I have to tell you something. I’m angry. I’ve been angry for a long time. And I’m tired of being angry. It is destructive to me, wears me down, and hurts those I love the most.
When people used to ask me what my political beliefs were I would answer, “if you can’t be kind to people every day it doesn’t mean that much to me.” -ani difranco
I still believe that.
I grew up hating conservatives. I thought I would be a radical. I shaved my head and didn’t shave anywhere else. I railed against all the evils in the world. I hated men. I thought this put me in the “good person” camp. If I hated all the right things, all the right ideas, and fought for justice that it would all be better. It wasn’t.
I still wasn’t radical enough. I’ve been told, “there’s nothing more problematic than the Divine Feminine” by a trusted mentor. This person was so important to me that I almost left what I’d loved to please her so I wasn’t “wrong.” My spirituality isn’t a choice. It is part of me.
Did you know I’m invisible in my own community because I’m not queer enough? People who I admire, queer activists doing amazing work, have unfriended me while staying friends with my partner because she looks queer. I never told her and when I did she was so upset.
And you know what, I’m not ever going to be good enough and I am so tired of trying. Do you have any idea what is like to come online every single day and be propositioned by strange men and realize we still very much live in a rape culture AND be told that if I don’t do XYZ that I’m part of the problem? This is really really messed up and I’m really really angry about it.
I have spoken up. I’ve sat on boards, I’ve marched in more rallies than I can count, and signed petitions. I understand intersectionality and still identify as a feminist who wants an inclusive world without any form of oppression. And I left. For a reason. Hate seeped into my heart. I began to “other” people who didn’t feel the same way as me.
This is how wars start.
Right in that moment when you decide to hate another because they don’t believe what you believe. The radical left is just as bad as the radical right.
I wake up every day and manage a depression that has not gone away for almost 30 years. I weigh 300 lbs. I’ve had three mental breakdowns because I want so desperately to be “good” in other people eyes. For the most part I’m actually very happy but that’s because I know myself and my limits.
I will not be good anymore. I will not apologize for who I am or what I believe for one more moment of my life. And I will not continue to nurse hate in my heart.
At the end of “Nanette,” she talked about how toxic hate is. Please don’t confuse the meaning of this piece. She was asking us to LOVE. Yes, speak your story. Give words to your life and remember to love.
Honestly, this is the last thing I wanted to write. It feels like walking into a burning building and I’m terrified of fire, have a thin skin, and really don’t want to have another breakdown. But I know I’m not alone. I know there is another way to create the change this world so desperately needs.
HOW we create the world matters. If you can’t be kind to people. Every day. It doesn’t mean that much to me.
I’m writing this because I need to come out of this terrible closet I’ve been in for so long. I need to be able to look in the mirror and be okay with me. I need to not betray my own soul. And I need you to know me just like I needed my mother to know me when I told her I was gay. Because if who you like is a projection of what you want me to be it’s just not real and I really want to have real, honest and loving connection in my life.