I WAS WRONG ABOUT...
It's okay to be wrong. It does not make you a terrible person. Here are some things I've been wrong about so far this life.
- •When I was in middle school, I used the word "gay" to mean "stupid."One time I said it and then realized I was talking to our bandleader, who was a wonderful, lovely man, and gay. I saw his face hear me say it and smile sadly. I felt my face get so red. I finally got it. I never used it that way again. I felt terrible. I was wrong.
- •One time I told my boyfriend he was being too aggressive.He's black. He got upset and told me not to use words like that with him and that I need to be aware of how black men are called aggressive. I said I didn't need to watch what race-related words I used with him because we are dating and I obviously love him, and he WAS being aggressive, and basically I just didn't want to be wrong. I was wrong. It matters what words I use. I was wrong.
- •I told @ltoiaivao freshman year of college, "Trans people make me uncomfortable. I don't like them."This is the one I still think about now. I had never met or been close with a trans person and I stared sometimes when I saw someone who didn't fit gender prescriptives. Thank god I learned in the last few years more about intersectionality and trans people in general and met some trans people and generally educated myself and am super ashamed of saying that. I was wrong.
- •Also freshman year, I made a tasteless joke about Asian women having small breasts in front of @ltoiaivao's Asian roommate.The roommate called me out on it in public and I argued and felt embarrassed and rolled my eyes and thought it was super unfair. Luckily, I now have a much better understanding of humor and how humor interacts with privilege and race, etc. I was wrong. (Also @ltoiaivao how are you still friends with me)
- •In high school, I had more guy friends than girl friends.I described myself as "not really a girl who gets along with other girls." To be fair, there were only 60 people in my grade and I didn't like a majority of the other girls, but not because they were girls. I distanced myself from "girly" things and bought into the vague notion that girls aren't cool. Now I have almost 100% girl friends and I value them more than life itself. College and finding people (women) who were parts of my heart really helped. I was wrong.
- •I have used words and phrases that invoke privilege in race and sex in a thoughtless manner.I said "sold him down the river" this year and was called on it by @ltoiaivao and @isabelck and my boyfriend. I have said "butch" in a derogatory way. I have called someone a "cunt" or a "pussy" and not thought about how much that means I'm denigrating a part of my own body. I've told people "not to be such a little girl." I have slut-shamed people via gossip. I was wrong.
- •I have made jokes and written sketches and done improv that was harmful.Humor is hard. Being white and cis-gendered means often going for a joke you feel is there just out of reach and then landing right in a pile of shit and later feeling stupid and terrible about it, especially when people laugh at the joke you made. I was wrong.
- •I have made judgments about people based on class and income.I've preferred things and aesthetics that imply white, upper class, upper middle class, educated. I've found myself thinking things about people who "look" poor or homeless and then been disgusted by myself. I was wrong.
- •I have participated in cultural appropriation.I'm still working on this one. I've worn fabrics, patterns, and designs ripped off from other cultures and sold at hipster stores as white-washed status symbols. I have a dream catcher in my room from my childhood and I have turquoise rings and jewelry that I love from my grandfather that he bought on reservations and I don't know if it's okay to wear them but I do.
- •I have general failings I'm working on.I'm quick to anger and be sharp with people and should be more patient. I'm quick to love and love deeply and then get hurt. I expect too much out of people. I'm bossy. I'm pretentious. I'm overly sensitive. I'm critical. I'm ambitious. I'm anxious and I push that anxiety on others. I'm sometimes myopic in my focus on things that matter to me to the point of ignoring what others are saying. I want forgiveness when I don't necessarily afford the same grace to others. I am often wrong.
- •I'm still learning.Current justice topics I'm struggling with: using words that marginalized people with mental health issues (including myself) like "crazy" or "psycho." Understanding how financial privilege can be combatted and how I should act as someone who has more money than most. How to not ask for a pat on the head when I'm trying to be a good ally. How to understand and own my own racism and sexism and analyzing my actions more.
- •I wore this clown outfit three Halloweens in a row. I was wrong.