Recently, I’ve been stressed. Okay, I’m always stressed, but this stress is new, something I’ve never dealt with. This stress comes from fighting (peacefully) for equality. Yeah, I did just type that. That is still a thing that has to happen. Sad, right?
A student was transferred into my science class a couple of months ago, and to put things bluntly, he has expressed anti-feminist, homophobic, and transphobic beliefs. Now, I see right through this kid and I can tell that he’s just repeating things he’s heard at home or from friends and he really has no original ideas or beliefs. I’ve unfortunately come across someone who is a mere product of a toxic and unaccepting environment.
Now normally, I’m the kind of person to shut my mouth and wait until whoever it is realizes that nobody is listening and they aren’t getting attention that way and for the most part, the person will usually move on and try something else. But not this kid. He will go on and on about these beliefs.
And I can handle the anti-feminist jokes and quietly ignore him, even the general homophobic comments because my friend in the class (who happens to be quite an amazing LGBTQ+ activist) will take care of him. But then, when all else fails to get him the attention he seeks, he starts making direct attacks. Specifically about the transgender kids in our school.
I’m only good friends with one of them, and he is one of my closest friends. I know how much he’s been through and I cannot let anybody ever say things like that about someone I hold so close to my heart. So, I started not to stand for it and challenge his comments.
It is exhausting, but what kind of friend would I be if I let this kid stomp all over my friend and I didn’t defend him? What kind of feminist would I be if I didn’t at least try to assert myself?
I’ve realized that things are only going to change for the better if we make them change. Sometimes, no it isn’t worth wasting your breath on someone who sees nothing wrong with their actions. But I won’t let some guy talk over me just because he thinks that girls will always shut up for him to say whatever he wants.
I will correct you when you try to spread false things about people. I will tell you to shut your mouth when you call a girl a “whore” the second she leaves the room. And when you try to tell me that my friend is “confused”, “attention-seeking”, and that their identity “doesn’t exist”, I will fight back.
It’s tiring, even more so because I like to hope that people are better than that. But I won’t stop
I’d love to raise my children in a world that is accepting of them, whoever they may be. If that’s going to happen, I have to be part of the movement that makes it happen.
Whether or not I ever get through to this kid doesn’t matter. It’s the principle. Part of my ideal “take no shit” attitude. Nobody deserves to feel that they aren’t accepted for being themselves, nobody. I encourage you to do your part, educate others about things you’re passionate about. Fight for the changes that this world needs to see.
Thank you for reading.
See ya soon!!!