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Author Topic: Passing As  (Read 2221 times)
HeartShadow - Cutethulhu
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« Topic Start: June 27, 2011, 12:35:31 pm »

When a part of our identity is considered inappropriate for society, we are left with two choices.  Act out and be that identity in full-out flamboyance – or pass as normal.  For many people, the only option that protects their lives, their family, their career, and the other things that matter to them is to pass, because to be the thing that is censured is simply to dangerous.  But what does it really mean, when we force people to hide themselves to get through life?  What is the true cost of forcing people to pass?

I'm not speaking against passing as, if that's what you have to do.  Sometimes it's necessary.  The problem is with society that demands it, not the person forced to make the choice.

Why is that choice demanded?  Why do we make people hide who they are just to get through the day?  It is harmful.  To make someone pretend a part of themselves simply doesn't exist to certain people is not a victimless crime.  Married heterosexual people can wear their rings and talk about their spouses without a big deal.  Married homosexual people have to fight even to get their marriage recognized, and sometimes still can't talk about their spouse out of fear.  They have to pretend their own life doesn't exist to get by.  How can this not hurt people?  How can it be anything but painful to deny one's own reality?

I say society demands it, but society is made up of people.  It is made up of people that will attack and damage and degrade those that are different, and even more, the people around them that will stand by and do nothing because it's only about “them”.  If we stopped standing by, stopped saying it was acceptable to hate and destroy people based on a characteristic that wasn't socially acceptable, how many people would be able to live without fear?  How many people could stop passing as not-different?

We all have something about ourselves that's different.  Some of those differences are acceptable, and some are not.  But imagine if none of them were.  If every piece of our individuality was a danger to our lives.  That's what people that feel the need to pass feel like.  Imagine if you could not talk about your spouse, about dates, about your family or your friends or your hobbies.  Everyone else could.  But you could not, for your hobbies were “different”.  You were “different”.  You had to pass.

How is this not harmful?  How is standing by and allowing people to be told who they are and what they are is wrong, evil, misguided not killing them from the inside out?  And yet we do nothing.  It's only “them”.  It doesn't really count.

It counts.  Every single time someone feels they must pass or be broken, it counts.  Every time someone refuses to pass and is broken because of it, it counts.  We need to do a better job of protecting everyone in society.  We don't have to want to join them in whatever it is they would otherwise be hiding.  But we need to let them live their lives without fear.

Imagine how much could be done if we could just live our lives as we are without fear.

Imagine if we could simply be different.

Prompt – how are you different?  Is it sanctioned?  Why or why not?

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