So this is my final blog post for the semester, and I think in honor of that I want to do somewhat of a recap. A recap of what I learned and experienced, and the stuff that’ll stay with me long after I leave the course.
Honestly, that really is not possible to cram into this blog post. I could write books about what I’ve gather on my Peers for Pride journey. Instead I will narrow it down to five main points revolving around my gained knowledge and realizations. Here it goes…
1) Language sucks. Omg. I think every time I come out of a PFP class I wonder what words are and why they exist if they are consistently failing us. Thankfully I discovered a decent way to combat how terrible language is. Usually people know the language they like using about themselves and that they like others to use regarding them. If you respect that, and in the end the person and possibly all people, you may just be all right.
2) Checking in is super awkward for me. AND super important. Every class we start off with a “check in.” Everyone in the class goes around and gives their highs and lows of the week, and it really puts things into perspective. Sometimes you are having a rough week and everyone else is doing great. Sometimes you are on top of the world and the atmosphere of the room is sad and glum. Either way, it was one of my favorite things we did. Checking up on each other really brought us closer and work out our rough moments.
3) I’m in a bubble. The people I hang out with are not representative of the entire UT population. Not everyone has the same feelings as me, and not everyone is accepting as me. This seems like a “duh” kind of thing, but trust me. Peers for pride made me realize just how protected I had made myself.
4) Breathing. I learned just how important it is to breath. I’m not talking about the kind we don’t think about that keeps us a love. Well, actually, I am. Sometimes I get lost in my nerves or worries or stressors and my mind loses its focus. Sometimes just taking a deep breath and centering ourselves can do a lot more than we realize. Nifty tool, and sooooo much easier said then done.
5) Be wary of expectations. I can honestly say I don’t really know what I was expecting from PFP, but whatever I had in mind was not the case. The class is not traditionally structured, and that was super beneficial to the learning environment. It was also fun, and I looked forward to every class. Same with my expectations of other classmates and facilitation experiences. I think it is better to just live in the moment than focus too much on how you envision the future to play out. Expectations don’t really get you too far. Peers for Pride really solidified that for me.
Like I said, I could go on forever. Peers for pride was so important for not only my knowledge surrounding the LGBTQ community, but life in general.
I’m really glad I took this class.
-Heath "Thomas-the-choo-choo-train" Fowler