I wish I can say, I’m accepted by all my communities unconditionally, but this isn’t true. I'd be lying. There is a level of truth each of my communities can deal with. I’m not enough in their eyes to lay claim to that identity, wholly. Just not enough. Their judgement.
I’m given the meek, uh-huh. The look of contempt when I speak out of turn or don't sound like them. I’m given a disapproving look when I don’t agree unconditionally to all the politics and ideas of each of my communities.
What happens to me then?
I learn to silence my voice. I don’t talk openly about what I think and believe. I take my fractured self about in the world and find respite when I can. Some part of me finds company. The part of me that meets the conditions of the people I surround myself with at a given moment.
There are times when my many selves fights amongst each other. Different ideas at war. Different ideologies converge. Different value systems want recognition. Each nomenclature dissected and discerned.
I yield to what is most salient at that moment and time. Which one of my identities will afford me a moment of respite and fulfillment? Which can be affirmed? Which can know completion? Shifting and changing identities that are sorted by my physical nature, psychological well being, structural manifestation, spiritual embodiment...
That’s what I know…
I’m a complicated human being living a complicated life. Weaving together the tapestry of my identities. Each identity telling a story about my life-I lived, the life-I live, the life-I hope to live.
Am I lying?
Not at all. I bring to the table the part of me that people can relate to. I hold back the differences so I can be safe. I hold onto them to keep my fear at bay.
What people relate to is this...I'm no different than them.
I yearn to be loved. I yearn to be accepted. I hurt. I feel pain. I know disappointment. I am hopeful to find a place and time when I do not have to edit myself accordingly. A place where I can be fully me.
Until then, I’ve learned to live in a strangers land. I enjoy the company of strangers. I can bear witness to their journey. I can savor the moments of joy when they come. I laugh until my side hurts. I have learned to live amongst strangers.
At least, that’s what I know…