Content Warning: Mentions of current events (police brutality and discriminatory laws in the US and India).

To say that this year was brutal would be an understatement, but to also blame this year for everything that happened would be false. 

We’ve been through a lot this year and I won’t go into detail about that, because what I want to talk about here is how we deal with grief. Through all the pain that this year saw, the police brutality in the US, discriminatory laws and police brutality in India and so much more, there is one thing that became clear to me: people persist. 

A few months ago, before Covid-19, at a protest against the blatantly discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act passed by the Indian government someone very dear to me, who usually leans on the side of pessimism, said: ‘Fascism has a short shelf life. We’ll make it out.’ And I think about that almost every day. We will make it out.

It is, however, extremely important to be there for each other, to let the ones we love know that they’re not alone, that grief is temporary, that they don’t have to grieve alone. The thing about grief is that it paints itself under one’s bones and sticks. The thing about grief is that sometimes it blooms into hope, into anger, into resistance, which I think is what happened this year.

I think, if nothing else, this year is an example of how people come together when it really matters; how we stand up for and with each other in the face of uncertainty, brutality and fascism.

If history does indeed repeat itself, that includes the good parts as well, doesn’t it? It includes not just the terrible governments but it also includes peoples’ movements, it includes resistance and revolution. It includes the pathway for a better future. 

All the protests and resistance movements that are happening right now, that happened years ago, that will perhaps happen some years in the future, all of these will never be futile. In times like these it is easy and perhaps even convenient to believe the worst, to lose hope. 

That’s why people need each other. In the words of Fleabag, ‘people are all we’ve got.’ And hope is resistance, hope is a political act, it is active resistance against systems that are built to oppress. Hope is eternal, and I do not think it is something that can be lost forever. 

The people who came before us, who fought for everything we have today, are the reason we must continue to hope, so that we can continue to fight. It is important to remember that the first Pride was a riot, it is important to remember that beautiful things are born out of revolution. It is important to always remember Marsha P. Johnson, because remembering her and those like her, those who fought tirelessly for the rights of the oppressed means that we will never forget what hope tastes like. 

In the words of John Darnielle:

The places where we met to share

Our secrets now and then

We will see them again

Change will come

Stay warm inside the ripple.

We will keep hoping and we will keep fighting, and change will come.