A World Without Fear

Rough morning. A blizzard’s raging outside my window and I’m reading about the ultimate demise of our planet on Brave New World (writers’ best estimates are within decades, not centuries), reading gay hate on other sites, listing the evidence for flagrant patriarchy and gender discrimination ruling the institution of education, and wondering how it is that on blog posts where the writer responds to EVERY comment, the gay woman’s comments are conspicuously ignored—no anger or angst in the commenting just simple life connections.

Perhaps it is my oh-so human nature that with a list of such gravity, I would choose the pettiest issue slated—the latter—to be the recipient of most of my energies and angst, and I’m wondering why that is? These are not sites on subjects of grave import, so why do I care? Why should it matter to me if the writer pops up and says, “Thanks SOOOO… much for reading”? Or “Glad you stopped by (happy face emoticon)”? Maybe because it’s personal and it feels a little like being the chubby 5th grader picked last for the kickball team, or because it’s the first time in my adult life that I’ve felt any sort of marginalization, and suddenly I’m faced with a tiny bit of the realization of what it might have been like coming out at a younger age or in a different part of the country. It’s safe here, where I live surrounded by friends and community who live acceptance as naturally as they breathe, but from this alternate blog universe, I can’t help wondering… were I located differently, would I be out YET? It’s a fair question to ask because STILL, I can’t bring myself to tell my parents, which begs an alteration of the word out. Perhaps only somewhat out.

A few weeks ago, on the suggestion of Raising My Rainbow, I read “Generation LGBTQIA” from the New York Times and tried to imagine the courage of these transgendered young adults, not only to live their lives openly and honestly but to advocate for anyone’s right to be who they are. To state the obvious, their refusal to hide is the very strength of their voices and their impact on civil rights issues of our day. And perhaps less obvious but equally true… does being so brazen in the face of social expectation free our energies and consciences to embrace other causes of immediate and serious consequence, like the protection of our planet and its inhabitants or the devastating impact of corporatized education.

Embedded in the patriarchal fibers of our world is fear… fear of losing the money or status or respect or relationships garnered through patriarchal institutions that perpetuate myths of worth and entitlement. Fear that renders us paralyzed to change, to act, and to be. If we lost all that fear, I suspect this world we live in would look a lot different–would look more sustainable, more compassionate, and, perhaps, more free.

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2 Comments

Filed under feminist, gay rights, gender, inclusion, institutions, lesbian, out late, LGBT, memoir, relationships, society

2 responses to “A World Without Fear

  1. I think you are on to something here. I’ve often thought that hate is the outgrowth of fear, pure and simple. Fear kept us in the closet, fear and greed are the impetus behind wars, fear is the reason many abusers commit their crimes, fear is why mysogynists are so resistant to change. Coming out and surviving many of my worst fears has made me stronger, and allowed me to speak aloud about other inequities I see in terms of other people and systems. But I admire the courage of generation LGBTQIA. It took me a lifetime to summon the courage to do what they’re doing now.

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