I had a dream I was in my high school. A friend of mine, Jessica, was getting harassed and bullied because of an aspect about herself that she recently changed. It was getting to be so hard for her to be in the school building that I told her I would go back to her locker and get what she needed for her homework. I was writing down her assignments when I woke up.
I realized how unknowingly ignorant I was in high school. I was ignorant because I was sheltered, and frankly just didn’t know better. I didn’t have anyone to correct me in my mistakes because we were all kids and THEY didn’t know better.
But sitting here today, 24 years old, I realize just how damaging my ignorance may have been to those around me.
We only know as much as we learn, so if we don’t immerse ourselves in cultures different from our own – we never learn the errors (even the ones we didn’t intend to make) in our ways. This practice is typically more common with younger people because of toxicity and ego – “i made it this far without worrying about blahblahblah, I’m not about to start now”. But everyone could stand to lose
For the record, Jessica in my dream was a newly-transitioned trans woman.
Also, I feel like if people need a way to understand “why someone would want to do that”, I would liken it to this: let’s say your entire family is blond. You grow up being blond, but it’s just never really felt right to you. You get old enough to be exposed to more life and you see that people have different hair colors. You decide that as soon as you’re able to, you’re going to dye your hair brown.
Once you do, you finally feel like you are being true to your TRUE self.
Now this is obviously a stretch, but the principle of changing your physical body to match what your identity is on the inside is true. <Unless that was offensive to the trans community, then please let me know!>.
I woke up today feeling like I needed to share this. I’m literally writing this from my yoga mat before doing my morning yoga because this felt like something I needed to share. I needed to apologize to the trans people in my life that I was not initially supportive to and wasn’t the nicest to. Yes, in high school we’re all going through things. My social anxiety and my deep depression made interacting with people difficult, but as an adult I’ve learned to hold space for my own struggles while holding space and respecting someone else’s.
Also, for the record – I am a feminist. I am pro-choice. I believe all lives matter, so I am also a supporter of Black Lives Matter. I support the trans community. I support the LGBTQIA+ community. I support all minorities and communities of people. I also think society needs to place more of a priority on addressing mental health awareness and support, and not stress on gun control. (People are going to abuse laws and act erratically either way and can still get firearms illegally, but the restrictions only hurt the safe gunowners). I don’t believe political labels matter, and I don’t identify as a liberal. I also don’t identify as a conservative. But even if I did identify as either, it shouldn’t make you any less invested in the message of “Love, Support, and Respect All Human Beings”, which is what matters most to me.
Part of the need to share about my dream was also for me to share my beliefs, for anyone who was wondering. I’m not as active as I should be in any of these movements, as I’m trying to build the foundation of myself. These causes are important but something is calling me to focus inward during this pandemic, and I’m following my intuition.
So today, the first full day of autumn, remember to love, support, and respect all human beings. Reflect a little and see if you are holding onto any beliefs that aren’t actually yours.