Once again, the 24-hour rule brought clarity and a more focused sense of purpose for this post. Yesterday at this time, I was managing a mixture of emotions which included shock, sadness, and frustration. We were on the eve of May 17, International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia and I found myself navigating emails and phone calls from community members. Some of the communication was information gathering. They were wondering how we were going to celebrate this day whose focus was to recognize hate against marginalized individuals. I love that our community feels comfortable enough to call and seek clarification and my hope was that our explanation led to families feeling assured that our messaging was going to be one of love, unity, diversity, and inclusion, which are the core values that we weave into our learning activities on a regular basis. But some of the communication was less about gathering information and more about dictating what we could and could not expose their children to. Hence my dive into a narrative wherein most of my sentences started with, “How could they……, Really? We are not trusted??……, With all that we’ve done in terms of cultural celebrations/education….” Upon reflection/rereading and 24 hours, I determined that this narrative was not going to bring about change and hence it will live in my drafts for a very long time.
My mistake in all of this was that I was taking this personally. It wasn’t until I received a text message from a staff member tonight, thanking me for how we handled the day, that I realized that this should never have been about my personal feelings.
This staff member captured it beautifully when they shared how difficult today was knowing how much they love their students but that some of their families hate people like them and are intentionally passing on that hate to children. They were also disappointed (as were all of us) that so many families decided to keep their children home today.
I was so wrapped up in my own emotions about the families who were condoning homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia, that I didn’t place my energy where it needed to be ~ on those who needed my extra love and compassion. Today was a day for them to feel heard and seen and for the rest of us to recognize that they live each day knowing that someone hates them, based solely on who they choose to love.
I may not be able to impact the views/believes of all of our families, but today was a good lesson about where best to focus my love!