Is the joke on us?
I sat in the visitor section today for one purpose, I wanted to be in the sunshine. Our home field bleachers face east and the setting sun fast changes the temperatures in Colorado.
I was sitting there with my granddaughter watching the numerous schools compete. Two opposing teams were joking around, when one girl walks up and says, “I’m transgender.” The boy from the other school jokingly screamed (like a girl actually) and backed up hollering, “Stay away from me, stay away from me!”
The students began laughing then telling him she was just joking, she’s an actual girl. Being one of the few parents around, I shook my head and wondered what my granddaughter heard as she slid down the stair rail. Has this become the joke today?
For all the pushing our society and schools are doing toward alternate identity inclusion, it didn’t look like it was anything more than a joke or confusion to this crowd of seventh and eighth graders. Then again, the way things are presented and taught these days leaves little room for serious discussion and real life lessons. The culture has embraced the shock factor. Screaming from their agenda filled space, those who live outside of generational norms and circumstance are searching for attention before anything else.
As the young girl began flirting with the boys, I could see they were afraid to believe her. Quietly walking back to their side of the bleachers, I overheard one kid ask, “Was that a dude or not?” (Young man- we’ve been asking that question with uncertainty for decades, too. You can’t always tell.)
It is interesting how every generation believes they are the first. I remember a small group of high school guys in our circle wearing eyeliner, trench coats, and blue hair before blue hair became a thing for elderly women. They loved to sing U2 songs and I thought they were cool and weird all at the same time. My mind was blown away.
“Why are they wearing makeup?“
“Why is their hair blue?”
“What’s with the long coat in summer?”
As a fifth grader, (same as my granddaughter now) confusion messed with my mind. I wasn’t ever told it was wrong for boys to wear makeup, I wasn’t told it was right, either. It wasn’t a thing at the time. In 2023, it’s not only a thing, it’s the loudest thing.
The Unstable Stable Confusion
For fear of kids becoming mentally unstable, our culture decided it was stable to allow people to claim to be what they feel rather than what the scientific facts say of their gender. Once we opened the door for gender identity to mean something other than biological identity, we opened Pandora’s box.
Today, a lady claimed to identify as a bird. I side with science here, you are a human girlfriend , you are not a different species. What we feel and think never makes anything fact. Well, it does, but only in our delusional, small mindedness and selfish attempt to be right and live how we want to live. I can here the chatter now, “She can be what she wants to be.” Sure, but reality says she’ll never be a bird.
According to my slightly older gentlemen friends (15 year olds) back in the day who wore their makeup, they were still young men. They didn’t change their appearance and claim to be girls, or anything else. In fact, their appearance never connected to their gender. They were high school guys living on the edge, looking to shock others, and loving who they were in the moment.
So, fast forward a few decades. The push to be accepted by others became the motive rather than accepting self and loving who you are. It wasn’t enough to stir the traditional ideas with a rainbow stick. No, every part of personal lifestyle choices has been politicized and debated. People are so blue in the face with the discussion, hair dye is no longer needed. The blue colors that, too.
Acceptance, a dirty word.
I worked with a flamboyant, flirtatious, and overly feminine man at one of my first jobs. Bob was living in an adult gay relationship, dressed like the woman he tried to mimic in accent, and was by far one of my favorite co-workers. He climbed the ranks to a deserved position as supervisor and went about his life. When he walked through the store with his boyfriend, we all greeted them both, hugged him, asked how they were and rang up their groceries. I guarantee you Bob never had a mental breakdown due to his identity. He was fully accepting of himself as a feminine speaking, dressing, walking, loving male.
After I finished college, I worked at a dental practice and one of our favorite families were two males living happily between Colorado and California. We loved on them, laughed, talked serious life issues and sent them on their way with happy smiles and fixed dental problems. They also lived without a need to force society into accepting them. Nothing we did showed non-acceptance, they had no reason to begin a movement or politicize their relationship.
