My online presence has always been careful. But ‘careful’ is starting to feel a lot like ‘passive’ in a time when passivity is a conscious and potentially harmful choice, and that’s not the stance I want to take.
I have always had strong opinions about life, about the world. I have always had a place to express myself inside my own home, and I’ve done my best to support my friends and people I know. And I thought that was enough.
I now realize, though, that the only reason I can think that’s enough is because of privilege. The only reason I can quote Jane Austen and say that “I am only resolved to act in that manner, which will, in my own opinion, constitute my happiness,” is because I am a white, middle-class, cisgender, homeschooled Canadian. But those things do not make me more human, they do not make me ‘better,’ all they do is make my life easier than it is for so many others. I can worry about my happiness because I don’t have to worry for my life. Which is not, and never has been, fair.
I’ve never had to care about things outside of my own family and my own life, I never really comprehended things bigger than that. But this thing that’s happening in the world right now– it feels so big and so important, and I feel like how I act now is going to change my entire life.
So, to be extremely clear: I believe that black lives matter. And I believe that the LGBTQ+ community matters.
I no longer believe that my reasons for being passive are good enough. I have been born into a position where I can help others, so I am now trying to believe in my own voice, and hope that I can do a little bit of good in this world by supporting those I can.
To my friends and acquaintances and mutuals who are a part of these and other marginalized communities: I see you, I love you, I stand with you, I’m here for you, and I will do my best to listen and to be a good ally.
I know that I don’t know everything, that I can’t fully understand the struggles of others, but I have made an effort to be there for my friends, and I am willing to put in the work to learn about the things I don’t understand. I know I will make mistakes, but I will work to educate myself and to fix them. I don’t know yet how I’m going to help, but I am going to figure it out.