“Fernanda…chill out! The world is never going to change; the human being is evil by nature”.
That was my everyday life back in Mexico. Perhaps, I wouldn’t listen to that with my closest friends because they knew that I was in the “changing the world” sector; but it seemed like everybody else was EXTREMELY committed to show me how everything I was doing for society, was pointless.
I believe, it takes a lot of courage to see the world as it’s supposed to be, and not as it is, especially in conservative fearful societies like the one that I lived in; and, I do mean fearful because, there comes a time when you have gotten so used to live under one schema that when the song changes, you don´t know how to dance to it. People who came before us, set up a pattern to live by; certain values, beliefs, and waaaaaaaay too many double standards, that this new generations are willing to change. But here´s the tricky question: How do you change it if new generations are imprinted with that fear as well? What to do when you’re having dinner with your friends, and one of them is so devoted to religion that if you bring up the LGBT topic, world war 3 may start? How do you make society dance to a Michael Jackson song, when they’re too comfortable sitting down without moving? For example, I was talking to my brother, and I asked him: Have you ever felt like you need to reinforce your masculinity by proving that you do ´manly´ stuff, like, watching soccer or calling other men “fags”? He answered: Yes, I have.
For the last month, I’ve been surrounded by people who call things out. I’ve been to diplomatic dinners,where everything, and everyone is politically correct; I’ve been to informal gatherings where people are bringing about ‘sensitive’ topics, and take a stand on them; and that’s what I want to see in my country: Straight forward people that are not afraid to call things by their name; people that won’t give opinions out of peer pressure, people that understand how we all have more things in common than more things that makes us different. Now, I get it, it’s D.C.! Some sort of ‘paradise’, where most people are progressive, and actually live the benefits of having an inclusive society, in every way. However, it wasn’t like this all the time; it took time to evolve and develop people’s points of view. Therefore, I understood that in order for me to see this kind of society in my country, I’m the one who needs to start building it. I don’t want my brothers to keep growing up in an environment that they feel like they need to behave in a certain way to fit in, just to prove themselves ‘men enough’ in their social lives. It may be my background, too; but living in D.C. has empowered me (more) to not just nod my head, and agree when hate speech is brought up at the table. I’m not seeking to get into a fight, neither; but I do refuse to keep sugar coating people who always go by: “It’s just my opinion”, because opinions hurt, and CAN be harmful for others.
Washington, D.C., has made me lost my chill, and become “less tolerant”…and I believe that’s a great thing.