In the before times, there was one sentiment I grew to hate whenever I was at a festival or something selling my stuff. Customers would ooh and ahh over things, then they’d say they had other booths to check out but they’d definitely come back & buy something. 9 out of 10 times, I never saw them again.

So I don’t know why it surprised me when a few of my friends would promise to buy books but never did or would come to those festivals but never did. Not only would it surprise me, it was hurtful. I understand when other things came up, but promising to buy something to someone who is barely able to rent a space or can’t buy an author’s copy for themselves and failing to follow through is extremely hard on them.

You shouldn’t buy something if you don’t want to spend the money on something, can’t afford it, or don’t want it, but you shouldn’t promise you’ll do something you won’t be doing. If you do want it, but can’t afford it now, say that you’ll buy it when you can afford it. If you think you may forget to make the purchase, ask that the person should remind you personally when it is in stores or the day before a festival. If you want to support a friend’s endeavors in a non-financial way, be their hype person. I have friends who just share links and that helps quite a bit. I do occasionally get sales that way. I have other friends who just cheer me on, but make no promises and that’s cool too.

Just please remember that friends who are writers, artists, and artisans asking you to support them need more than a couple of white lies. They need your support and they need sales.

Chris and I were sitting at Waffle House this afternoon waiting for food. I was showing him some of the Facebook posts that were a tad fucked up—mostly science-denying, anti-mask, anti-vaxx stuff—before reporting them for spreading false information about Covid, as one does. I found a post by a “friend” about what they called: lifestyle choices.

Oh you know what they meant by that. In the year of our Lord 2021, motherfuckers are still calling being LGBTQ+a lifestyle choice. So what we’re going to is talk about some lifestyle choices.

Being a science-denying nincompoop is a lifestyle choice. It may not be a long lasting one, but it’s still one. Although one could argue that the consequences of that decision last for-fucking-ever.

It’s the one and only D-O-double G.

Getting your Thanksgiving recipes from Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg instead of Rachael Ray is a lifestyle choice. It’s also obviously the only correct choice. No, really. If you’ve never watched Martha and Snoop, you’ve missed out.

Drinking water vs. drinking soda is a lifestyle choice. Reading more vs. watching television is a lifestyle choice. Going to church vs. not is a lifestyle choice. Wearing dresses vs. pants is a lifestyle choice. Recycling vs. not recycling is a lifestyle choice. (And I judge people who choose not to recycle.)

A lifestyle choice is something where you actually have a choice to make. Sexuality and gender identity are not choices. I’ll say it louder for the people in the back:

SEXUALITY AND GENDER IDENTITY ARE NOT CHOICES.

They are part of who you are.

Assuming you’re cisgender, did you wake up one day and decide you were going to identify most with the gender that you were assigned at birth? Or did you always feel that gender fit you?

Assuming you’re heterosexual, did you wake up one day and decide you were going to date or fall in love with people of a different gender? Or have you always been attracted to that gender?

It was the latter on both, wasn’t it?

Because. It’s. Not. A. Choice.

Common myths about being LGBTQ from edcan.ca

And it never has been a choice.

The individual who called it a choice in their post also suggested that J.K. Rowling never said anything transphobic. I’m gonna spell this out for them and anyone else who doesn’t get it, yes, she fucking did. She’s been transphobic repeatedly. She has promoted transphobia. She has denied transphobia is real. So you can fuck all the way off with that bullshit!

I’m okay. I promise. I’m calm. I’m centered. I may need to prune my friend list of transphobic, homophobic, antisemitic science-deniers. Sometimes you have to let the toxic people in your life go.