Don’t judge this

GA Voice - - Front Page -

No two peo­ple who are liv­ing or have ever lived or ever will live will agree on ev­ery­thing 100 per­cent. I would like to think of the rain­bow, a sym­bol of our dif­fer­ences, as a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of how beau­ti­ful each per­son and their own unique be­liefs can be. But that would be bull­shit. If I could love and re­spect ev­ery­one and their dif­fer­ent be­liefs, I would be like a god. No – in fact, I would be bet­ter than a god. Be­cause even in re­li­gions that have gods, those gods also get an­noyed AF with hu­mans.

It’s hard when you be­lieve a cer­tain way and you feel so ag­gra­vated with some­one who thinks dif­fer­ently. You can fall into that ego-driven judg­ment mode where you feel su­pe­rior to oth­ers.

Our queer cul­ture has been evolv­ing since the Stonewall Ri­ots. We see more and more ac­cep­tance and far less re­jec­tion than some of our el­ders lived through back in the day. De­spite the im­prove­ment about how we are seen and treated by so­ci­ety, we some­times for­get to treat each other with an ex­tra mea­sure of kind­ness and re­spect.

I work as a Real­tor at a mostly gay com­pany. I oc­cupy a ro­tat­ing guest chair on a LGBTQ+ pod­cast. I have writ­ten for the Ge­or­gia Voice for over seven years in­ter­view­ing dozens and dozens of peo­ple in our queer cul­ture. I am sur­rounded by LGBTQ+ peo­ple and I talk to them ev­ery sin­gle day.

One of the most com­mon themes that I’ve no­ticed in th­ese con­ver­sa­tions is judg­ment and crit­i­cism from our own com­mu­nity. Why is our com­mu­nity (who know how it feels to be judged) so quick to judge its queer broth­ers and sis­ters?

Whether it’s our body type, the so­cial group we are in, how (or if) we choose to come out, what we wear, whether or not we lis­ten to show tunes (that’s a hard NO for me) … we judge each other. And I’m here to tell our com­mu­nity that it’s time to level up and be the ex­am­ple that we ought.

It’s time to rec­og­nize that some peo­ple are on a dif­fer­ent jour­ney than you. Some peo­ple are learn­ing dif­fer­ent lessons than you are. Some are learn­ing at a slower pace. Some aren’t learn­ing at all and keep re­peat­ing the same mis­takes over and over. And that’s OK. It’s their jour­ney. It’s not your place to shame them or to take their dif­fer­ences per­son­ally.

Pride week is about cel­e­brat­ing who we are and be­ing proud of the fact that we’re dif­fer­ent. Don’t judge me on the fact that I have mas­cu­line en­ergy but also wear makeup. Don’t judge me for hav­ing a man-crush on boys who wear eye­liner. Just love me for the per­son that I am right now and the per­son that I am try­ing to be­come.

In re­turn, I will do the same for you. I will not judge you for lik­ing mu­si­cals, roller skat­ing in your banana ham­mock wear­ing a Pride flag as a cape or for know­ing way more about skin care prod­ucts than me. I will love your dif­fer­ences and sup­port you on your path – wher­ever it hap­pens to be go­ing. We’re all in this to­gether so let’s cel­e­brate our rain­bow of dif­fer­ences. Happy Pride, y’all!

Shan­non Hames is a mom, writer, real­tor, vol­un­teer, rocker chick, world trav­eler and ’80s hair band afi­cionado. She loves ba­bies, ob­serv­ing peo­ple, read­ing great books and tak­ing hot baths. She has been writ­ing for Ge­or­gia Voice since 2010.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.