I don’t stand up for myself.
You’re probably thinking I mean I let people walk all over me, I’m quiet, I’m passive, I have no self-respect. And if you know me personally, you’re probably thinking that doesn’t sound much like me.
But there it is: I don’t stand up for myself.
Today I checked on my hotel reservation for PAX.
“Hi Miss Greene, how can I help you?”
Yesterday I had archery lessons.
“She can go first.”
Last week I went shoe shopping.
“You should check the women’s section.”
Recently I made a new acquaintance.
“Girl, you know it!”
I winced every time – visibly cringed – and I kept my mouth shut.
Sometimes, if I’m very lucky, these things happen when I’m with a friend, and the friend says something in my stead. My friends are much braver than I am when it comes to my own existence. Why don’t I make the correction? Because it’s easier. Because it’s less hassle. Because I think I’m inconveniencing people. Because saying something won’t stop them from messing up. Because they won’t get it.
Because I am so, so tired.
My personality on the internet is pretty unapologetically in-your-face queer. I correct people on Twitter or Twitch no problem. I yell about how gay I am for characters of all genders. And as weird as it is to say this, I’ve made a difference by being that way. Every time someone tells me they decided to accept they were queer, or come out, or start living their truth full-time, I’m grateful I could help them get to that point. I’m happy. I’m proud of them. Trans solidarity!
And then I log off.
And I stop speaking up.
I want to be better about letting people know they’ve made an incorrect assumption about me. I want to push society to a point where this isn’t even an issue. I want to stop experiencing a hundred tiny accidental aggressions every day. I want to stop being seen as “she.” But for right now, I don’t say a word.
Will you keep standing up for me when I can’t?