we pulled out that win against the Bills, I went to sleep believing that I lived in a country that respected my basic dignity and personhood. Sure, there were swaths of the nation still marinating in ignorance about and hatred towards trans folks. Of course there were forces plotting against us. However, under the Obama administration, we made great strides on many fronts in the fight for trans rights. Trans people enjoyed increasing (and increasingly positive) public visibility, and the future looked bright for us. A Clinton administration would have consolidated the gains we've already made, and would have entrenched justices who would have been friendly to my community.

By Tuesday night, it was all gone. The country I thought I lived in felt like it had never really existed. In late January, Donald Trump can follow through on his pledge to repeal all of Obama's executive orders. After he is sworn in, he can nominate judges that not only will stop Federal progress on trans rights in its tracks, but who could also use "religious freedom" as a pretext to gut laws that protect trans rights on the local and state levels nationwide.

Trans folks are TERRIFIED right now. Not only is the policy environment about to pivot into overt hostility toward us, but we are already seeing an increase in hate crimes towards trans and gender non-conforming people sea to jittery, trigger-happy sea. I was the subject of a brutal, coordinated attack on twitter led by Trump-supporting transphobic white nationalists just days ago. Oh boy, did my block button get a workout!

I never felt like I needed to get the gender marker on my Washington State birth certificate changed. Now I do. I never felt like I needed a passport before. Now I do. I never thought I would need to pack a "go bag" for if the shit hit the fan. Now I do. I don't want to leave Columbus. I love it here. I love my city and my country, but I have to be prepared for the possible moment when I have to flee to avoid living in the Berlin plotline from season 2 of Transparent.

So what's the game plan? Resist. Obstruct. Organize. Be seen. Be heard. Agitate. I'm optimistic that we can survive a few years of Trump and save the Republic. But I'm mindful that I still need to work, that I still need to tend to my family, my relationships, and my friends, and that I need to engage in self-care.

For me, Twelving the Fuck Out is a great coping mechanism.

At so many points in my life, the Seahawks have provided me with joy, with a feeling of community, and with a comforting sense of continuity while it felt like change was beating the god damn shit outta me.

In my childhood, when I felt like an alien, rooting for the Seahawks helped me relate to my family and find my own voice. In college, 12ing was an act of defiance and a scream of independence. After the 9/11 attacks and through the Bush years, the team was a welcome distraction from the grind of graduate school and an era of torture, darkness, and venality. The realization that I could transition and still write this blog, and continue waving my 12th Man Flag changed my life forever, and for the better.

So on Sunday night, I had never needed the Seahawks to win a regular-season game so badly. Not only because of the scars of XLIX, but also because New England's coach and quarterback supported the candidate who wants to make my life immensely more difficult and dangerous.

Arrayed against New England? Our stalwart side. Our quarterback who supports trans rights. Our coach whose worldview couldn't possibly be more Californian. Our Democratic-donating owner. Our outspoken cornerback reviled by conservatives, and so on.

Obviously, some Patriots supported Clinton, and some Seahawks probably backed Trump. And even if the Seahawks were arch-conservative, I'd still root for the team unless they started spouting out blatantly transphobic bile. But the symbolism was powerful nonetheless, and beyond that, the Hawks assumed the role of heavy underdogs. Very few people expected them to emerge from Foxborough victorious.

On the biggest stage you can possibly imagine in the regular season, the Seahawks played their best game of the year. Russell Wilson outplayed Tom Brady. Doug Baldwin TORCHED the New England secondary. C.J. Prosise went supernova in his first extended action. But the story, as usual, was that defense.

That defense that hit Gronk so hard his soul escaped out through his word-hole. That defense that harassed the Golden Brady over and over and over. That defense that was once again asked to save the day. ONCE AGAIN asked to defend every blade of grass, every inch of turf, to preserve a victory.

First and goal from the one. New England needed ONE YARD to tie the game. One yard to force an overtime period where they could once again crush the dreams of every 12 from Anchorage to Boise. Somehow, the Legion held its ground. On four plays in a row, they prevented one of the most powerful offensive attacks of all time from gaining that single crucial yard.

After the win. I was too emotionally exhausted to even cry, but I can't think of a more meaningful or important regular season win in franchise history (obviously, the historical significance of the victory will be tied to how successful the Hawks are in the playoffs). I'm 41 years old. I'm a grown woman. I have boring but daunting adult-style problems surrounding me at all times. But I can honestly say that I've never been more proud of the Seahawks than I am right now. I've never been this filled with adoration or love for our boys, either. The values they represent are MY values. The people they play for are MY people. I want to savor every moment I have the privilege of watching them and wearing their colors.

Hard times lay ahead. Our future is struggle. But for me, one thing that will sustain me and keep me going is this amazing, indomitable football team. In January, an ignorant, unqualified, hateful bully will start leading this country. Sometime next spring, I have a gut feeling many of the World Champion Seattle Seahawks will skip the trip to meet Trump at the White House.

Don't lose hope. I'm not going anywhere. Like Kate McKinnon said - "I'm not giving up, and neither should you."

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