Why so complicated?
Recently I had a conversation with a gay man about pronouns. When he was coming of age, it was much harder to be out than it is today. He carved out a space of legitimacy for his sexuality despite the resistance of misunderstanding and the opposition of bigotry. And now he is watching the next generation coming into their own and they confound him. "Identify however you identify, that’s fine" he said, "but why do you need so many new words and titles? Why does it have to be so complicated?"
Why does it have to be so complicated?
The short answer is: because it always has been. Humans are complicated. There have always been gay people and queer people and people who think and feel and act differently than the default image offered as standard by culture or community. Some of those ways of being just weren't widely recognized by modern society until recently.
Because of that lack of broader recognition, we have not always had language to describe some identities. Our modern terms were not part of the historical lexicon. But just because something was invisible or unnamed doesn't mean it didn't exist. And just because record-keepers throughout time did not think something was noteworthy, doesn't mean it wasn't important.
Fortunately, the ability to gatekeep the official record of humanity has been somewhat diminished by the existence of the internet. That is not to say the internet is open and available to everyone everywhere, because it certainly isn't. But it is possible today for me to peruse collections of information about indigenous or queer or femm historical figures curated by someone on the internet. Having access to those stories is critical for the future of humanity.
The more I learn about the varied experiences and expressions of other humans, the more I see myself in all those people from all those other times, cultures, and places. The more I see them in me, and the more ways I find to explore myself. The more of my own intricacies and quirks and layers I explore, the more parts of my self I can integrate into wholeness.
I am complicated. You are complicated. We are all complicated. And that complexity is what makes us fantastic and fascinating. Recognizing it is empowering. Being my most complete me and expressing myself from that place of resting-in to wholeness gives folks around me permission to do the same. And when everyone is free to be and do and feel and think exactly as they are, we all live a less constrained life. So go ahead and be complicated. Just like everybody else.
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Jaydra is a human in-process, working to make the world a better place. Sharing thoughts, feelings, and observations about the human experience.