I respect your views by Dhonkeyo Kajuru

First published in The Laadheenee Digest #02

You tell me you’re progressive, because you “like” all the right statuses and post all the right comments and yet when I told you about my girlfriend, I saw you pause before you smiled and told me you were happy for me.

You tell me you don’t judge, but when she told you her dead name, you told me she’s a mutant, you told me it’s mutilation, you tell me it’s wrong and yet when it’s a brand you’re buying into, it’s all okay.

Because “homophobia” is just a buzzword, because being transphobic isn’t a thing, because to you, you are born right and anything else is wrong. Because you’ve read the book and you are enlightened, you have seen, you’ve admired a girl in a movie, right? So really you get it too.

You tell me, “I respect your views”, when I tell you I’m pan. As if feeling the way I do is a choice. As if I decided one day to put on my sexuality the way I chose to put on a shirt. As if my body, my mind, is an opinion that I should keep silent for your benefit. As if what you’re denying is not as much a part of me as the colour of my skin. As if by saying you’re progressive, your words will no longer hurt, will no longer pierce through me like arrows.

This—

This is not an opinion. This is not a choice and it is not easy. It is not a trend that I picked up the way I learned to wing my eyeliner, and this is not something I should have to break down for you to understand.

Because I am not asking for your permission, I am not asking for your okay and I’m not asking to be your token gay friend so you can use me as an example of how 21st century you are.

And my only opinion?

Is that you’re a bitch, because I should not have to make concessions, and I should not have to apologise so you can gloss over the fact that what like is what you don’t.

See, I don’t need you to respect my “views”. I just need you to respect me. Because this is a part of who I am, the way I will always have brown eyes, because if you can’t, you’re not enlightened, you are not an ally and you are not the vision of modern day acceptance.

All you are is just a petty hypocrite. 

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