Canadians tend to be weirdly proud of living a stone’s throw (for most of us) from “the world’s longest undefended border.” It was one of those stock phrases I grew up with. I also grew up with the notion that it was normal to expect to cross over that border without much difficulty. It’s so utterly normal to me that I can’t even tell you the number of times I have crossed the border into the United States of America, in my life. Maybe about a dozen, at a guess? Maybe more.
When I was a teenager, I took the Greyhound bus from Winnipeg to Houston and back again, crossing through the American heartland, washing my hair in America’s sinks. It feels like almost my own country, something like the way my nieces and nephews feel like almost my own kids.
I have a lot of friends (and family) in the United States. A lot of those friends are fellow writers of science fiction and fantasy, and seeing them is one major reason I try to go to conventions when I can. The last one I went to in the U.S. was World Fantasy, in Saratoga Springs, NY, in 2015.
I drove with my family to New York City in November, 2016, a few days after the presidential election. We did tourist things and spent a lot (by our standards) of money on a great family holiday. That will probably be my last visit to the U.S. for at least the next couple of years, maybe longer. I’m not boycotting, exactly, but I’m not currently planning any travel there if I can help it.
Here are a few of my reasons. I have others; these are the main ones.
This has nothing to do with being angry at America or at Americans – I’m not. I love you all, and I’ll see you soon.