it hurt a little i guess, at first. but scarcity often makes us do painful things. pain & trust, letting go of control, all necessary ingredients in the pursuit. they’re probably the whole point.
i have no delusions, save one. maybe the biggest of them all. cause we never know where this goes until it’s over. and then it just is.
not cold enough to snow, but cold enough to chill you to the bone. and rain, endless rain. it pours out over the backyard, caught by some plastic tables & chairs. i stare at my own patio chair, wooden, stolen from the kitchen set. i wonder if the laquer will hold, i wonder if it will rot. but i don’t dare bring it in. delaying the inevitable is as pointless as being mad at the sky for crying.
i vacillate between feelings of anger and feelings of pity for those that have never had to face life as a minority, a deviant.
i am angry at their judgmental discriminations and i pity their ignorance, and the love they could otherwise experience.
but more than that i shed a tear for those, who like me, have experienced the horrors of being different. those who have sustained hateful glares, whispered mocking, and the devastating compulsion to hide their true nature from the cruel eyes of the world at large.
when it became a matter of life or death for me, i escaped. but many don’t. many die never knowing how it feels to breathe free from those shackles. and i weep for them.
today, if i see a hitch-hiker i pick them up. today, i share whatever i have with my neighbors who are struggling just as i am. and they share with me.
today i wear my waterproof emancipation to the grocery store & down the main street of my small town. come here and you’ll probably spot me in bright reds & teals at the local diner. or in flip flops up on the bluff overlooking the river & mountains. or at the post office rocking a magenta t-shirt and stark rainbow colored scarf that was a gift from someone i can say i know truly loves me for every ounce of my authenticity.
sometimes people ask me if i worry what my daughter thinks of my flamboyant nature or what she’ll think of me as she gets older. they worry, with some amount of validity, that she’ll have to undergo teasing from her classmates who notice that her daddy is different.
i acknowledge that it would seem easier on her if dad were a conservative-conformist-normal. hell, childhood is hard enough without adding an eccentric father to the mix.
but my answer is always the same. teaching my daughter about love, freedom & authenticity by example is far more important to me than attempting to isolate her from every ignorant taunt and blurred gender stereotype. my hope is that my daughter will love everyone, and not for the things that make people fit in. but for the things that make us different.
after all, if we as parents don’t demonstrate tolerance by the way we live and the way we treat all people – if we continue to perpetuate the fear, hate & judgment of generations past – how can we expect our children & their children to be free of these things?
yes, i’m a minority, a deviant. and now i can say that i wear it proudly, as much for my daughter as myself.
“find your strength…”
©2011 JTW “jtwhitaker.com” All rights reserved.