June 16, 2016

Use your voice for positive change.

This is so important. Use your voice for positive change. More importantly, understand pointing out inequalities and ways things "could be better or more equal" is not hateful. It is not bigotry to correct a bigot. Those who are privileged enough to feel threatened by the equality of others are treating their privilege, their own equality, as a joke. Equality is for all, a positive and loving term without any kind of hate, not a tool to bring down others. More importantly, the second - the very second - we begin to fight hate with hate, violence with violence, we have already lost. But fighting for equality by showcasing what needs to be changed is not the same as enforcing sexist and stereotypically damaging bigotry. There are so many different types of people, so many different ways of life, that if we wrap them all up into just "men" or "women" or even "straight" or "gay" we have forgotten so many, and we can't afford that. It's not fair. It's not right. And it needs to change. We may think change takes time, and it might, but it also can happen quickly. Because the fact is this: The world is not equal, not even close, and it needs to be. Equality - the freedom to, without harm, love and be loved and just BE as we choose - is not about seeing what has been seen, rather about seeing what has not been, what needs to be, what has been hidden. Even if it's one person who is left out, it's that one person we need to fight for. That is not naive, not unrealistic. That's equality. That is love. That is the power we need to embrace to create real, positive change. That's the side I'm on and will always be on.

 "It is possible to change stagnant systems, even radically. But it requires more than a momentary outburst of resolve whenever crisis hits."

June 15, 2016

I Am An Introvert But

I am an introvert. It's difficult for me to speak in front of large groups, make small talk, and generally be in places with a large number of people surrounding me. It's not, really, that I am afraid. For me, it has more to do with the fact that I don't see the point. Once I am in love with a topic, I will speak about it forever and defend my view to the death. I am not always right, but I keep quiet about those issues; I don't like being uninformed or unprepared, or defend things I'm not sure about. When I do enter a debate I have already thought about it enough to defend my point from all sides. I will talk about life and love until I can't. And I love being surrounded by people I feel close to. But spending my time uselessly, in ways that refuse to or don't want to improve my life or those around me? No. My point? Social Media has given me a way to be part of the world without feeling like my introverted self doesn't belong. I truly believe Social Media is a good thing. Except when it's not. And, as we've all seen in recent months, used as a tool to destroy, hurt, and offend millions of people. Especially when we use and view Social Media as a way to spread hate, it can often feel like too many voices screaming at once - a void in which no one really listens. I get that. But I want to point out this video. A man who speaks from his heart. Video that has not been edited, like so many news broadcasts are. Social Media is also a tool for good. I see my friends posting and talking about ways to change the world, ways to come together. I see horrific posts that inspire us to grow while reminding us that it's okay to be sad. And I see posts like this video that prove there are people who strive for kindness, equality, and love. People who are not afraid to call out the bigots. Because like it or not, everything is politics. The politics we're experiencing now. The politics of being human, standing together to fight for unity. The politics of being heard, when you're told you are less than. And let me make this very clear: There is a huge difference between using the freedom of speech to hurt and using it to express. What's going on now is wrong. No one has the right to kill, to hurt, to harm, to create victims, to cause suffering, to destroy love and loved ones. As an introvert, I choose to save my voice for when I truly feel it's important to speak. Until then, I am listening. And now? Now it's more important than ever to speak, to use your voice against this hate. Not only the hate of political parties, but the hate used against so many of us every single day. We must confront the dark with light. It is okay to be quiet, to be listening. It's important to find yourself in the silence. I'll be the first to tell you that. But your voice, your positive voice against all this hateful bigotry, is so important too. Show Social Media what it truly means to be a beacon of light in the dark.