I know that lately, it seems that much of the acceptance we’ve attained feels as though it is eroding. And while I won’t deny there are forces targeting our freedom of self-expression, I know in my heart of hearts, that those forces are but a minority.
How do I know this, you might ask? Well, I know because my experiences lately continue to be positive. As an example of what I mean, let me relate an experience I had just last night.
I had just ordered a mocha at my local Starbucks and I was waiting with a group of others for my drink to be made. I was presenting in my feminine persona, and as is my usual style, I was wearing a particularly girly outfit consisting of a just-above-the-knee length skirt, high-heel boots and a pull over sweater blouse. While my outfit wasn’t casual, it was neither trashy nor over-the-top, again, a style that is uniquely my own, and one I’m particularly proud of.
So, as I continued to wait, there were several patrons in front of me, a young woman approached. Earlier, when she watched me walk in, we made eye contact, and I acknowledged her with a friendly smile. And now, as she walked up to me, she flashed a smile of her own and then said: “I just wanted you to know that I think you are beautiful, and I love your hair.”
The encounter lasted only a minute and in fact, I only had the opportunity to thank her for her compliment before she left the coffee shop. Yet in that moment, I realized that she didn’t have an agenda, nor did she seek to stifle or inhibit my right to self-expression. Instead, this young woman, in her own way, was lauding me I’m sure, for being the person I want to be. And because encounters like these, way outnumber the less positive ones, I know that our oppressors are way fewer than their loud voices would otherwise indicate.
We need to recognize that the loud mouths who are terrified of anyone or anything different than they are, don’t possess the power we might think. In fact, I believe strongly, what we are seeing today, is a last gasp of desperation by a rapidly dwindling group. Knowing this, we can stay positive and recognize the current affront for what it really is, nothing more than a bump in the road.