Addition, not Division

Today was a glorious day. I spent it outside in a beautiful park with two very beautiful souls. They didn’t know me from Adam, but they still picked me up and took me berry hunting. It was an amazing few hours that really lifted me up, even though it exhausted me at the same time. Good, content exhaustion.

Back at home, back to my Twitter activism.

What? Don’t look at me like that. It’s not like there’s a protest or a rally I can go to at 7pm on a Saturday, especially when I’m already exhausted. Twitter reaches people and that matters.

If nothing else, it makes me feel better, and my feelings matter. So don’t dismiss the power of social media. Maybe it is only helping me, but that’s still helping someone, and that’s better than no one.

So back to Twitter. Have some fun, share a few petitions, like some YouTube videos that speak on various issues, or just advertise other awesome gamers (what? I have hobbies!).

Then I see, as I have on many other days, a lot of word policing and ‘my oppression is worse than your oppression’ themed arguments.

No. Stop right there. Yes, women of color have it terrible, poor people have it awful, a lot of different groups have it really bad. Everyone deserves to be heard. Bickering among one another only serves the agenda of those in power – keeping us from forming a significant push back against their oppression.

I am not trying to erase your struggles by saying this. We all have struggles, some are the same, but even those aren’t experienced the same way by anyone. Everyone is unique. If we divide and divide by color and gender and sexual orientation and blood type and astrological sign and what state and county and city you were born in – then what are we left with?

Divide down enough and you’re left with one lonely voice.

One lonely voice can make a difference, absolutely, but a thousand voices is a lot less lonely.

Stop dividing. Please. Add to the cause. When a woman of color is speaking up about her experience as a woman of color – SHUSH UP AND LISTEN. When a gay man speaks up, same principle.

Listen does NOT mean ‘and then one-up her with your own story.’ She gets a voice, I get a voice, then you get a voice. And we all earn free and equal voices together.

I have no idea what trans women go through, no idea what a person of color goes through, I only know my experience. And my experience is not going to be the same as every other white, poor, disabled, trans man. Every story is unique, and they should build on one another in a long narrative that leads toward equality, not shout over one another for top position.

In the words of my good Twitter friend (who can be credited if he so desires, but default is not for his privacy/safety) – “Proud of the rainbow? Be proud of every color!”

I’m proud of you, wherever you fall in that rainbow.