I haven’t directly said my piece on anything yet, but I’m keeping up with everyone: Those of you who are sick, stunned, outraged, fearful for yours and your childrens’ futures, etc., I feel you and I’m with you. I’m also heartened to realize how many truly fine people I am fortunate to know … and how many heterosexual cis white men in particular I know who are speaking out in recognition of their own privilege and in support of those of us who do not benefit from it – my gratitude for all of you is extra hard. And then there’s the handful of you who I either know in your way are trying to help us all move on with an “it’s not that bad” or who I know just flat out don’t get the gravity of things – not because you’re bad people or “part of the problem,” but because you’re viewing the situation through the lens of your own privilege and have never found yourselves in a position where you had to really consider or examine it. So here’s the piece you’re missing about the strong reactions the rest of us are having to this election: This is not about anyone being “butthurt” because the candidate they wanted didn’t win, and it’s not even about Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. For those of us who do not benefit from the same privileges you do, this is often devastating and scary on a personal level, first and foremost because it is shedding stark light not only on our marginalization or on the racism, sexism, hatred, and divisiveness that exists in this country, but on the people in our lives whom we have known, loved, and trusted whom we are now learning do not stand with us or for our rights. Let me get even more personal: for me, there’s plenty of this that can be boiled down to the undeniability of the fact that my own mother gave more of a shit about my basic human rights when I was a fetus than she does now. Seriously, go back, reread that sentence, and wrap your brain around that one. I’ll wait. I have plenty more examples from others I know and love too- that’s just a tiny piece of my own story. I don’t blame anyone, but there are those of you whose dismissiveness is disappointing to say the least. I’m choosing to believe that it stems from a lack of understanding rather than some deep-seeded belief on your part that I or any other marginalized person I happen to know and love is somehow “less than” you, and I hope this helps clarify things a bit.
© Kristin Despina for Acceptance Revolution, 2016