There’s no denying the fact that I carry a lot of labels. Female, British, Queer, Disabled… To name but a few. All of these elements of my identity are important to me because they describe my experiences thus far.
I like to think of these labels as a way to unify people. Or, if a certain label that I carry does not match one that someone else has, then I use that as a chance to educate myself on what their label has meant to them; what that person has experienced that I, perhaps, have not myself. Not to do so would be to sow the seeds of xenophobia. It would mean building an invisible wall between us and refusing to find middle ground.
Sometimes, we come across people who seem to exist as our opposite. Maybe they are opposed to many of the things you champion. Maybe they are from a different culture or religion than you. This should not be an impossible obstacle to overcome because there is always one commonality between us all. We are all human; all with complex emotions. Living in a world that we interpret based almost solely on social interaction. We need each other.
I value my humanity above all over parts of myself. Creed, colour, sexuality and the like could never deter me from the innate drive to gift acceptance, compassion and kindness to all others.
As the leaders of several nations – belonging to many religions and races – begin to unravel this world’s rich tapestry of diversity. As they fight to reverse the wheel of progress so that we may go backwards, I believe that many other people feel as I do now:
“United we stand, divided we fall.”
I hope that humanity won’t stand idly by as our bonds are broken. The world deserves better than that – we all deserve better than that.