On November 9th, 2016 I learned that America had elected Donald Trump president of the United States, codifying a system of beliefs that stood against almost every aspect of social and environmental progress. Among the many issues at risk under such an administration would be gay rights, racial equality, religious freedom, immigration, women’s health, and environmental protection. Over the coming weeks and months, he would choose to staff his cabinet with white supremacists, climate change deniers, fundamentalist Christians, and the sort of lackeys who would with a straight face spin factual lies as ‘alternative truths.’ And none of this represents the America I believe in. An America of isolation and hate is not my dream, and it is not what I work for. Like many, I have toned down or subdued my stances so that I would not be seen as combative in an ever more constantly connected world. That was a mistake. The world may be trying to roll back the progress I believe in, but I won’t watch it do so quietly. The works in this collection will all stem from feelings and issues I have too often been told I need to be quiet about or risk mockery, familial ostracization, personal attacks, and more. And that’s as a straight, white, middle class man. The slice of America’s population that historically suffers next to no criticism. There are others with worse struggles, and I urge you to seek out their work and understand their plights, but it would disingenuous for me to speak on their behalf. Their struggles are not mine, but these are. And I will not be silent.
Finding all the coconuts