The other day, one of my closest friends made the excellent point that – while the LGBTQIA community may, indeed, be a logical place to start looking for stories of people striving for acceptance – these stories are not limited to, nor do they end there. More than just revolutionizing the members of the LGBTQIA community’s acceptance of one another, this movement can really be applied to the human experience as a whole. As she put it, “There’s nothing more painful than being rejected by those who once accepted you,” and that’s an experience with which many people – regardless of their gender or orientation – have been intimately familiar at some point or another in their lives. Be it a falling out with family members over miscommunications or disagreements over life choices, a child being bullied or ostracized in school and not understanding why, or even loss of friends who are forced to take sides in the instance of a messy divorce or breakup, most of us have at least had a taste of what rejection and loss of community feels like.
When psychologist Abraham Maslow developed his theory of human beings’ hierarchy of needs, feelings of acceptance and belonging were secondary only to basic physiological needs (ie: food, water, air, etc.) and shelter. So needless to say, whoever you are, wherever you’re from, and however the loss of those feelings of being accepted and having somewhere to belong may have manifested in your life, the accompanying pain is real, and it matters. But it is also where we can find the comfort in the overlaps, establishing common ground with those who may, on the surface, seem so vastly different from us…. because where our respective experiences may be as utterly different as night and day, the general, underlying feelings are the same. And, by this token, the acceptance revolution is for everyone, an all-inclusive community that opens its arms to anyone who’s ever felt they didn’t fit in for any reason and says: “Here is where you fit. Here is your place to belong. Be you, and be at home.”
And that right there? Is unity and power at its finest.
© Kristin Despina for Acceptance Revolution, 2011