I don’t live in the past. I do my best to live in the present wherever I am.
However, I am extremely analytical and so I draw on the past constantly to try and navigate the present with an eye to the future.
This is why I often start off blog entries by saying “I was raised to believe…” or “In high school…” or “As a child, my parents…” I think it crucial to understand one another’s past experiences and our own past experiences as a means to better understand our common path forward.
So I apologize for every post that I start with such an introduction. I’m not dwelling on the past, I’m not obsessing over past events. I can promise you that much. When I write, I write primarily to myself, to help myself understand where I’ve been and where I’m going and hope that, along the way, a couple people might find encouragement or something to grapple with or maybe just someone to give voice to an experience they didn’t know anyone else had gone through.
When we understand one another better, we decrease fear. I can’t prove this scientifically, I can only propose this as a hypothesis based off of my personal and general observations up to this point in life.
Without naming any names or betraying any confidences, I can tell you that in my own life, I can think of one particular person who’s told me repeatedly that if she didn’t know me, she would feel hostile towards LGBT people – but because she has known me for so long and so well, she has started to see that we’re not so different, that essentially we all want the same things. Is she perfectly queer-friendly? No. But she’s learning.
That’s all we can do: Listen. Learn. Be silent once in a while.
When we’re unafraid, silence can be beautiful.