I use a positive outlook as a coping mechanism in the face of prejudice and oppression. As a fat, queer, female, working class raised person, I am not supposed to love myself. But I do, and I have a much better life because of it. As a person who believes in the inherent worth and dignity of all people, I will not sit silently by and watch the world I live in crumble. I believe this world, this country, this city can do better. I know I have control over myself and my actions, so I am going to do better. I know that I can control my thoughts and going into a negative space grinds my work to a halt.
Activist movements, as in almost all things, can suck you dry—there is always more to be done, more people to reach out to, more actions to plan, more art to make, more reaching out. But at a certain point you have to be able to say, this is my limit. But we’re not socialized in a way to know what our limits are, to think thoughtfully about our capacity, and how to use self care in order to build our capacity. We're not socialized to be able to say, "Enough, I can't do this any longer." I've seen it wear down on people until disease forces them to make big life changes.