One more example was the man who walked in dressed in his mini-skirt, high heels and teased hair. He was a broken mess. Not because he was confused by his identity, but because his previous life in addiction killed his teeth! Our denture tech gave him a hug assuring him there was no reason to be embarrassed, and promised she would give him a beautiful new smile. When he picked up his teeth, he left the hooker heels at home and came in with poise and class- ready for a new beginning- with a mouth of white, straight and present teeth.
Could that man have struggled with others mistreating him due to his lifestyle choice? Absolutely. People of every race and both genders, financial differences, height, education level and so on have been mistreated in the journey of life. It’s life, it happens.
Yet, here we are. A culture filling more prescriptions for anxiety pills than ever before. We have so many ‘counselors’ and ‘coaches’ today that you can order a certification through an internet site. But it doesn’t end there, if you blink you will find a victim imprisoned by their mental health ailment, and seeking acceptance- not of who they truly are but in who they wish to be! If you don’t see the problem here, then stop reading now. We agree to disagree, in love.
Friend, acceptance of self is a personal journey, not a society narrative inflamed with personal agenda and wanna be status. No one has to accept your choices to live one way or another. People do not have to agree with you. And no protest, waving flag, or momentous hijacking of historical importance will ever change that.
Your constant need to make every knee bow to you and your personal life choices is only turning society away, even those who agree with you! Not because they dislike, hate, or want to dismantle your movement- but because they do not care about others lifestyles.
Hear that again- they do not care how you live your life, as long as you stay out of how they live theirs.
We are a broken mess today. Not because of our teeth, but because we cannot (for some insane reason) accept ourselves.
I see hope in the addiction community every day. The fine people I sat next to at my sons NA meeting stand up with pride, announce they are an addict, claim their victory in sobriety or recovery, and share their amazing story! There’s no shame. They love who they are and know it was who they always were. They accept their growth through missteps and mistakes. Their entire story makes them who they are today, humbly.
So, when did the disconnect happen between our reality and the lies. When did we begin turning our back on ourselves? Why do we dislike who we are so much that we crave vindication from others to accept someone or something we’re not? Those who are perfectly content in their own skin, mind, and habits don’t need a march or constitutional amendment. We don’t need law societies to convince us to sue someone for thinking differently than we do. We do not need another person to accept who we are; we are fulfilled in the presence of self-acceptance.
Never allow someone to tell you how to think and move.
What has happened here? We’ve lost the capacity and freedom to think and live and choose- freely. They tells us to pick sides, agree or die, and we roll over wag our tail and say, “yes, sir.” Without question, common sense, respect, dignity, or rational thought processes. We claim to be free while living imprisoned by false fears, unnecessary tensions, and misplaced guilt and shame for being who we are. I don’t, and won’t, pick a side. I stand for my truth, period.
Confidence in my life choices is peppered with peace and contentment. I pray for everyone to live the same- not by word but in practice. I firmly believe the discourse among differing beliefs comes from those who fear accepting themself for who they are. It is easier to come at other people rather than go at the heart in the mirror.
If acceptance and inclusion are being sold to quietly dismantle free-will and incite discriminatory practices against those who believe differently than you, then we failed. If we aren’t teaching kids to love themself and own their choices in life, we’ve failed. If our only goal is to constantly force them to care about others while disregarding their moral beliefs and personal opinions, we’ve failed. Society can’t grow when being forced to live in another’s truth. If we think this concept is the moral win, we’ve failed.
Maybe this is a confusing topic, but it doesn’t make it mute. I look around today and see the failures of a society that links its existence to these agendas and movements, and our future looks bleak. What is to come of a community of people who follow the trending word of the day? Or the headline of the week? How will our youth ever grow up to be free thinkers when all we do is tell them what to think by force, intimidation and a cancel culture hell bent on making society follow suit.
It looks ugly from my perspective. I pray we will grow awareness to change this trajectory. And may it happen soon.