I’m not a stereotypical prepper. In fact, the thing with stereotypes is that they don’t tell the whole story. People prepare for many different reasons—good reasons. Ask yourself, could you survive a natural disaster? What would you do if a blizzard hit so hard you were completely snowed in with the power completely out and sub-zero temperatures outside so you couldn’t go for help? Do you have enough food, potable water, a way to go to the bathroom (if water is froze and you can’t flush), and a way to keep warm? This is just one scenario. FEMA recommends a supply kit to sustain you and your family for at least 72 hours. On average it takes about 72 hours for relief to arrive during any kind of disaster.
Since around the early 2010s there have been plenty of pop cultural references and tv shows surrounding preppers and prep culture. Majority of those representations only show the most fringe because the more extreme of a representation you can get on the ariwaves the better the ratings.
When it comes to politics and identities within the Prepper-Sphere, I’ve had a difficult time seeing myself. They dominantly tend to be white, middle-to-upper middle class, hetero, and cis. The scenarios many of these folks prepare for are either the rational natural disaster or way far out full-blown radical conspiracy theory territory to an almost science fiction/biblical end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it-fall-of-society-collapse narrative.
Some folks are able to afford to spend thousands of dollars on gear, guns, food, land, and renewable energy resources. There are a wealthy few that even spend exuberant amounts of coin to build luxurious underground end-of-the-world bunkers.
Here is where this blog and myself are different.
I’m not preparing for only a potential natural disaster (such as an extreme blizzard that we encountered a couple weeks ago) and I’m not prepping for a highly unlikely end-of-the-world scenario. I will, however, say that such scenarios are pretty fun to read!
What I am preparing for is that for someone like me—a bipolar mixed-race transman—is the present and up-coming presidency. As a transman with bipolar disorder having access to health care is life or death. Love it or hate it, the affordable care act saved my life. Recently the senate majority voted to repeal Obamacare and this terrifies me. I also live in a state that has medicaid and medicare on the chopping block–putting the elderly, children, single-parents, minorities, and the disabled in very grave danger.
I guess you could say that this is an intersectional prepper blog.
What I’m preparing for is the inevitability of losing my health-care. After all, we are only an illness or accident away from literally losing everything. I’ve been struggling with finding a steady source of income, and the threat of homelessness looms every so often.
What I’m preparing for is for the immediate present—For someone like me, the Apocalypse is already here. It may not be in the form of an alien invasion, or zombie uprising, or biblical revelation—but it is in the form of ignorance validated as fact, as media being controlled by corporations spreading propaganda, politician’s bought out by big money, as the environment being irreversibly destroyed, as working 2 or 3 jobs just to pay rent and buy ramen, as being unable to have healthcare, as being targeted by emboldened bigots who feel it justified to deny human rights to others that are unlike them, as an entire generation saddled with astronomical debt, and more. I am wanting to learn how to prepare. I am going to better learn how to grow and preserve food, how to heal with homemade remedies, How to save money and be self-sufficient, be prepared if an accident or illness causes us to lose our home, learn self-defense against violent ignorance, take care of my body so that it will not fall sick, learn folk remedies and herbal healing methods so that when I lose my health-care I will be able to rely on myself.
Regardless of ones politics—what all of us Preppers have in common is our desire for self-preservation and protecting our families. I may not see eye-to-eye with other preppers and their politics, but I respect their tenacity and wisdom when it comes to surviving. We may all be preparing for different scenarios—some may happen sooner than others and some may never happen at all—but we all want to live.
I hope that my blog can empower other queer folk to prepare themselves during this dark time. I also hope that my blog can bridge an understanding with other Preppers so that we can each share with one another tips and knowledge on how to best survive our own apocalypses—whatever and whenever they may be.
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” Audre Lorde, 1988