Just be yourself already, with Don MamoneAug 30, 2022
"I get to acknowledge that the price of authenticity is often times privilege. when we're our most authentic selves, we sometimes have to hand over an element of privilege."
There were so many great moments in this podcast. I could write forever about all the things that Don made me think about. That day and many, many days after - I tried to process everything and really think about all that Don has gone through, what they stand for, and how I can be a better ally.
I have never once thought about the price of authenticity. What would I have to give up if I lived my life authentically and unapologetically? What would be the privilege that I would lose? Would that stop me?
What I find so inspiring about Don is that they stopped hiding. They said the thing out loud that could ruin a relationship, that could ruin a marriage, and that could alter the lives of those around them (spoiler alert: it didn’t). But they said it. They started living it.And even though they had to navigate a new world, a world without privileges they once had - they didn’t go back and hide.
So what privileges have I given up to be my most authentic self? Well, I have lost the privilege to have a really, deep meaningful conversation with people because I will not agree to disagree on my core values in life. I have lost the privilege to feel comfortable in a church because I am yet to find one that values me, as a woman, and everyone else that is not a straight, white, male. I have lost the privilege of people closest to me respecting me and valuing what I think and say because I don’t believe what they believe.
And while these privileges are miniscule to what Don has had to give up - I have felt the tug to just give up and go back to when I just kept my head down, and didn’t make waves. Even writing this is giving me severe anxiety because I know that what I believe is not in line with what everyone who reads this newsletter believes.
But here is my truth- Yes, I censor myself. Yes, I hide parts of me from people. Yes, I COULD live a more authentic life. But my authenticity does not take away a basic privilege (like using a restroom) away from me. It takes away some comfort, yes - but not my basic right to exist in a public space.
And if you take nothing away from this episode - I hope that you think twice before passing judgment on the LQBTQIA+ community. That you take away compassion and understanding. We all know that a confused mind says no. I hope that this episode leaves you with a deeper curiosity of something that is unfamiliar to you. I hope that you start saying yes, I accept you- instead of no, I don’t understand you.
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