Go Without Hate

This hate feels as if it’s slowly extinguishing my life force, killing me by a thousand cruel paper cuts of political indecency.

BY ANDY NICASTRO

Go without hate, but not without rage. Heal the world,” wrote author, AIDS activist and personal hero Paul Monette shortly before the plague claimed his life in 1995 at the age of 49. 

Beautiful and inspiring words, indeed. However, the fine line between hate and rage is incredibly difficult for me to walk these days.

Because I hate that deranged animal in the White House more than I’ve ever hated anyone. That’s not hyperbole. I’d rather suck on an anthrax lollipop then let his name cross my lips. I hate his fucking face, I hate his voice, I hate every goddamned word that escapes his petulant pucker of a mouth. I hate every one of his cruel policies, his empty braggadocio, and all of his evil, self-serving, corrupt motivations. I hate his kids. I hate his cabinet. I hate every single thing about that sub-human bag of shit. I hate his random and entirely unnecessary denigration of my trans brothers and sisters, and his fucking beyond-cruel decision to separate migrant children from their parents. I hate his empathy toward white supremacists and his demonization of people of color.

So much fucking hate.

I hate him for signing bibles for his deranged evangelical fans who’ve probably never even bothered to read them in the first place.

“Can you sign my tits after you sign my bible?” asks slack-jawed, wide-eyed crazy church bimbo. 

“Sure, why the fuck not, and those are some very nice tits,” says the self-proclaimed Best Prezzident Ever, while the crowd loses its collective shit, drooling on their own proffered good books and mouth-breathing in unison. 

Yes, I made that last part up, but it’s still as truthful as anything that’s ever been excreted from that thing’s orange face anus.

Handed a brush and told to paint a fart, his face is what would end up on that canvas.

I want to see him not just impeached, but in prison, eating moldy stale bread and drinking lukewarm water. I want to witness his shock at the disparity between shitting on a stainless steel toilet versus a solid gold one. I want his cellmates to be named Jose, Juan and Pedro. I want him to live long enough to see his grandchildren change their last names out of shame. I want to see him disgraced, humiliated, and bankrupt (again, and for good this time.)

More than anything, however, I hate all this fucking hate he makes me feel. The kind of hatred I haven’t felt since my tribe was being decimated and Ronald Fucking Reagan couldn’t even be bothered to mention the epidemic. The same hatred I felt when that Bedtime for Bonzo motherfucker sat in front of the Statue of Liberty at its 1986 rededication ceremony while a geriatric Bob Hope told an AIDS joke: “I just heard the Statue of Liberty has AIDS. Nobody knows if she got it from the mouth of the Hudson or the Staten Island ferry,” he cracked wise, while Ronnie and that shriveled-up tendon in red wig he called his wife chuckled like craven hyenas.

I also hate that I even want to believe there’s a hell just so I can imagine all three of them there, being forced to watch their own movies and shitty acting on repeat for eternity, being force-fed from bottomless bags of burned microwaved popcorn, all the while wondering forever and ever if those purple spots on their arms are KS lesions or not. 

Too much fucking hate.

I can’t keep living this way. Though the preceding words are clearly not illustrative of the fact, I’m actually a very gentle, empathetic person, and this hate feels as if it’s slowly extinguishing my life force, killing me by a thousand cruel paper cuts of political indecency. I don’t want to live like this. But what can I do? How do I separate the spiritually-defeating feeling of hate from resistance-inspiring rage?

Perhaps I can try to stop obsessing on that debauched monster of a president and his army of soulless, empathy-deficient followers and focus instead on the fierce resisters who are fighting the good fight against the encroachment of fascism and intolerance in this country. Or maybe it’s time to revisit the past, and find some coping strategies from that dark time of plague, when all seemed lost and valiant warriors—martyrs, all—were being felled daily by the swords of ignorance, fear, bigotry and hatred. Perhaps I need to replace that hate with strength by remembering my own fierce heroes from the plague days: Martin Delaney, Larry Kramer, Peter Staley, Madonna, Cleve Jones, Spencer Cox, Elizabeth Taylor, Phil Wilson…and so many more who helped a seemingly-doomed community find hope in the darkest of days. Against all odds, these people lead us to a bittersweet semi-victory in 1995, when we raised our AIDS cocktails to toast our fallen brethren.

If we can overcome our outrage fatigue and understand we are in a battle for the very soul of our country, we will survive the bigoted and xenophobic policies of this current administration. How long it will take to quash the monster remains to be seen, and how much damage is inflicted before we do is anyone’s guess. But we will prevail. This time, it’s not just the gay community waging a war against oppression, it’s an army comprised of every marginalized community and every human being who values both decency and democracy.

Today, I’m going to check in with my trans friends to see how they’re doing, and I’m going to ask my friends of color what I can do to support them. Today, I’m going to check my male privilege and take my marching orders from my female friends who are waging their own seemingly-never ending war against misogyny. 

Today, I will do my best to go without hate.

But certainly not without rage.

We can heal the world, I’m sure of it.

Of course, if my faith in humanity proves to be misguided and the world descends irrevocably into a fiery neo-Holocaust, I suppose we can just end it all by climbing to the top of this president’s ego, and—hands clasped, eyes closed- plummet together down to his IQ.