So many articles and news stories lately have centered around what it means to be a certain type of person – American, Black, White, etc. There are so many people that force things into two camps, what it means to be a “true” American (insert black, white, or any other type we like to define) or not…based solely on whether or not you live the same type of lifestyle as the writer – agree with his or her opinion.
Please explain to me why doing something differently than someone else makes me any less of a person?
Our diversity is entirely what defines us; our ability to overcome our stereotypes. When we label people oreo’s and wiggas, slander people for simply being unlike ourselves, we perpetuate the problem that we are so often fighting against. When we name a place as the epitome of “American”, the “heartland”, the “true America”, we are effectively putting labels on what makes something right and wrong, true or false. I do not understand this. How can a person be wrong by simply being who they are?
The only person who can tell me who I am, is me. I deny your perfectly typed out labels and your statistically sound definitions. I am multi-faceted. Nations are multi-faceted. Small towns are multi-faceted. Anything related to the human condition and its societies is multi-faceted. To label me, any person – to define us as one thing, with such limiting terms is, to me, a naïve concept. I am not simply a Millennial. I am not simply a New Yorker. I am not simply White. I am not simply anything.
I can only speak for myself personally, but I have never understood why I had to explain to people that I am bisexual. “Oh, I never knew. Why didn’t you ever say so? You never really acted like it.” Long stare. “I’m sorry, I didn’t realize that was a requirement. And wait, I’m sorry, how exactly do you act like it?”
What does it mean to act bisexual? I just am. What does it mean to act black or white. We simply are.
Why do we try to define what is and is not a black or white hairstyle? A gay or straight walk or mannerism? I do understand this. I try to put into words that will explain how much I do not understand, but because it is so far beyond my comprehension the words are not there. Why are you trying to prove my authenticity? I am here. I am real. Cut me and I will bleed.
Make America Great Again? Change it back to what? To separations? Defined lines, boundaries which divide? Greatness is in all of us, in all of our difference and our ability to look past it, see beyond to the human experience that we all hold within us.
I refuse to allow you to hold power over my boundaries. I refuse to have boundaries. This human experience is evolutionary. It begins here, with us.