In defense of my existence: We belong and will be heard

6

It has been brought to my attention that I am quite … controversial. In my natural, outspoken state, it seems my mere voice has incensed quite a number of people. Evidently, sharing my experiences as a person of color has appalled white people to the point where they refuse to accept my truth, which is why I will continue to speak out.

It all began the day I was born, really — a natural clown, I’ve always shared my radical thoughts through humor. Since I was a child, I’ve expressed my frustrations through written jokes, and in recent years, I’ve had the misfortune of being able to share them on Twitter.

To those who don’t know me or about me, this column may seem strange. Perhaps your perception of me is that I’m just another silly writer sharing her scattered thoughts — and in that, you’d be correct.

I’m also a lesbian, Mexican woman who has expressed her frustrated feelings online. In my experience, it has become apparent that people of color cannot voice their anger without repercussions. We are not allowed to be anything but civil.

For years, I’ve hurt my own head attempting to sympathize with the people who threaten my human rights. I’ve tried being peaceful, I’ve tried being kind — and quite frankly, it solves nothing. While I am not advocating for war or violence, I am advocating for civil disobedience and yelling and screaming. I’m advocating for discomfort.

The truth is that my voice was ignored until I began being provocative. It wasn’t until I began tweeting my ridiculous jokes and expressing my angry thoughts that my voice became amplified. To be heard in a nation that still upholds white supremacist values, we must be outrageous and we must be unapologetic. No more will we be silenced, and no more will anyone threaten our voices without facing the consequence that is our loudness, our strength and our desire for justice.

The fact that my mere existence has caused controversy is a sign of the ongoing suppression of our voices. Conservatives get to speak with such confidence and boldness, so why can’t we? When my human rights are threatened, it is free speech; when I respond, it is troublesome and unkind of me.

In my short life, countless attempts have been made to intimidate me and to silence me, but I am not of the belief that we have to fight quietly and politely when the very thing we are fighting for is our right to live. I, as a suffering human being, do not have to behave when I have every right to misbehave.

I do, however, believe in kindness towards ourselves and towards our friends. In our fight for social justice, our greatest gift to ourselves is the preservation of our heart and mental health. If you’re tired of fighting, know that in your exhaustion, you are not alone and in your exhaustion you have every right to dwell. While you rest, I am fighting; when I rest, someone else is fighting. That is how it works until the day we die and new people take over.

No matter how alone we may feel, there is always someone there. We are, after all, under the same moon.

I also believe that one day — perhaps not in my lifetime — we will realize that deciding someone like me shouldn’t have a right to live is not a valid political opinion.

I suppose, after all the controversy, people would expect that I would make my Twitter private. In that belief, they are wrong. If you want good content, outspokenness and boldness, follow my twitter @kaylaannpadilla.

6 COMMENTS

  1. “I do, however, believe in kindness towards ourselves and towards our friends.” …. hmmm. Good thing you can be decent to yourself & people you like. That’s not close-minded or problematic at all…

  2. This article would have been more powerful if it were less generalized. Instead of arguing against a straw man who wants to “threaten” your “human rights” and your “right to live,” why not specifically dive into one or more of the individuals or policies with which you disagree? For example, are you against certain immigration policies? Certain rhetoric? Then dissect it. Lay out the other side’s arguments then destroy them with logic, instead of vaguely jabbing at some faceless, nameless enemy.

  3. I don’t see how accepting as our own someone’s truth is obligatory. What we call “our truths” that are different from others’ are actually opinions. It may be helpful to explain what accepting your truth means, and why specifically white people. And maybe further explain “voicing out anger without repercussions”, and defining what those repercussions are, since no matter what people say, people will always be offended, and to offend people isn’t against the law unless people explicitly say death threats or things of the like. Freedom of speech allows us to express these things and respond to what people say, negative or not. To put yourself out there and have your words be open to the public also invites people to respond, negatively or not, and so you shouldn’t blame others for doing so unless they are saying violent threats. And even then, you can block people if they’re harrassing you.
    You can also be angry and civil at the same time.
    And I don’t think anyone would want people to advocate for “yelling and screaming.”
    Also, what human rights of yours are being threatened? And how are they being threatened?
    Your existence isn’t causing controversy, but your words and sctions might. Everyone has different opinions, and it should be okay to disagree with people and have a civilized discussion about these things without yelling or screaming.
    Also, everyone suffers, but that doesn’t mean all of us have “the right to misbehave.”
    Conservatives also speak with such “boldness” because they’re unafraid of their opinions offending people and of people disagreeing with them (at least from my experience). If only everyone can do the same.

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