I’ve dedicated my life to progressing social justice, in the hopes that one day we can have a society that is equitable for all. I have a lot of reasons for doing this, but there are just as many reasons why it might be viewed that I shouldn’t.
As a white, straight, non-disabled, post-grad educated, man, most of the injustices in society actually work in my favor. All of the privileges I talk about levying are privileges I can access. I can go where I want, live where I want, love who I want, and be without fear for my health, worries of employment, or restrictions of rights. And I want to change that?!
What’s worse: this life I’ve chosen is one that’s placed me well below the poverty line. I work hard, work a lot, and barely make rent and bills each month. Choosing to do this instead of taking an executive job, being a web designer, or – hell – even a server, I’m placing myself in a targeted group devoid of the privileges of health care and guaranteed food/shelter each month. This is a background I’m familiar with, and as such I don’t have any semblance of a “safety net” to catch me.
So there’re plenty of reasons I shouldn’t be in this line of work, writing for this website and performing my show. So why do I do it?
One reason is because of comments like the one below (originally posted here) from Rick:
You call yourself an advocate for social justice, when really you’re only a self-serving homosexual only interested in furthering his own agenda. Of course you don’t care about religious, racial, or class issues because as a privileged white kid who feels alienated, you have to direct all of your efforts to a non-issue. Boycotting marriage? OK great, check that one off the list. Now what else is it that you’re advocating? I’m at a loss here. Looking at the title “It’s Pronounced Metrosexual” really seems to imply that that’s what you are, a metrosexual. When really you’re just detracting from those that are metrosexual because its quite evident that you’re gay. If I were a straight guy who made a little site called “It’s Pronounced Homosexual” I’m sure I’d get all sorts of flack. So keep endorsing that double standard, it’s what you do best.
I didn’t feel like responding to Rick (if that is his real name, which I doubt!) directly with this, because there are some people on the interwebs who aren’t worth the time (they’re called trolls, and not the pink-haired kind with gemstone belly buttons). But I felt the need to respond in general to the Ricks of the world. Let’s break this down.
“You call yourself an advocate for social justice,” (yep, I do!) “when really you’re only a self-serving homosexual only interested in furthering his own agenda.” Whoa now. That got dark fast. First off, no. Secondly, even if yes, would that really preclude me from being an advocate for social justice? Can gay men not fight for their own rights? That seems odd, and somehow unjust.
“Of course you don’t care about religious, racial, or class issues,” (do so!) “because as a privileged white kid who feels alienated, you have to direct all your efforts to a non-issue.” Wow. Okay. I’m definitely a privileged white kid, and sometimes I do feel alienated, but did you just call equity for people of diverse sexualities and genders a non-issue? Your true colors are starting to show here, Rick (if that is your real name, which I doubt!).
“Boycotting marriage? OK great, check that one off the list.” Checked.
“Now what else is it that you’re advocating? I’m at a loss here.” I call it equality. Or, as you called it, a “non-issue.”
“Looking at the title “It’s Pronounced Metrosexual” really seems to imply that that’s what you are, a metrosexual.” (“imply” is a weird word choice, I would have gone with “overtly state”), “when really you’re just detracting from those that are metrosexual because its quite evident that you’re gay.” Two things here. One, don’t you dare question my allegiance to my metro brethren. And two, where’s this evidence? Have you seen that tape? Nobody was supposed to see that tape.
“If I were a straight guy who made a little site called “It’s Pronounced Homosexual” I’m sure I’d get all sorts of flack.” I think that site already exists.
“So keep endorsing that double standard, it’s what you do best.” I’m really confused at this point, but I’m not the type to look a gift horse in the mouth, so thanks for the compliment, Rick. You’re really a sweetheart underneath all of this misplaced aggression, aren’t ya?
Why do I do what I do?
I write for this site to provide resources, support, education, and encouragement to all those who want for a society where who one loves doesn’t dictate how they will be treated. I perform my show around the country to introduce young people to the idea that we don’t live in a just society (in many cases this is news), and to explain to them the importance of living in a way that promotes social justice. I do what I do because I’m not comfortable living in a society where people like Rick make the laws and enforce them. And I want to do everything I can to transfer that power into the hands of people who care more about other people, and less of themselves.