Hiding

As I continue on my journey of life I feel like I am starting to come out of hiding. Maybe this is what real “growing up” feels like. Maybe being 30 is the shit.

As a child I adopted this hiding thing when I didn’t want to feel my own emotions or those of my family. I would go into my room, lock the door and listen to the positive tunes of Hanson. Sometimes I would write my own music, always starting with lyrics, probably as a way to process the words I was hearing from myself and others. Looking back at these early works, hiding and not feeling heard was a theme.

At other times I would hide in the corner of my closet, carefully hidden behind clothes, hoping for someone to come find me even though I made sure I was so well hidden. I wanted to be alone so I could process my emotions, but I wanted to be found because I wanted to be heard. It was a double edged sword.

As I started entering “adulthood” I believe I got trapped in metaphorical closets of the mind. I was simultaneously starting to experience the serious pain of Endometriosis. I wanted more than ever to be seen and heard, because I didn’t want to be in pain.

There were quite a few closets in my mind. But I told myself I would only be stuck in them temporarily. I was working on that music career while I nannyed for the kid with the crazy mom. I was just surviving. Waiting for someone to listen to me; to come find me. I did that for about a decade.

But all along that person who I needed to listen, who I needed to look for me, has had to be me. I have to open those closet doors. I have to walk out alone.

Human

On my recent travels I found myself at an airport. After the TSA agent looked at my license for a little longer than usual and commented that “hairstyles change so fast these days”, I was granted access to the vulnerable, makes-everyone-feel-like-they’re-a-criminal shit show that is security.

I was behind a woman with skin just a bit darker than mine; hair just a bit darker than mine. She went through the machine that is probably giving us all cancer while the TSA agents ogle at our naked bodies, and was then told to wait. She was taken aside by a (white) female agent and patted down completely, all the way to her god-damned ankles, checking her socks. 

Watching this as I waited my turn alarmed me. Going through security always makes me a bit uncomfortable, but I’ve never had a single problem and I know it’s because of the color of my skin. I think that’s what makes me uncomfortable; watching others be treated like they are less-than because they are not white.

My turn comes and they tell me (aka ma’am) to move my hair from the side to the back. Duh, my braided hair is where I’ve stashed all the drugs I’m trying to smuggle. 

I step out of the machine, a (white) male agent takes one look at the screen, and says I’m good to go. No pat down by the (white) female officer, no suspicion. My screening took at least a minute less than the woman in front of me.

This is but a small example of the racism and fear of “other” that is very present in the United States and is for some fucking reason accepted, with heads down, by society. 

We are all immigrants (unless you are Native American). How has this simple fact been missed? 

We are all human (unless you are a Cyberman from Doctor Who). How has this simple fact been missed?

United States of America, we need to get our shit together.