As suggested by my uncle, I picked up a copy of the award-winning novel What Color is Your Parachute to help figure out what it is exactly I want for my life. The book is recommending that I write a series of seven stories in order to identify some of my own personal qualities. While it doesn’t suggest posting the works publicly, I thought it would be a great opportunity to post more content to this blog. Enjoy 🙂
I am not a particularly political person (that alliteration was perfection, just saying), and it is often difficult for me to express my views to others. A few years ago, Minnesota was attempting to pass an incredibly dumb bill that would effectually eliminate the option for gays and lesbians to get married. In the town that I live in, which is highly conservative, a grassroots movement was taking place where they needed people to call community members to ensure that they were voting and knew the truth about the bill trying to be passed. I had only come out about two months prior to this experience. I went with two friends, who encouraged me to go (getting out of my comfort zone) and help out.
The task was
hard simple enough: call and to see where constituents stood with the bill and, if for the bill, why and whether they had any experience with the community this bill would affect. The people that we were “targeting” that night were those whose vote was unsure. To be honest, this was the toughest experience I had. Many of the people I talked to came up with religious reasons as for why they were voting for the bill. Being raised in a Catholic institution, I knew many of their reasons were an invalid interpretation of a 2,000+ year old manuscript. For some, my story of my childhood and upbringing brought them to see things a little differently.
Actually, the experience helped me further understand the life that I so recently accepted. By reaffirming my “identity” to strangers, I think it made coming out to other people much easier. But it also showed me how much I didn’t belong in the community I currently reside in. It’s transforming, certainly, but it has a long way to go in terms of prejudice before I become comfortable with it.