It’s day 30 of Blogvember. I’m following the prompts from Andrew Canion, which can be found here.
It doesn’t take much right now to recognize that by simply being a person of difference, be it an immigrant, person of color, queer, trans, woman, or otherwise different, one’s humanity can be removed from them for the sake of politics. I know this because I came of age during a time in which my very identity was declared to be a choice. Rights for gay people were contested first for so-called “moral” reasons, then because we had the same rights as everyone else and being able to be treated equally under the law would be a “special” right (as in, queer people had the right to marry someone, so long as they were of the opposite sex).
What happens to one’s sense of self when society places such limits on a fundamental aspect of their humanity? We are forced to live in the closet, hiding in fear that should we let ourselves shine, we may be hurt, or hurt the ones we love. Having grown up in a religious tradition which did not embrace gay people, it compounded what I perceived from the culture at large. I came of age when queer people first could not serve their country, then could only do so if they swore never to tell a soul.
It took years for me to accept myself, then even longer to have the courage and the strength to live my truth. The result? I’ve been able to live with integrity and serve my community. I give back in as many ways as I can, and I strive to use the gains from my own life as a means to help lift up others.
The world I envision is one which embraces everyone, no matter their national origin, their language spoken, their sexuality, gender identity, or their religion. I advocate for a world which supports those who are ill and does not bankrupt them. One which offers food and shelter for all, not only those who can afford to pay for it. I work, and vote, for causes which protect this earth we live on so that we can enjoy it for generations to come, and I reject the notion that its resources should be used for gain.
It can seem an insurmountable goal, but I hope that be keeping these lofty visions, and continuing to talk about them, we can keep that hope alive no matter what.