Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Marginally Frustrated

Dear Argenta,
Sometimes I feel like there is so much hate in our own community. It's weird cause I have spent so much time alleviating myself of judgment that I forget that some people still have them. I think that we are all so genuine and unique. Why must I be marginalized within my own community? Can't we all accept our differences and empower each other? I'm just frustrated at some (not all) gays who believe that cutting others down is imperative to prove something about themselves.
I'm open to your thoughts on this matter.

Dear Marginally Frustrated,
Ay Querido, this one weighs heavy en mi coraz√≥n!  In this matter, I have to speak my truths.  I am guilty as charged when it comes to passing judgments on others.  I love my community, I love my brothers, but sometimes; it’s a matter of loving me.   So for this one I will first speak to my own experiences.  
For me, growing up wasn’t always the easiest.  I was not only judged because of my exceptional beauty, but also for being “different” from everyone else in so many ways.  I was also given a set of expectations from my family on how to act, dress, speak, etc.  I will never say that I had a hard family life; it was filled with lots of love, but a lot of expectations. 
When I first encountered My People, I was very unsure about things.  Did I have the right style, right hair, am I too fat and so much more.  These little insecure thoughts became overwhelming.  At that moment my self-esteem was far from good.  So, I began to project those insecurities on to other people. 
Sometimes, Querido, I believe that because of what we all had to grow up with (i.e. stigma, homophobia, and fear) causes Papis to have a negative sense of self.   When we get around each other, sometimes we are reminded about all of those negative feelings.  So instead of identifying the true feeling, we purge our own consciousness and throw them onto others.
A second thought is that people are often the most vicious to their own kind. It's easier being vicious to people of one's own group than to people that stigmatized you in the first place.  If we were to project on to those who stigmatize us, we would risk being stigmatized even more. If they project on to other stigmatized gay men who may also have low self-esteem, those “victims” are less likely to have the energy or courage to retaliate against you. Those gay men who project on to others know precisely how bad it feels to be dumped on by other people (after all, they themselves went through a whole lifetime of abuse by society). They know precisely where to stab their brothers for maximal hurt.
One last thing Querido, make sure that you check in with yourself.  Look at all the ways you interact with others and know that sometimes without knowing it; we too pass a little judgment.  (Even if it is just the A4A profile that says “no Fat, no Fem”)  I want you to understand that sometimes, in our own minds we marginalize ourselves before our community even gets a chance!  This is something that I have to work on myself…just remember, Senora Eleanor Roosevelt said “No one can make you feel inferior without your permission."
Well, that is what I have to say about it.  So, I am going to send you un beso grande y un abrazo fuerte! 
Gracias Querido for Asking Argenta!

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