Dandan, your concern echoes throughout this blog. Bargaining with hetero-normative ideals in exchange for access to power IS "self-serving, exclusionary, and discriminatory." And pressure to do this is extremely effective citing the pattern of compliance thru a variety of movements. So can I play devil’s advocate here?
I learn and see ways that many individuals and small entities make choices and act in ways that are inclusionary and celebrate difference. Can this really happen on a grand scale? I hope. So where is a model for social change that speaks every voice?
I don’t think movements of social change or a shift in collective consciousness—in awareness—can happen overnight. Think of where you were and what you believed ten years ago. Do you see the change in yourself—your growth, your progress—represented in a moment, a lesson? My answer is no. The great strides I have made are seen over the length of a friendship, a journey, or in a thousand single steps. If you had explained to me then, what I know now I wouldn’t have become someone new overnight. My mind needs time to process and normalize at each step. Only now, looking back can I really see and really understand what it took to get from there to here. As finite beings doesn’t it make sense that we need to grapple with parts of a whole truth, little by little, until we can see the forest from the trees? Wouldn’t society work in a similar way? …an entity made up of infinitely more pieces and equally infinite ideas.
I know we learned that progress moves faster on an organizational level. But how can we make perfect progress in an imperfect system? I believe that politics (what makes up movements of social change or the recognizable part) and the business of a country are not about everyone’s truth. It is a game of power and compromise, by definition, and in itself cannot provide the change that we seek. I no longer believe in the power of institution to save the individual it only leaves one vulnerable. Thus, only on a micro (not macro), individual level can we live perfect progress.
I speak from a very privileged space. I cannot possibly represent and understand the experiences of being silenced. I hope to learn new and better ways to talk about progress.