We Day 2013 Vancouver And What I Took From It (not literally omg)
We Day 2013 was inspiring, motivating and above all, electrifying. Truly, the experience is one that can not be retold through words on a screen. However, what I can attempt to describe is the thought process I went through after the Freedom Tour.
Upon reaching home after a crowded skytrain ride and a cramped bus, I was greeted by a text that said, “HOW WAS IT???!!!” This text was sent by a beloved friend of mine who I have always admired and respected, so I am sure that she was taken aback when I replied with, “I need to re-evaluate my life.”
We Day is sneaky. They surround you with amazing people who have done or strive to do amazing things, and I left Rogers Arena thinking about how I’ve spent my entire life up until this point in time doing absolutely nothing. My beloved friend told me to channel this energy towards the Global Issues club that I’m apart of. I felt the need to do something, but I was so afraid that my “do something” attitude would fade and I would forget what it was like to be in an arena full of amazing people.
To put it simply, I just don’t want to do nothing anymore.
I was very tempted to sit back and watch an episode or two of a TV show I’ve been meaning to watch, and to just let the “do something” fade from my mind.
But then my friend told me, “This attitude will only fade if you let it.” She said to keep my convictions strong, to find one cause that I wanted to work towards. Something that I was passionate about, something that brings me to tears and makes me feel empty and sick to my stomach. She said, “Once you find that, you just do it.”
And I thought of something.
Although, when I brought it up with my mom, she dismissed it as a crisis.
So, I’ve found a problem, one that I noticed no one else is bothered by but it makes me uncomfortable. Now I need to figure out a solution.
She asked if I would mind sharing (She’s insatiably curious, you see), and I didn’t mind at all. In fact, I was eager to observe someone’s reaction. Who better to observe than one of my most trusted friends?
I replied with “ ‘Transgender community.’ ” I put that in quotation marks because I don’t believe it’s that simple.
Last year, in my Planning class, we were asked to split into two groups: girls on one side, boys on the other. I’m not sure I entirely know why yet, but it made me really uncomfortable and for a moment I was conflicted. I really wanted to speak up, to say something. But, I didn’t. I kept my mouth shut and it’s haunted me ever since. I might not be able to figure myself out at the ripe age of fifteen-almost-sixteen, but someone else in that classroom might have. Someone else could have been shrinking in their seat a little, just like I was, and was too afraid to say something.
I actually still remember the activity we had to do in those groups. The girls had to list components of the perfect guy and the boys vice versa. Don’t tell me you don’t find that to be a disturbing and degrading activity. The purpose of it was to shame the boys when the first traits on their list were all to do with physical appearance and to praise the girls when the first item on the list was intelligence.
Oh, but that wasn’t even the worst part. I was the one in charge of writing down the traits when the girl’s group shouted them all out. The first thing I heard was “He has to be tall” “And hot, too” So newsflash, Ms. H, all human beings are capable of being shallow.
My point is, I want to make my school (and all schools), a comfortable environment where speaking up can be a lot easier. How do I plan to reach this goal? Well, I’m working on it, my plan’s not perfect, and to be honest it’s a little half-baked, but I’m willing to try.
Then I thought, would anyone be willing to listen if I had something to say? What if they just brush it off and pretend it’s no big deal?
Well, my friend said, “Who cares if they brush it off?” And I realized that she’s right.
And I decided that I will speak until someone tells me I’m insane, then I’ll start to shout. “If they scream at you, you scream at them louder,” She said. I’ll scream and scream until I’m blue in the face because maybe, just maybe, one person will hear my shouts and will join in with me. And even if they don’t, I’ll be screaming for myself, to make speaking up easier for myself if everyone else looks the other way and pretends they don’t feel the same.
Honestly, I don’t know if I’m transgender or not but I don’t think it should matter if I am because I’m a lot of great things and defining me in one word is hard but that one word definitely isn’t limited to “Girl” (or “Boy”)
I’m excited to make some progress about something that’s been eating away at me for such a long time, and I would love to have support of others If anyone would like to pitch ideas you are more than welcome to share them, and it’s up to you if you’d like to receive credit or remain anonymous for your idea, no matter how small or insignificant you think your idea might be.