Creating Change: Uncomfortable in an Awesome Way
Posted by Amanda
January 28, 2013
I don’t want to waste your time telling you all the logistics and happenings that went on during Creating Change 2013 – I want to share with you all about what it did for me and my journey. I want to give a huge shout out to Task Force for putting together such an amazing and inclusive gathering. Every time I attend a social justice conference I experience a level of personal, academic and spiritual growth. I believe that Creating Change took it to the next level. I have never been so uncomfortable and fulfilled at the same time.
It’s hard to explain these feelings to members of a non-activist community because it’s a unique and challenging experience. It’s challenging because even with the best intentions it’s all too easy to lose sight of your privileges and forget to be attentive and aware of everyone’s unique identity which can include their sexuality, gender identity, religious affiliation, race, and anything else that can oppress a part of a global culture that you might not even be aware exists. I’ve stumbled over personal pronouns, names and identities all weekend and not because it’s uncomfortable and out of this heteronormative society that I’m accustomed to, it’s because I am continually in awe of how unique and special everyone has been.
For example, one concept I learned this weekend was that of a person who identifies as “Two-Spirited.” This identity originates from Native American culture and it describes a person who is spiritually both genders. This person fulfills both female and male roles. While I think this is curious and thought-provoking, I find it hard to engage something I don’t understand for myself.
My mind fights my body at night because it is so active and questioning and seeks answers which I cannot answer for myself or even be willing to accept an explanation. For example how can sexual preferences exist in my life when I cannot comprehend what gender really is? How can I justify all the different gender identities while at the same time combatting an oppressive binary existence? How do you accommodate racial exclusive places in a context of equality? I could go on and on with questions that I won’t be able to give you an answer to, but I encourage you to seek these for yourself. My journey didn’t stop when I left that safe space. I’m bringing my thoughts and ideas into more turbulent ground and see what changes I can create.
It’s the name of the game.