Queer Activism – Being the Change
People ask me constantly why I blog.
What’s my purpose, what’s my niche, what do I do with this little corner of the web I’ve created. And the answer is really simple when I step back and look at it. I’m embodying the adage “be the change you wish to see in the world.” There’s so much BS in the world, so much inequality and horrid treatment of everyone who doesn’t fit into a very specific neat and tidy box. I’m only one person and I don’t even have that much voice. But you bet I’m going to do what I can with what I have.
What do I have?
Privilege. I’m white and I am cisgendered. I actively try to check my privilege and keep myself on top of world issues. When someone calls me out, I apologise, correct, educate, and move forward. We were all ignorant once about something and gatekeeping that kind of knowledge doesn’t get us anywhere. Being elitist or being willfully ignorant doesn’t help anyone and, frankly, makes you look like an idiot.
So I do things like create my Fashionably Femme series. I let others define that term for themselves. Constantly people say “I don’t fit that, I’m not femme enough.” But my response is always the same. “Do you consider yourself femme? If the answer is yes, then this series is for you.”
If you do a little research, you will quickly discover that Gandhi did not, in fact, say the quote that inspired the title of this post.
As with all good quotes, history has changed words and adapted them as they see fit. The actual quote is much closer to this: “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.”
A little less catchy, a little less bumper-sticker friendly. But much more meaningful and offers a much better guide to activism and that change. If you look at his work, outside of his abhorrent sexism, racism, and generally shady side, you learn that he believed in creating personal change to encourage others to bring about change as well. If one doesn’t, all won’t.
Look at the work I do by day.
I work with very young children. It’s the very embodiment of leading by example. Toddlers love to imitate and, even if they don’t know why they are doing something, they’re all about doing it. I strongly believe that the love of imitation applies even after you leave childhood. There will always be leaders who pave their own ways in the world, there will always be folx who step up and make a big difference. But by and large, humans like to follow and imitate.
I’ve created a space built around that instinct. I blog, I share content and tips and ideas with you in the hopes you will pick up where I leave off and imitate.
And, thus, I aim to be the change.
What do you think? Am I accomplishing that? Do you like what I’m doing? Should I take it in another direction? Talk to me! Tell me what you’re thinking in the comments.