What do I know?
I don’t think my hesitation on the subjects of sex and gender is atypical. I’m sure there are some folks out there like me who participate only as a silent listener when a conversation broaches that territory. I know there are people out there like me that have been putting off actually reading and doing their own research, waiting for some kind of dust to settle, when the conversation might be less volatile, and when I might not be so at risk of being put out by my own discomfort with conflict. I want to be honest here, I haven’t done much to educate myself and I’m a bit of a coward. I don’t think much about the future beyond my own lifetime and the responsibilities and concerns that press on me every day - my home, my family, my career, my health, my overall well-being and happiness. Expanding my awareness to more than that can send me into a spiral of anxiety and a feeling of being completely out of touch and helpless in the world. As a kid there was so much to learn, so much information to know. Then at some point the game changed and actually although the world of information reached my very own finger-tips, there was the ground-shaking realization that I couldn’t believe everything I read, that even the things I had learned to be true were not safe from change. Sources are biased, teachers have agendas, and a whole bunch of people are talking incessantly, noisily, about things they have never experienced and don’t even care about.
So I guess what I’m trying to find my way to here, is a mode and a motivation for self-education on subjects that feel, but are not, far away from my sphere of trying to get by as a human being in the world. I’d like to get back to my kid like curiosity, the kind that is not so afraid of making mistakes, that isn’t burdened by a shame of not knowing more, that doesn’t feel a shyness to talk about how you are different than me.
This is where I’m at. Thank you for reading.
- Bryde MacLean