Hiya all!!! Today I’m trying something new. Hopefully something that will wake up this blog and get you to thinking.
I don’t go on Facebook much anymore, just got to be a major waste of time. Oh, I still check in once or twice a week, but not several times a day like I used to. And some of the best things on Facebook, IMHO, are UpWorthy posts. I have collected a few and want to go a bit more in depth about some of them. The one I’ve chosen for today is about Ash Beckham. You can see this post here, and check out Ash’s website here.
First of all, I consider myself to be a very non-prejudicial person. I have always lived by the standard “Live and let live.” It has evolved into more of the Wiccan rede “An harm ye none, do what ye will.” With my emphasis on the “harm ye none” part of the wisdom. I believe that we are here to help one another and should, in no way, place ourselves above one another. And in listening to Ash Beckham’s speeches, I agree that we all have a closet at some point or other in our lives. The trick is learning how to come out of that closet with courage and dignity. She has three objectives to get across, and I’m quoting from her website and speeches:
Her message is simple, “we aren’t that different”.
Her approach is frank, “mean what you say”.
Her goal is humble; help others recognize the power of empathy, respect and conversation.
She states that we should
#1. Be Authentic. Be your true self, we shouldn’t have to conform to the standards of others.
#2. Be Direct. Be honest, don’t beat around the bush when you’re trying to connect with others. Give them a chance to know what is going on with you and your life, your feelings.
#3. Be Unapologetic. There is no dishonor in being the person that you were born to be. You may want to apologize for things that you have done, for things that have happened, but don’t apologize for being who and what you are.
I lived in a closet that was extremely transparent for most of my adult life without knowing what that closet was called. I am bipolar, and it has played a big part of who I was-and still am at times-throughout my life, since I was about 15 years old. I have hurt people’s feelings-important people in my life-without meaning to. I have spent large amounts of money that I didn’t have to spend, and have paid that price too. Am currently paying that price again. I have been on a merry-go-round of medications that work and don’t work. And, most importantly, I wish I had never been diagnosed. The meds leave me numb, at times with no more capacity for feelings than a rock on the ground. I somewhat function, but at what cost??? There are people who mean a great deal to me, who I would miss dearly if they were no longer in my life, but I don’t “feel” for them the way I used to.
But that was my closet and I’m out of it now and I digress. The closet that Ash refers to is the more well known closet of the LGBT community. She wants not only tolerance but acceptance from all for all. As she asks, is it enough to allow a couple to come to the prom, or do we welcome them and not stand and whisper about them??? In one of her speeches she states, “”My closet is no different than yours, or yours, or yours,” pointing to random people in the crowd. She goes on to say:
Sure, I’ll give you a hundred reasons why coming out of my closet was harder than coming out of yours, but here’s the thing: Hard is not relative. Hard is hard. Who can tell me that explaining to someone that you just declared bankruptcy is harder than telling someone you just cheated on them? Who can tell me that his coming out story is harder than telling your 5-year-old that you’re getting a divorce? There is no harder. There is just hard.
We need to stop ranking our hard against everyone else’s hard to make us feel better or worse about our closets and just commiserate on the fact that we all have hard.
Whether it is being gay, being straight, being bi-gender, being rich, being poor, being black, being white, being Asian, being smart, being mentally challenged, being tall, being short, being Christian, being an atheist, being Pagan, we are all just being. We all have a closet that we experience in one way or another. Why can’t we just accept that we are different and care for one another. We are all allotted one life and need to live it by embracing our fellow human beings and love to the utmost.
Ash also talks about the use of the word “gay” as being a derogatory word. And yes, I agree, we have made it that. We speak of things as being “so gay” when we’re not sure of their meaning, or when we want to belittle them. Should the word “gay” be made to feel as uncomfortable as the words “nigger”, “retard”, “cripple”, or “faggot”??? Those words are said much too often to hurt or defile, and I’m glad to say that they do turn my stomach to hear them. I may be adding another little word to that list.
Please leave me your thoughts. Remember these are only my thoughts and opinions. And I am entitled to them. Take care (of yourself and each other). Talk to ya soon. Blessed be, hugs!!! Pam