Posted 08 July 2018 - 09:12 PM
My response to police not being allowed at Pride.
So, with the ongoing debate about police officers at Pride throughout North America, I have decided it’s time for me to come out of the closet. The closet of being a victim of trauma. Which traumas doesn't matter, this is not a competition.
Yes, I said traumas. So yes, there is more than one, and some were even self inflicted traumas to attempt to “recover” from previous traumas.
Now, I am sure you are going to say “gee, white boy with privilege trauma, someone must be devastated about not getting into Harvard”. I am going to tell you, no I know what “real" trauma is and leave it at that.
A note about the white privilege that I may be accused of having before we go on. While I do not deny advantages may exist, I will never agree that my trauma is lesser than anyone else. Nor, does that mean that I am saying it was more.
Why? I am a 47 year old man that grew up in the mid-western bible belt of the US. I gave been called a faggot, a queer and every other homophobic word in the book. I used to sit and listen to family and friends talk about those faggot-queers “deserving what they got" when bashing stories were on the news or whatever talk show. I had to face all the torment a young child may face today for being gay. But, without the chance of a sympathetic teacher or ally. Back then, we had to hide, even from each other. Especially if you were a child with other trauma.
So I had to live in fear of making some movement or gesture that might give me away. I had to spend hours in the bathroom practicing my voice in the mirror so their was no indication of my sexuality. Basically, I had to spend my life pretending I was something I wasn't.
And these are not even my traumas.
So, when I listen and read about individuals that are upset by the trauma they suffered at the hands of the police, and they should not be allowed to march in a Pride Parade because they are/ could be a trigger, I say take some responsibility for yourself. Have some understanding that you are the one responsible for interacting with the world. It is not everyone else’s responsibility to make the world safe for you. There are too many different traumas, and you or your group are not unique. However, if you are the victim of a trauma that can be “categorized” into a a common group trauma (i.e. a perceived or actual injustice by the police), feel some solace in that fact that you can share recovery from that trauma with others today. There was a time, no matter what you were you couldn't. In the past, some of us had no chance to share our trauma even if we were white males. Thus we suffered till late in life.
I suffer from PTSD, clinical depression and high functioning anxiety because of the traumas I have been through. Many, many things are triggers, life is a process that is controlled by highly structured regulatory. One that requires me to regulate myself, so that I can go out, and take part in life. So, it’s not easy. Many thing are a trigger, and I use tools and techniques to function on a day to day basis.
The thing I don't do is ask the world to stop because of my triggers. I don't think, expect or mandate that safe spaces be made for me so I can go out in the world. I make my safe spaces for myself, so that I can exist. I don't ask or expect other to change to fit my issues. That would not be fair.
Surviving trauma means you are a survivor. Easier said then done. But it is possible, and it can stop being everyone else’s fault.
There are many things that I could try to demand not be a part of my Pride because of the fact they could be a trigger. I would never do that. That is not my place, or my right. My right is to heal myself.
So my point. Stop asking for everything from everyone else. Take some responsibility for yourself. Yes what has happened to you, and me is horrible. But it is unique to you, and everyone’s experience is the same. So stop trying to force your experience on everyone else. Make yourself whole. In doing so, don’t make someone else incomplete.
Mike K., zoomer, Rob Randall and 13 others like this
Predictive text and a tiny keyboard are not my friends!