I spent three years strategizing, meeting with legislators, and writing/publishing my thoughts and experience. I spent four or five months of those three years doing solely that, until I no longer knew who I was outside the co-op experience. Now I know that every aspect of who I am has been shaped by co-ops, and without them I really, truly, do not exist. Co-ops are the only space that consistently validate my averseness to capitalism. Co-ops provide the conversations I need in order to understand my identities, including but not limited to my queer identities, even when no one else in my household identifies similarly. Co-ops encourage constant personal growth, which allows me to stay alive and have something to work toward in this f-ed up world.
And yet, there is so much red tape causing co-ops to consistently focus on paperwork instead of the real work they exist to put into play. My co-op put off extremely important work in order to focus on legalization so that we could have each other in the future. We lost a housemate in the process, who was affected by that delay in a manner that made the home unbearable. We collectively held back our emotions for two months in order to get through the paperwork. We experienced burnout similar to my burnout after running for city council. And for what?
City council members know how exhausting the demands of other people can be. So why place that on us? We wasted two months of our existence trying to meet the city’s demands, and now we received a letter in the mail requiring 9 more items. Out of 38 items. Almost a quarter of our work wasn’t good enough for the city.
I know that no level of burnout will ever be good enough for some people, but I thought the city workers were on my side. I learned years ago that I should have kept my mouth shut, and waited until people like me were literally being killed to start a revolution. Except I did. Forcing people into homelessness is equivalent to killing some of these people, especially people with marginalized identities such as trans women.
F- the city. F- the people who say that want to be inclusive and do whatever they can to look the part while doing whatever they can to not act the part.
We’ve done what we can to be civil. I need to rest, but all I feel is unrest.