My dad was just flipping through channels and stopped at the Outdoor channel where they shot an elephant and proceeded to talk about how wonderful that was and how much ivory they could get from it. We both agreed that it is not very courageous or even sport-like.
1. Girls Shalt Not Have Sex.
(someone asked me what the guy word for ‘slut’ is
and I couldn’t find an answer.
it’s an old story: a rumour goes around that so-and-so
blew a boy in the disabled toilets.
the girl fakes a cough to get herself sent home
to escape the classroom-wide hiss of ‘slut’
while the boy she blew walks into the same class
and is greeted by an onslaught of high-fives)
2. Girls Shalt Love Boys.
(when I was ten, there was a movie trailer where two girls
leaned in for a kiss, and I felt sick for the rest of the day.
it took four years
along with faux-casual questions to friends
useless quizzes on the internet
entries in a diary that I later scribbled out
to admit, fine, okay, yes,
and another year after that to say it without mumbling)
3. Girls Shalt Not Be Bitches.
(it took over ten years of school for me to realize
my women teachers got called bitches
for doing things that my male teachers got called efficient for.
we were assigned to a group project in science class
and whenever my friend tried to tell the others to quiet down
so they could get on with the work,
she was jeered into silence
and she never found it fair that her boyfriend did
the same thing and the noise stopped.)
4. Girls Shalt Have A Vagina.
(she introduced herself with a deep voice and a gushing smile.
she had a pink dress and an adam’s apple
she had a necklace resting above her cleavage
she had escaped from an all-boys high school
and I didn’t understand until I learned later
gender is more than the two rigid boxes
that we are told to tick one of)
5. Girls Shalt Smile.
(he frowned when the subject was brought up
and he shrugged a lot as he explained
that we look better when we smile. Less hostile.
His shrugs stiffened when I asked him why we shouldn’t look hostile.
‘I dunno,’ he said, dropping to a mumble. ‘Girls aren’t s’posed to look hostile, I guess.’
The next time someone walked past me on the street
and told me to smile,
I gave him my sunniest grin
and a middle finger.)
I am someone who adores and promotes diversity. Through things I was involved in during high school, I discovered the benefits that different perspectives and experiences have. This made me think of myself as non-ignorant and a helpful ally in the realm of social justice and fighting oppression. Recently, I discovered I was wrong in thinking that.
About a week and a half ago, I was talking to a friend who was facing a microagression (for those who don’t know these, a great explanation is here:http://www.apa.org/monitor/2009/02/microaggression.aspx). Being very ignorant about more subtle forms of microagressions (my last year of high school, I competed in speech and debate with a speech about a form of microagressions, derogatory and offensive jokes, but anything more subtle was completely missed by me), I ended up defending the person who made the ignorant comments a bit, claiming that my friend should have said something and that the person may not have understood the impacts of their actions. I put a lot of pressure on him, and made some ignorant comments that spewed a privileged ideal. After conversing with another friend, I realized my ignorance.
I felt awful. I am someone who often prides himself on being a kind, compassionate person, and the thought of someone thinking differently is hard for me. The things I said made me feel awful and for the next two days there was a lot of self-loathing and worrying about what I had said (though, admittedly, some annoyance with my personality had been occurring for about a week before this because of another personal matter I won’t touch on here). Luckily, over time, I felt better. It took a lot of reminding myself that I am a good-intending person, and although the things I said were not justified and my friend was in the right, I shouldn’t let this moment of ignorance get to me. If I did, I would never do anything to improve and learn from it.
That was a lot to say, and it’s just started getting to my main point: that ignorance is a hard thing to deal with, but the individual must take this and grow from it. After this incident, I have been very interested in learning about social justice and trying to understand better so that I don’t say any microagressions (because part of the reason I had made those comments were because I knew that I could have easily been the one to say the microagression that hurt my friend). I’ve taken a more active role for myself to learn what I can in the realms of social justice, because in the end, I’m the one who needs to learn.
When someone realizes their ignorance, it is hard. No one wants to feel like the bad guy or feel like the one who’s in the wrong. It generally contradicts many people’s intentions to do what they think is right. However, if no one was willing to re-evaluate themselves and realize where they could have been in the wrong, no one will grow to become a better person. Growth takes effort. It’s tiring, it goes in circles before it starts to occur, and it takes a lot of self-reflection and admitting that you, as a person, were in the wrong. But the benefits that come from growth are much better than the feeling that you must work through to see it. If I had just accepted that I was ignorant and did nothing, or tried to convince myself I was completely in the wrong, I wouldn’t have learned anything from this experience. I would continue my life misunderstanding the impact of microagressions and possibly spewing them myself, rather than trying to understand what possible microagressions are and learn about other perspectives better, because as the ones at fault, it isour responsibility to take the effort to learn. There are plenty of ways to learn what impacts minorities, both in race, gender, orientation, and more. Finding these ways to learn and actually learning from them is important to ensure that individuals don’t feel oppressed and devalued.
No one wants to be the ignorant one. But for those who are allies, and who mean well, don’t feel like you’re ignorance is something that can’t be improved or makes you a terrible person. We all make mistakes and say things we regret (something many of us know all too well). It’s taking the effort to learn from those mistakes that make us true people, and in the realm of social justice, I feel makes us true allies.
When I started transition, almost 14 years ago, I imagined, I had this fantasy, that I would start taking hormones and in a few years, I was gonna blend in and no one would ever know that I was trans. I could just live my life undetected. And I knew a lot of trans folks like that, it was presented as the goal of transitioning.
When I realized that I wasn’t blending in effortlessly, I had to sort of to reevaluate things for myself. I had to begin to think about and I’ve begin to own this transgender thing. It became something that I had to say, "Well, this is who I am." (x)
TRY GOING TO ANY FAMILY EVENT AND HAVING EVERYONE ASK YOU WHY YOU DONT HAVE A BOYFRIEND YET
AND WHEN YOU DO HAVE A BOYFRIEND WHY YOU HAVEN’T GOTTEN MARRIED YET
AND WHEN YOU ARE MARRIED WHY YOU HAVEN’T HAD KIDS YET
once you come out as gay, and people accept it or don’t, THAT IS THE END. that is the end of the conversation. YOU LUCKY FUCKERS
Lol that’s right. They either accept you’re gay or not. Or kick you out Or send you to reprogramming camps Or sterilize you Or murder you
Boy us queers got it so easy.
Pro tip: if your comment or post ends with telling an oppressed group they are “so fucking lucky”, delete your post and instead occupy yourself with the no doubt arduous task of removing your head from your own ass.
straight people like “i cant get a sweetheart :(” queer people like “please dont murder me on the street”
Him: I don’t date black women. It’s just a preference.
Me: Based on what?
Him: Nothing, it’s just how I feel.
Me: Impossible, deliberate aversions come from somewhere.
Him: Its just a preference, that’s all.
Me: No, a preference is preferring broccoli to asparagus. You can say that because asparagus will always taste the same, even when prepared differently.
Me: And we’re not always the same at all. There are hundreds of millions of us and we’re each completely different from the next. If an employer said not hiring Black people was a preference would you agree?