What makes something brave? Is bravery in the action, or in the intent behind the action? I don’t think I’m brave. I’m white and attractive and middle-class. My parents loved me and I have no student loan debt. Anything else about me – my queerness, my spirituality, my chronic illnesses both physical and mental – is invisible, or at least easily hidden. And yet, I have been called brave. Why? Is it brave to live your life honestly? Is it brave to let the secrets inside shine through your eyes and your mouth like a lantern in the dark? I couldn’t live any other way. I am stubborn, oblivious, dancing to my own drum and completely forgetting others can’t hear it. Does that make me brave? I’m not open about my quirks only because I want to expand closed minds; I’m open about my quirks because I don’t know how to hide them. I forget some people even expect me to, that not everyone embraces the individuality of those drums. Being vocal, political, radical, it’s just in my blood and body and soul. I defend my community with tooth and claw because that’s who I am, and I walk my own path regardless of the obstacles standing in the road. So is that brave? It doesn’t feel brave. It just feels honest.

10 thoughts on “#1764

  1. You don’t see it as brave because it is an integral part of you. But for so many who live in fear of being misunderstood or judged, you are in fact a superhero.

  2. I’m much the same way. There’s one or two things I’m hiding, but for the most part, I’m an open book. What you see is what you get. I was raised to be honest to a fault. Sometimes it bugs my husband, who doesn’t think I should share as much as I do with my friends, for instance. But letting people in is all about being honest, in my opinion. Before I started my blog, I was out as a Kemetic on Facebook; I choose to share with the people I’m close to. I guess it’s not for everybody. :)

    • My girlfriend is honest to a fault as well. Between her honesty and my inability to recognize what’s “TMI”, we must be terrible at dinner parties. ;)

      Thank you for sharing. <3

  3. You’re an honestly brave person ;) :P There are a lot of cowards in the world and for them, what you find honest is seen as bravery, in my opinion. This is a thought provoking post, can’t wait to read more :)

    – Michelle

  4. This def resonates for me. I have had many people tell me how brave I am (the word they are looking for is courageous, but anyway) for what I do and how I live. I love the look of confusion on their faces when I tell them, “This isn’t brave, it’s completely *selfish*. Brave people act to benefit others often at their own expense. What I do, I do for *my* benefit – I do this because I need this to *survive*.”

    Sure, there is the knock on effect of helping others, and I have stepped up to actively do what I can to use my trans / non-binary life to educate and help others. But at the end of the day, this is all about me, first and foremost.

    • Exactly. It feels weird to think that the way I live, which is ultimately just living true to myself, is seen as some big accomplishment. I don’t think I could live any other way anyway.

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