this morning, someone boosted a post by Andrew Stroehlein, the European Media and Editorial Director of the Human Rights Watch:

Why are some people proud of things like their nationality or religion when it’s just an accident of birth? I can understand being proud of something you’ve personally accomplished. But being proud of something you had no control over? It’s like being proud that it rained today.


it’s seldom that I encounter a post that makes me want to punch its author in the throat, but here we are. so, let me break this down.

everyone has characteristics that they were born with: their skin colour, their ability to hear, their place of origin, etc. these things are typically immutable: we can’t change them.

so why does that matter? why do we have pride in the things about ourselves that we can’t change?

it’s quite simple, really: if I am not proud of who and what I am, someone can turn those immutable things into reasons to shame me. reasons to hurt me. reasons to kill me. reasons to do those things without consequence.

and the only way to take that power away is to declare that, no, my deafblindness is not something to be ashamed of. my autism is not something to be ashamed of. I am not afraid of being fat. I am not going to let some fascist turn my Jewishness, however tenuous, into a reason that they should be free to attack or kill me without consequences.

that is why I am proud of the things I cannot control. because to be otherwise is to allow other people to have power over me.

so here I stand. I am not afraid to be myself.

happy priDE MONth.