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'Bohica': A Cure for the Trump Blues


A crazy, evil man is in the White House, but columnist Amanda Kerri has a helpful tip for how to keep on keepin' on. 

Remember when Friday was that big day of the week when nobody did anything major and decided to put everything off till Monday? Yeah, those were good times, weren't they? Nowadays, I expect that newsrooms don't send anyone home until Donald Trump has sent out his last typo-infused tweet, and instead of waiting till 8 to start drinking, I begin the minute the 5 o'clock news dump drops.

It goes without saying that this past Friday was one of the better ones, if by better you mean "Holy sweet Jesus, what in the hell?" On Friday, a hurricane slammed into Texas, Trump pardoned Joe Arpaio -- a sheriff who seems like an old-timey villain from a bad Western -- Robert Mueller issued subpoenas to Trump associates, and, seemingly as an afterthought, Trump finally issued the formal documents on his ban on transgender service members.

It's the strangest feeling in the world that an egregious violation of your civil rights by a cruel and petty man isn't even the lead story. I sat and thought about it. It's probably been decades since a civil right, once given, had been so blatantly taken away. Yes, they have rolled back reproductive rights in deceitful ways, they have taken away voting rights in shady ways, marriage equality was granted and then snatched away in California, but I can't think of a recent time an individual so blatantly said, "Screw you guys."

Trump said he talked to his generals and stuff, but we know he didn't. If he spoke to any of his generals or leadership, he would know they already studied it, already decided trans service members were OK and that it was a done deal. No, it's merely playing to his hateful base and trying to screw with Obama's legacy by hurting other people. You can't even get mad that he first announced it on Twitter. Trump strikes me as the kind of guy who would break up with you over Snapchat. His decision to announce it at the same time as his pardon of Arpaio -- which he did because he thought it would get good ratings, since Americans were already watching the news for hurricane updates -- is just so fucked up.

We weren't even the target of the worst thing Trump did that day. That's a strange feeling. In writing and comedy there's a trope called "arson, murder, and jaywalking." When you want to make a joke about how horrible a person or thing is, you list two completely awful things and one minor faux pas. Trump formally announcing his ban on transgender soldiers is the jaywalking. Further proof of Trump colluding with the Russians in the election and Trump completely undermining the justice system for ratings and petty sycophancy is the arson and murder. It's ironic considering transgender rights seem to be the least of people's worries sometimes. Now having our rights violated isn't even the worst thing in a single day.

Oddly, the trans ban announcement didn't even faze me that much. As a transgender veteran, it should enrage me, but it didn't and doesn't. I was infuriated at the pardoning of Arpaio, I was angry Trump hasn't been impeached yet over collusion, and I was worried about the hurricane since I was a victim of Katrina back in 2005. It's like I'm back to being a soldier with the feeling of "bohica." One thing you learn in the service is to deal with the never-ending crap and develop a casual mockery of it, hence the term "bohica." It's short for "bend over, here it comes again." Obviously it means you're about to get screwed in the ass again by whatever crappy thing comes next in the constant stream of crappy things. It's not a defeatist thing, nor is it an attitude of victimhood, it's just accepting that things are gonna suck and keep sucking for the foreseeable future. It's a coping mechanism.

As long as Trump or Mike Pence sits in the White House, it's going to suck for us. They'll revoke our rights, they'll target us for discrimination, and we'll be consistent victims of petty bigotry. All you can do is fight back, keep your morale up, and move forward. This is probably the best way to deal with it; once you accept your situation you quit freaking out. Yeah, you'll still get stressed and you'll need to do some self-care from time to time, but keeping the swings of emotion to a narrow range is far less exhausting and defeating. Some just keep quiet and soldier on; some learn to make dark jokes and laugh at the situation. If you couldn't tell, I'm the one who makes the inappropriate jokes and laughs at it all. It works for me, but not for everyone.

So while Trump treats not only transgender Americans but the entirety of America like a drunk driver in a fully insured rental car, you can't treat it as anything else but a case of bohica. Accept the suck and forge forward. Not reacting strongly doesn't mean you stopped caring, but it does mean you can control how you react to it, which means they haven't broken you yet.

AMANDA KERRI is a writer and comedian based in Oklahoma City. Follow her on Twitter @AmandaKerri.

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