Recently, twice actually, I have been asked a very odd question. It was the same question, from two different people, who I thought knew me better. This question caught me so off guard that I actually took thirty seconds or so just to process it. Have you ever been hit with a question like that? Something that makes you tilt your head and reply with, "Wait, what?" I bet some of you out there will already know where this is going, so buckle up! We are gonna go down this road together, hand in hand, and never look back.
As a side note, I really miss the ocean. The beach is one of my favorite places ever.
Anyway, here is what they asked me:
Mariah, what is your political affiliation?
Can you see why this caught me completely off guard? Not only did I have to google these words to figure out what they meant together, but since when did this become some kind of qualifier? Am I not allowed to be someone's friend anymore because I don't participate in politics? When I failed to respond, both of these individuals actually leaned away from me a little as if I was some kind of alien. And when I replied with "I don't participate in politics" they both became accusatory.
"Oh, you're one of those. Do you even care about what happens in this country?"
"Ah, gotcha. So you're just along for the ride? Don't care what happens?"
"Who did you vote for then?"
"Everyone participates, whether they like it or not. So you should have an opinion."
At this point in both conversations I just motioned these individuals to go away. It's not because I didn't like them, but I didn't want to talk to them anymore. My world has been so small my entire life that I have never encountered such a thing. I genuinely didn't know how to respond other than doing the "shoo" motion with my hands and telling them I didn't want to talk about politics. But, in response to these questions and everything that's going on in the world, I want to say this:
I choose not to participate in politics.
Sorry if that's disappointing but it's really that simple. I don't have a political affiliation and AnthroBrand will always remain a politics-free safe space for those of us in the Anthro community. I know there are probably a million other places for people to talk politics and I'm happy to say that I don't lean in any direction. I hate how politics polarizes people to the point of violence and has now become a qualifier for who you should associate with. Of course I have opinions, but I'm just one person and I choose to keep them to myself. Truthfully, I don't even watch the news or go out much. I'm scared of what's happening out there and I don't want to be a part of it.
So, for those of you who are like me and want to get away from all of the political fallout and violence, please feel free to join the AnthroBrand discord server. It's a small community that only revolves around the mutual love of Anthro art. There aren't any politicians and no one is going to judge you over your affinity for paws. I hope everything settles down out there soon and I'm not going to listen to the doom-sayers that talk about how the world is ending. The Anthro community isn't going anywhere and I hope we can all learn to continue loving each other no matter what.
If you can, please take a moment to reflect on the beauty of the world and our community. Take time to remember how diverse we are and find things that celebrate our differences rather than tear each other down. The Anthro community has members of all shapes, sizes, colors, and creeds; yet we all come together for our love of the wonderful fantasies that we share. Choosing not to participate in politics doesn't make anyone less valid; and I'm not saying that you shouldn't stand up for what you believe in. My battle is just a little more narrow in scope, that's all. This community is my home and I want everyone to see the beauty in it.
No matter who you are or what you believe, if you are a part of this community, to me, you're family.
Thank you for being here.