Finding my voice again. What to say?, is it appropriate to continue speaking? How does it feel to keep silent?, to have so many questions, questions of myself, of society, of the HOW of it all. Will more words make a difference? Who would they make a difference to? Who? How do we connect? Connection is found through experience. The experiences we have are dictated by who and what we are exposed to. In privilege we have more of a choice to that exposure, and have comfortably remained blissfully ignorant in our experiences.
The bubble we existed in previously to corvid….was invisible. Being physically put into a confined existence within our homes, the invisible bubble began to grow; because we were all in it, in this space to examine the world, our own worlds. In a miraculous way, it boiled up and spilled over, joining us, and has allowed us to experience more …more outside of our usual norms… the things we did not see, or could not, rose up, and keep doing so. As we expose more truth and do the uncovering, we break the invisible lines we comfortably accepted, and lived within.
I come back to sharing, and I stop, I wonder. I review my thoughts. They change daily, cringing at previous patterns and ideas, and I am back again to being silent. What is it I want to say, or really what is it I can do?. A feeling of helplessness. As the language of lanes to be in, changes daily, and at times I scornfully resort to childish inner reaction. Frustration, silence again, jaw clenched at the injustices . Then I remember…I am privileged. I get to indulge in not having to be on the end of a daily battle of that magnitude. Reiterating to myself, that fact does not discount my own personal struggles. Remembering that being privileged does not change that, is a constant.
Recognising that experiencing prejudice in my own life for being who I am, is not being undermined or dismissed or attacked, and that this for once is not about me, the white persons experience. Yet here I am with my white view, and I can’t change the fact of my skin colour, but I can choose how I show up. As I follow, watch, and listen, and expand diversity in the fields I am interested in, I begin to realise how small my world was. What I thought was broad, open, liberal, all inclusive….really… just was not.
Where I grew up wasn’t very diverse, and Ireland in the 80’s and early 90’s didn’t have much going on in the diversity dept. I had one friend at school who was a POC, summers were spent with him and two other friends, we all lived close by. We rode bikes, we climbed trees, we roamed the river banks, we played football, tip tip the can and red rover. We bought our first pack of cigarettes together, we drank our first can of jolt together. He was my friend. Those were the best summers of my childhood, endlessly long, filled with sunshine, and great pals. My heart broke when I remembered the day we went to Dunkin Donuts in the next town over. We had all scraped together enough money for one donut each, we thought we were cool, all grown up and shit. And just like that, some other kids verbally attacked him, and us, with awful language, we shouted back, but no one helped us. We had to leave. He was tough, but he had to be; everyday, I now realise. We never went back there. And there were other times, but our little group stood up, and always shouted for him, he was one of us, he was our friend, the colour of his skin did not determine that. We had fire in the belly, and fought to protect our friends. Where did that fight go as we grew up, in everyday life, in situations where we accepted words and actions in those around us and in ourselves, that were not ok.
I was at the salon earlier in the week, and there was a kid getting their hair done. They got a rainbow of colours put in, and oh! to see how happy they were afterwards, was such a joyful experience. There was singing, and dancing and swishing of hair in celebration. I thought to myself, how cool!, these parents allowed their kid to express themselves and be who they wanted to be. Gender identity is somewhere I have remained unaware and ignorant in. I’ve started doing some research, and it is truly incredible how diverse the spectrum is, and has opened my eyes to how interesting we are as humans, and that binary really puts a lid on some many people’s experience of life. I think back again to childhood, and I wonder what that struggle is for a child growing up into the world, unable to express who they are, and my heart breaks a little more.
And so, I am tapping into that strong childhood fierce protective nature, but adding the flavour of maturity to it. What is it that I can do, with what I have right now? I sit here on my privileged ass, away from my home, my savings dwindling by the day, and I work on teasing out a new way for my life. And with every day, I try to step forward with a fierce and curious heart, assessing how I show up, taking awareness to the messages I deliver out into the world. Guaranteed I will stumble and make errors. I know I can keep improving my knowledge, my language, my horizons, and the method in which I do so.
I know we all can. We can share, we can connect, we can support, we can change, we can move away, we can move forward, we can open our eyes, we can remove the lines, we can break the division. We can welcome our diversity, hear all voices, grow, find the way, light our bellies, and shout together for justice, and togetherness, and oneness.
Some places I started Rachel Cargle , Alok Vaid-Menon, Brandon K Goodman . I also listened to an excellent podcast on Neuro Endocrinology (Sex & Gender) with Ologies , its a two parter. We all like are information in different forms, these are a few of the places I like to go to learn/listen and jump off from.