It's One Thing to Learn, Another to Understand
I've been thinking about the different identity terms in the LGBTQIA+ community. It has been important to me to know these terms on a practical level since we design and create jewelry and accessories using the colors of the different pride flags. On a personal level, there are so many people that I love that are members of this community and I want to honor them by educating myself. I thought memorizing the colors of various pride flags was my way of better understanding the community, empathizing, and being a better ally. Nope. Memorizing and understanding are two different things. (Obviously, right?)
I've been thinking about this so much because I live with someone who recently told me that they identify as genderqueer. Researching on the line is a great way to learn about sexual identity, there is so much great information, but I want to understand and connect on a deeper level.
Fortunately, this person is happy to answer my questions. I asked what genderqueer means to them, why they identify as genderqueer, and what they think is the most important thing for me to know as I seek to understand.
Please don't think that I believe it's another person's job to educate me about their identity. I believe it's my responsibility to research first before asking questions and to make sure it's ok with the other person before I ask anything. I know that these personal truths are sacred and often tender, and I am honored when someone trusts me enough to share their story.
If you have experiences like mine I would love to hear about them. I think that it is only by communicating with each other that we will strengthen our connections and our communities. That really is how peace begins.
Thanks for reading and for being part of this community.
until next time,