I've been in Orange County for the majority of my childhood, and except for my short time in undergrad at UCSD, most of my adult life. To say that the "rose colored" glasses have worn off and the fringe on the Orange Curtain has become worn and lack luster would be quite an understatement. As a queer poc person my sense of "magic" is that it's something that's not native to this area, something that we have to search for desperately, and fight viciously to hold onto.
I did something last month that I didn't think I would ever do. As a show of solidarity in my relationship to a Disney loving partner, I bought an annual pass to Disneyland. As someone who grew up with relatively easy access to the park, an annual pass always seemed like a luxury, and not a very efficient one at that. I used to think, I don't get it, you're buying a pass to go into a crowded area and stand in line for long periods to spend more money? Huh? And you definitely don't want to get me started on the institution of Disney princesses.
Sure, there are days that we go and I get wide eyed and quiet from the sensory overload of the crowds and the family trips that have disintegrated into frustrated parents jerking around crying children by their leash backpacks. (In moments like these, the fore mentioned lovely Disney loving partner helps zip me in and out of the crush, buys me vegan gumbo, and leaves early even when they want to do one more ride.) Then there are other days, when I can't help but notice the power of leaning into a little belief in magic. I brush elbows with multi generation families wearing matching outfits. I pause so that a kid can take a picture with the same hero that until this moment only existed as a moving drawing on their television screen. I find myself in a coughing fit induced by a laughing fit instigated by an involuntary screaming fit from zooming through space. It's on days like these that I eat way too many Goofy Sour Balls and think, oh, that's the magic of believing!
Consumer culture and ethnocentrism aside, if the itch from an elastic strap under our chin securing felt cut into the shape of mouse ears to our heads can make us smile a little wider, what other magic is there in the power of believing?
Did you know that one of the best predictors of successful outcomes in therapy is our belief that it will work? Seriously, google it. Our beliefs are a powerful thing! So what does that mean for queer folks who are told loudly and often that the world believes pretty negative things about them? What does it mean when even within our communities we see each other not taking care of ourselves and practicing poor boundaries?
Can healing happen if we can't access the magic of believing that we deserved to be healed?
In solidarity and magic,
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