Talking about race, sexuality, class, gender, and every other constructed marker of identity, their intersections and the complex realities they create can be hard. Often they can be conversations that will either be avoided, entered defensively or at it’s best, push folks into a space of discomfort. A dissonance with inner peace that pushes you to grow and see the world differently, if only long enough to form a new question in your thoughts. In my dreams those questions focus more on the proper treatment of all those we share this Earth with in general and these United States in particular. No matter how great the vision of liberty, we often hold that image in vain. This idea of civil harmony is impossible as long as we do not speak honestly, from a place of love and willingness to listen.
When asked about how to identify a (trans) person’s gender, LaVerne Cox insists that we let that person “take the lead.” She is adamant that no two trans people have the same experience and thus neither her story nor that of any other trans person can be “representative.” What could it look like if we actually applied this principle of understanding difference and the systems that exist to maintain those distinctions to all lived experiences?
It would look like folks that have been historically marginalized treated as the incredible people they always have been because they are always at the table to write their own narratives: in truth and accuracy. It looks like white folks collectively doing the work to understand how to undo the deeply woven threads of white supremacy in the fabric of this nation’s culture, social and otherwise. It looks like all people that contribute to a society that prevents some from loving themselves more than others doing the necessary work to undue a hate that runs deep. Consciously and subconsciously. Liberally and conservatively. Actions must be taken and perhaps one of the first is in giving words to your story and it’s love triangle with the society we think exists and the one we must resist in.