To Be Silent? No, to be LOUD.
This blog is part of The Pagan Experience. If you would like more information or are interested in reading other blogs following this path, please follow through on the link.
This is actually my first blog for the Pagan Experience this year. I can’t garauntee I’ll do another one after this, but I’ve been seeing this topic float around for the month of April. I debated on whether or not I wanted to speak on this idea of silence or if I should, ironically, remain silent.
But then some things happened today, and I cannot keep my mouth shut on this topic anymore.
I cannot remain silent.
- a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people.
There are a lot of people out there in this world who will deny the idea of privilege. They will deny, deny, deny white privilege because they grew up poor and struggled like the media portrays the black man, not realizing that class privilege is actually a thing as well.
If you are a upper-middle class, white, cis, heterosexual, able-bodied, English speaking, Christian male, you live in a world of privilege.
If you have one or more of the above descriptors, you live in a world of privilege.
I live in a world of privilege. I also live on the other side of privilege. I am white. I come from an upper-middle class family. I am, for the most part, able-bodied, and I speak English as my primary language.
I am not cis, but many people see my expression as cis, so I hide under that security blanket. But I am typically-female bodied. I am not a Christian. And I am homosexual.
I understand discrimination well here in the United States of America.
And I cannot and will not be silent.
I work with children who are just beginning to stand out on their own. They are teens on the edge of adulthood, who are learning to think and process for themselves. They are learning how to form their own opinions and understand things about themselves that maybe they didn’t realize before.
And silence will kill them.
Something happened today, where someone close to my wife and I expressed her disgust at a recent episode of Once Upon a Time. In this episode, a minor character falls under a sleeping curse. The sleeping curse can only be cured by true love’s kiss, and the bad guys are all rejoicing because this character? Well, she has no true love… She has no family… She has no one, and she will be under this curse for the rest of her days.
But she does get true love’s kiss, and that kiss comes from an unlikely source: another woman.
That’s right: there was a true love’s kiss between two women on a fairy tale shoe that jacks up so many fairy tales to begin with… but this… this is what upset said person in our lives: she had to watch a TLK between two women on national television.
She was SO UPSET that she said she was never going to watch the show EVER AGAIN and she was going to give us all of her DVDs of the show (which we gave to her as holiday gifts). The ultimate regifting.
Yet, she loves us. She thinks we’re special. She supports us.
She’s okay with “our gay,” but no one else. Not on television… Not in front of all those children! THINK OF THE CHILDREN, DAMN IT!
Erin wrote about the experience on Facebook. She was hurt.
And there was one response, from a straight woman, that said that she was “obviously trying” to be okay, but that “this was how she was raised” and that it must be hard for her to change her black and white beliefs into ones where “this wasn’t immoral.”
The good old argument: You, the one who is hurt by others’ words, need to be okay with the hate/injustice/ignorance/etc that you are getting because said person is really trying but these things take time. It’s how they were raised and that takes time to move past that.
Why should I be okay with someone’s ignorance? Why should it NOT make me angry or feel hurt?
Why should I just let them get off the hook for it? Why should their boundaries not be pushed or their feelings not be hurt? Why do they get to live in blissful and willful ignorance?
And that is why I cannot be silent.
My faith calls me to action. My faith sees the divine in all creatures, and it cannot be silent when aspects of the divine are being hurt by other’s human immaturity.
Love is love.
And love cannot be silent.
I live my faith. I live my sexuality. I live my life.
I live it because there are kids in my classrooms that found peace and love and acceptance because I keep wedding pictures on my desk. I am open about my pagan faith, but live a life as judgment free as I can.
So no… I cannot be silent…
Not when my wife is hurting. Not when my family is being attacked.
Not when there are kids on the edge of a cliff ready to jump.