Monday, February 6, 2012

Introduction and on the Emotions of an Ally

     Hey there everyone! I am Juan Carlos Suarez and I am a third year history major with a concentration in African history. As a history major I tend to see things in a historian's lens. For example, I like to find changes in the queer community, how people developed homophobia etc. and understand why; but also as a history student I am able to see how wonderful humans can be but at the same time how terrible they are. I am not trying to sound pessimistic on the contrary I have this unfounded belief in the goodness of individuals and of humankind. That is why I am here: I want to learn more about people and how beautiful and diverse they are. I want to understand the human condition and what it means to be human. But most of all I want to create a better world for a person so important to me that words cannot adequately express them.
     Now that you, the reader, have read my intro you can get a feel of what some of my blog posts might be about: History, self exploration, and the human condition. Although that not might be the case a good heads up of what you might expect is always a good thing :D

     A couple of weeks ago a colleague and I discussed what it meant to be an ally and a few hardships one might go through as an ally. I was surprised that we had gone through mutual hardships and we had the same feelings and thoughts about being an ally. A commonality we both had was a weak sense of alienation and we both felt we might not be able to contribute much. Although I do not want to promote a belief that there is a severely divided queer community but I wanted to share what I felt as an ally and if there is an ally reading this blog post I want to let you know that you are not alone!
     The way I conquered that sense of alienation and self depreciation was through understanding myself and learning about what I can give to the queer community. What helped most of all was being proud of becoming an ally and doing something that would benefit a marginalized community. Another way of getting rid of that weak sense of alienation was through understanding why I felt that way. I quickly realized it was a form of guilt. I felt guilty for not doing much, for not learning about queer issues and guilty for never truly understanding what queer folk will ever feel. Then I felt guilty for feeling guilty. I had an emotional maelstrom brewing inside of me. But I soon came to realize that feeling guilty will not help me be more compassionate and understanding. I later learned that guilt is a form of heterosexual privilege and personally I feel that dwelling in guilty would create more inaction. Although I think feeling guilt is inevitable in some people; being emotional is an intrinsic part of being human. As a matter of fact recognizing my emotions and dealing with them is a form of self exploration and self evaluation that I find necessary to being human.
     I am going through my own journey trying to understanding who I am and what it means to be an ally. For me it has been a wonderful adventure and I know that being an ally will be a significant part of my life. I am grateful to be in Peers for Pride, one of the most beautiful and understanding families anyone can be in.

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