So when I was younger, o so much younger than today, and fresh from a Catholic boarding school I was pretty much what you would have expected from a Pakeha middle class lad. Luckily for me the misogyny, racism and homophobia weren’t so ingrained that I haven’t managed to work myself mostly away from them. I think now that everyone has a level of inbuilt bigotry in them that will never go away – the task is to recognize that and actively work against it.
Twitter has been a great tool for that, and I have found myself more able to recognize and put a check on inbuilt reactions based on that conditioned bigotry. Due to my interactions with the lovely folk on twitter I have grown so much more in that journey to be a better person.
One of the areas that I have a much greater awareness is around gender and sexuality. When I left boarding school I was fairly homophobic. The only saving grace I had was a libertarian intellectual idea that basically what folks did was there own business. However I still had that bigoted Conservative school boy view of being gay. Over time the libertarian view over came the conservative and morphed into a more liberal progressive stance. Personally I have become more sure of myself, and I think if looking at sexuality on a scale from gay to straight I’m fairly solidly on towards the straight end. I had come to consider myself a quiet supportive ally.
Having a Transgender daughter has really opened my eyes to the implicit and unthinking bigotry that infects our world. It seems a shame to me that it often takes that personal connection to wake one up to this. But there really is a difference from a cold intellectual awareness of an issue and the hot, personal knowledge of the direct consequences. I have found myself being less quiet and more vocal especially in light of what is happening in the world.
I really appreciate the help I have received on this journey, not that a younger me would have said I needed help. And I appreciate the help I will get as I continue grow.