Monday, April 29, 2013
Ch 6: Year 2 of college, the transfer and a discussion on making decisions out of fear
Good Evening, afternoon, morning ;),
Going to start today by letting you all know as a disclaimer that everything said in this story is opinion based and based off of my individual experience and how I remember events. While things may be out of order and small details may not be remembered exactly as they happened those small differences are really immaterial to the story and experience of how I discovered the person I am today.
After the summer at home, I applied to colleges closer to home and got early acceptance to a college in Vermont. Of course I went to orientation as a sophomore only to find out that when I arrived they had removed sports management as a major from their curriculum. At this point I decided to go with general business management, I ended up having focuses in Finance and Human Recourses. I was mad at the world after my experience in Michigan and listened to a lot of heavy rock, Disturbed, Metallica, etc.
It was only later that I realized being mad at everyone and everything hurt me more than it would ever hurt anyone else. I kind of removed myself from the world, focusing on my school and work, I was working about thirty two hours a week while taking five or six courses a semester. I took summer courses as well as I lost credit for some of the classes I had taken because the credits didn't transfer and I didn't want to have to finish my bachelors in five years instead of four because of the setback. One thing I have to tell anyone who is looking for colleges out of high school, it's better to do a good job making sure you find a school you want to stay at because the scholarships you are offered right out of high school are a lot better than any packages transfer students get.
In essence I had very little time for anything other than work and school. I played some internet games and got really sucked into playing fantasy characters in fantasy worlds where I could be whoever I wanted to be. I tended to play female characters, and what was better no one in the game knew any different so I was able to live out my female life as if it was an 'alter-ego' and at this point I felt that I really was probably two separate identities in one body. With the female self mostly being locked away to allow the other part of myself deal with the outside world. By focusing on myself and being secluded and playing a fantasy character I was able to look within myself and take the time needed to do some soul searching to figure out who I am.
Now, to start the discussion of what I was beginning to try to figure out within myself I want to take a minute to talk about fear. Fear is a great motivator and for a lot of people the reason they take certain actions. We are afraid of making a bad impression, afraid our friends won't like us, afraid of the horrors in the world and the injustices and possible discrimination we may face. But in the end if we are confident in who we are we should be able to be more successful, more productive, better workers, and happier with ourselves if we can be true to who the real 'Us' is.
Looking back at the workplace, I found another staggering statistic tonight: "Studies show that anywhere from fifteen percent to forty-three percent of gay people have experienced some form of discrimination and harassment at the workplace. Moreover, a staggering ninety percent of transgender workers report some form of harassment or mistreatment on the job. These workplace abuses pose a real and immediate threat to the economic security of gay and transgender workers," (http://www.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/issues/2011/06/pdf/workplace_discrimination.pdf). So now applying this with the suicidal numbers that have occurred, we look at modern day workplace 'bullying.' In elementary school what we have come to know as bullying is a real issue for younger transgender individuals as well. The driver behind these mistreatments usually has something to do with the others insecurity more so than our (transgendered individuals) strength to stand up for themselves.
Those few who still will paint 'gay' or 'fag' or other derogatory remarks on someone's locker, or yell the same comment out of a window when they see someone they view as male wearing pink walking down the street are likely themselves questioning and not secure in their own sexuality. A lot of times we find out later in life that those people who are the biggest homophobes are in fact gay themselves and working through a period of denial and self-doubt that they have yet to realize who they are and instead have to take out their frustrations on others. It is really sad that people like this exist to have to prop oneself up by the misfortunes of others, but by understanding and looking at why these issues occur in the first place perhaps we can work towards reducing their frequency.
to be continued...