Where we fail: A community self-destructing - a guest post by Chincicrop
This is a guest post from a friend of mine, used with permission.
I’ve recently come across some situations that left me feeling hurt, confused, and then angry. For a while, I had thought that maybe it was just me who was feeling this way, but recently, I’ve been opening up about these experiences to others, and hearing that they have experienced the same. There is a profound flaw working it’s way through our communities, in which we liberate ourselves from judgement and exclusion, only to create it for others.
We are people who have been misunderstood, excluded, and often punished for our identities. For whatever reason, we are not “mainstream”. We are not what is expected. Over our lives, many of us have been bullied, excluded, and judged for being who we are. At some point, we discovered a community of people like us. People who accepted us. We immersed ourselves in new friendships and spaces that know us, and love us for exactly who we are. We’ve found our home. Many of us have found happiness here. These communities have helped us heal, and move on from our past traumas. In a few, beautiful, exceptional cases, they have allowed us to heal to the point of helping others deal with theirs.
But some of us remain angry. Vengeful. Wounded. The pain from our past turns inward, and warps, comes back through, lashing out. Sometimes, it happens without even realizing it. We get so wrapped up in being the most extreme version of ourselves, that we forget that people are something else. Sometimes, it doesn’t occur to us that we are becoming the person that we worked so long to escape. Sometimes, we see it, but we are not brave enough to tell ourselves and others what we need to hear, but I am here to say it, today: STOP.
In bullying others, you are causing pain, not acceptance. Accept others. Be their safe space. Love them because they are different than you. Let them love you. Give others what you have craved before meeting the ones that loved you for who you are. Be the light, not the darkness.
We are destroying ourselves, from the inside out. Like a disease, the pain we felt turns to hate, and dissolves the love we’ve built around ourselves. Disallows that love to spread to the people we once were. The scared, lonely, hurt people who need us to be the open, loving people that took us in to create this communities in the first place.
Let’s make a vow, to stop.
Stop it. Stop bullying people who don’t conform to your idea of identity. Stop creating the same culture of exclusion you started expressing yourself to escape. No more “scaring the ‘nillas”, no more putting down others for not being “edgy enough”, no more hating on the cis-gendered folks for being the same gender their bodies were given. Whatever your problem with other people’s identities, no more.
Further, disallow your friends, acquaintances, and communities from engaging in elitist bullying, and exclusionary practices. Practice openness and love. Live in a world of diversity, and acceptance. The real revenge on those that hurt us is to create a loving community, where EVERYONE can be accepted, and to be a better person than they are, by showing them the openness and acceptance that they failed to show us.
I know we can change.
I know it can be better.
Let’s work together to make it so.