As of this week, it’s been exactly one year since forty-five was voted into office. I remember watching the results with dread. We had a trip planned to Harry Potter World for me and my very gay (now ex) partner, and instead of packing, we spent the night before our flight, tequila in hand, watching darkness fill our screen.
For many non-black folks, it was the first time we had irrefutable evidence of just how desperately people will cling to racism above anything else. There was sorrow, fear, anger, and in many of us, a new sense of humbleness. I was reminded of what my mother told me years ago: “Never get comfortable with the rights you have so long as society is unequal. They can be taken away in an instant.” And with Trump’s election, the world hasn’t ended, but it has started hurtling at ever-increasing speed away from the trajectory we’d come to feel entitled to.
Internally at APW (unlike most companies), we’ve been given mental space when tragedies (including the election) occur. We’re supported. We’re allowed to rant. We send each other photos of protests. We share articles and places to donate. We take self-care spa days. But we all never lose sight of what we are: a media company dedicated to weddings. As it turns out, weddings are political. Who you can and can’t marry has always been political. Property and class and family and hiring are all political. So we’ve doubled down on these aspects, because to be in the media is to have a responsibility.
But here at APW, our greatest responsibility has been to support joy and love. Darkness fills the news these days. The fabric of this country is set up so media ends up running stories where marginalized communities are shown in the worst light. It’s healing, and powerful, to have a place where we can revel in the joy and vibrancy of those same communities: Muslim, queer, indigenous, black, and as many other stories as we have the capacity to uplift on our platform.
So a year out, we want to know: What’s in your head and heart? How’ve you been holding up? How are you doing, one year after our national tragedy? What are you doing to keep yourself focused on doing the work, and how are you balancing that with self-care? What actions are you taking, and what actions can you suggest that the rest of us take right now?
It’s your community-support hour, so have at it!