In my tiny town, you don’t have to look far to find the differences in people. It’s also not difficult to see the similarities, but I have been conditioned to see what makes someone unique first. As I sat at the Market Place surrounded by a mixture of races, ages, students, and town folks. I could tell by the facial expressions which ones wanted to be there and which ones were getting extra credit. I also noticed the lesbian sitting beside me and how we both had on stereotypical garb and tiny black journals. It’s what I like to call “Tools in your Lesbian starter pack”
The poet covered all the bases from his childhood to Syrian refugees. He covered racial issues and he said something that I’m glad of. He said I am going to try to read this poem and explain my point of view coming from a place of white privilege. That’s a hard thing to admit, but for me it felt like it gave me permission to talk openly about race without the feeling of “how would she know” I may not know, but I do sympathize and I see what is happening in the world and I don’t agree and I may come from a ankle deep pool of diversity, but Appalachians are categorized in terms of status. I see it all the time and I live that life daily. I thank him for being vulnerable and reminding me that it’s okay. I had forgotten what it meant to be transparent and open about things that bring me true joy and things that make me angry. I don’t know where along the lines I made the subconscious choice to be a 1950’s housewife with no regard for my own feelings. I also want to thank the little baby who sat in front of me that made me laugh at her giggles. This is a continuing my journey of firsts.
Here’s to the rest of the firsts throughout my lifetime.