The Other Side

It’s officially Christmas season. And no I’m not skipping Thanksgiving. That’s included. What I am doing is mashing the two together to promote the end of 2020. I’m considering bringing out the New Year decorations too. Let’s embrace the last few months of this god-awful year with kindness and grace and a lot of coping mechanisms.

November 4th is right around the corner. We all know what that means. No matter which side wins, it will probably result in some form of rioting, protests, and complaining till January. For those of us that don’t view politics as the only important thing in this season, it’s overwhelming.

On any form social media you will likely find comments such as “they hate republicans” or “they hate democrats”. People painting themselves as victims of the other side’s opinions and biases. We’ve segregated ourselves into “us Vs. Them”. Not only is it sickening to see us hate each other so ferociously, it’s sickening to see the hypocrisy that comes from it. The things said online or in interviews or on blog posts will never be repeated when you’re actually face-to-face with the “other side”.

I have a Black Lives Matter sticker on my toolbox at work. Some of my clients are conservative. They sit down, take a look at my sticker, maybe glare at it, but they won’t say anything. Why? Because people won’t start a fight with someone when they’re face-to-face. They don’t know how that person will react. When we’re online for some reason that changes. No longer do we see those people for who they really are. We see their politics and their opinions.

It’s hard to start a conflict over opinions when you can look someone in the eye and see their humanity. I believe that society hasn’t lost this trait completely. When we see each other truthfully, we understand that difference in opinion exists. We respect their stance no matter if we disagree with it or not.

This has been a really hard lesson for me to learn, especially as part of the LGBT community. I see a conservative and automatically think they’re against me. I would never visit a southern state where the murder rates for LGBT people are the highest. I see southern people as anti-LGBT. But those biases are just that: biases. They’re not centered on truth. I’ve met many great people that are conservative and actually support me. I’ve met southern people that fight for LGBT equality. Even though my biases are still there, I have to remind myself not to group people together. There are conservatives in SoCal just like there are democrats in Alabama. Blue and red states respectively but that doesn’t mean everyone is blue in California and red in Alabama.

My Christmas wish this year is that we all learn to embrace our differences and to stop putting politics above human life. We weren’t created to hate each other. We’re imperfect human beings running our own races in our own time. Our experiences are different, our stories are different. Let’s try to see each other as human before we see their political lines.

And not that you need a reminder to vote but here it is.

Please vote.

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