“This stress includes individual experiences of prejudice or discrimination, such as family rejection, harassment, bullying, violence, and victimization. Increasingly recognized as an aspect of minority stress is “institutional discrimination” resulting from laws and public policies that create inequities or omit LGBT people from benefits and protections afforded others.
“Individual and institutional discrimination have been found to be associated with social isolation, low self-esteem, negative sexual/gender identity, and depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders.
“These negative outcomes, rather than minority sexual orientation or gender identity per se, appear to be the key risk factors for LGBT suicidal ideation and behavior.”
I am sharing this truly scintillating essay, and the pull quote above is the core for me.
I just wanna say that I was raised white…but I was…raised white. Fortunately for me, I was never inculcated with racist bull shit, to the point that in college in the 80s I had a dear friend literally shock me when he told me I was the least racist person he had ever met…and yes, I did hear and note his use of the word “least”…which said volumes to me but in a language that I could not decipher or understand.
Well…since coming to terms with myself and understanding my gender journey, my life has changed in shattering ways, stunning and transcendent ways…but most importantly of all I was delivered from the ocean at last…
and became aware of so much that I never knew, could never see, even as a fish in the sea has no clue that it is in the sea.
I understand the comment of my friend now…”least racist”.
I wish I had the words and ways to let my friends, acquaintances and loved ones who are subject to that which they are subject to for the absolute worst and most insignificant of reasons KNOW that I get it now…
Oh, I will NEVER get it for the reason that they are made subject, anymore than any cis-gender person will ever “get it” in any way other than developing a deep and sincere sympathy and resolute commitment to love and live that love…
But I do get it now, the persecution, the othering, the abuse, the hatred and the fucking demonic unreasoning irrational stupidity of those besotted and drunk on the luck of the draw and the fate of biology.
My friends, and you know who you are…this post is for you…may I always find the joy I have found in solidarity with you and the love of your deep suns of being that shine undefeated and undefeatable! May I always have the heart, the eyes to see and to be inspired time and again with your indomitable spirit, will, but most of all your LOVE which just fucking never quits, CAN never quit.
You have no idea, the moments you have dragged me thru…you bearing the hate directed at you due to skin and me bearing the hate directed at me due to a variation on skin but essentially a common thing we walk in…times I was on the way out, and I would read sumfin, hear sumfin, think of sumfin…and be inspired and lifted up in your heart of hearts.
Now? I can at least have the means to find the remaining privilege I have and divest myself of it intentionally…it doesn’t always go, it is stuck to my skin color…but at last it is not stuck to me.
I regret only that it took as long as it did for my understanding and seeing eyes to catch up to what my heart must have known for my friend to tell me what he told me. We intersect…and for the rest of my days on earth I am expanding that intersection with every ounce of love, faith, hope, grace and mercy that is mine.
To the rest of my friends: please take it in faith that your privilege is there, is stuck to you, and is a legacy that you can use if you will but set your heart in a frame of humility and ask that your eyes be opened…hopefully you will gain insight without experiencing it being ripped away…but if that is what it takes, it is better that this occur rather than go thru your life blind while thinking you see.