Let's face it: Elections are really stressful for gay Americans. It wouldn't be a modern American election if we weren't treated to some ballot initiative likening a gay kiss to man-bears being catapulted at innocent children in [name ballot-issue state]. But now that the anti-gay effort in Minnesota has failed, and now that Maine, Maryland and Washington are pro-equality and our LGBT-champion-in-chief has been reelected, what do we do to calm those lingering nerves? How do we deal with the nascent feeling that, somehow, a huge defeat is hiding around the corner with a shiv forged by Karl "Sauron" Rove himself? Well, being very generous, I have decided to make a list of all the things you can do to calm yourself down.
My personal favorite is the "BFF" solution. You know, basically whatever your Best Friend Forever would bring you on a bad day. In my case, that's a bar of Hershey's chocolate, strawberry shortcake, a pumpkin spice latte spiked with rum and a 4-liter jug of sangria. Problem solved!
We can't forget the "fluffy-cloud bodhisattva" solution, either. Go to a yoga class, light some incense and take a nap to a playlist of Enya, Sade and Blue Six. Finish it off with a bubble bath, and you'll look more relieved than Mitt Romney did when he finally lost.
There's also the "energizer" solution. Go pump some serious iron. Hit the gym high on protein mixed in a bucket full of energy drink, and do 30 reps of everything. Before you hit the shower, read every news report on the internet just to confirm that you were right all along. Then look at yourself in the mirror and say something like, "Yeah, I won that election." Collapse into bed and you're set for the next 16 hours.
Last, but not least, there's the "hopey-changey" solution. Yes, Sarah Palin's least favorite thing might be the best strategy of all. As unlikely and terrifying as it may seem, it may be true that the moral arc of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s universe, with its tendency toward justice, is storming the beaches of homophobia.
More than 50 percent of Americans now support gay marriage. We now have a political party and a president fully supporting our rights. We can win on state ballot initiatives. Hell, we might even be able to get Congress to fix a pothole on I-96.
I hope one of these strategies helps you. Stress is a nasty thing.
I'm no therapist, though. All of this might be totally useless. Just remember that four years from now, it won't get any better. It's stressful enough knowing that we had a chance at winning. If LGBT folks keep these political victories coming, we might turn into normal voters some day.
And that's something to worry about. Time to fetch that jug...