Originally Posted by Gennee
A year ago, I may have written to a op-ed page stating my opinion. It has come now that I must speak out. I'm not going to let some homophobe and transphobe trash us and me speaking up. This is quite a change for me because I am a quiet and reserved person. With all the wonderful things (and not so wonderful things) happening across the land, I need to really educate myself and be armed and ready to answer the critics.
I don't consider myself an activist but wrongs need to be corrected.
I know what you mean by “quite and reserved” and “don’t consider yourself an activist.” But I can tell you this much, in the past four years or so, I learned every argument there is, AND HOW TO REFUTE THEM - which gives me great confidence.
I’m talking mostly about writing online of course. I get nervous enough just driving, or grocery shopping, let alone publicly ‘debating’ with someone.
But I think that for someone who is usually quiet and reserved (or at least feels that way) to feel confident in speaking up, and finding a way of discussing the issues without allowing it to even turn into a “debate,” is the goal.
And that requires being emotionally centered - ie; emotionally in control.
That’s why I love arguing online. I always have the time to get over the initial anger, digest it, and then mentally step back and respond in a way that addresses the REAL issue - hopefully in a way that the person (or audience) I'm communicating with will more likely respond to.
I think my point is that there’s definitely a way to maximize your ability to do this in whatever setting. It's challenging no doubt for a shy person, but possible, and learnable, none the less.
I’m not sure if this is what you were looking for, and I’m not always around, but if I can be of any help, please let me know. And I know that many others around here could help with dealing with any specific challenges you may wish to express.
Along the Soulforce “non-violent” ideology, it seems to me that it’s not so much the “issue” that’s at issue, but the approach to it. With the ultimate goal of coming to a point of 'agreeing to disagree.'
If you can win that game, you automatically win the "get inside their head" game.
Also, I often hang out at the Vigilance blog (teachthefacts.org). The Montgomery County Council of Maryland Council recently passed a measure banning discrimination on the basis of "gender identity" (along with race, religion, handicap, etc.), but the anti-gays are all in a hoopla about it, and lying every which way from Sunday to stop it.
Note, it is potentially a toxic environment, there are a handful who continue to denigrate LGBT persons to no end, but there are many regulars, like me, who continue to refute their lies and slander on a continual basis, and to that extent, it’s a quite supportive environment.
There are at least three openly transgender persons who post there, often if not always with intense insight - factual AND personal.
P.S. I am also very sorry to hear about your correspondence-acquaintance who killed themselves. Again, If there’s anything I can do to help you with feeling more comfortable speaking out, please let me know.