Talking, writing, blogging, dancing, singing – any way that humans communicate may be elevated to an art form. That’s probably why I’m a big fan of both art and communication. There are so many situations, feelings, experiences, etc., that a single person knkows, and we should celebrate and share these parts of our lives.
Communication is, after all, the primary way we are known, accepted, validated and understood. It’s only natural, then, that we communicate about everything: the things that make us sad, the things that make us angry, the things that make us pay attention, and reevaluate our priorities, and feel thankful for what we have. It’s natural to want to shout at the top of your lungs whether you’ve just gotten fired or just gotten engaged. It’s understandable that you clumsily twist your hips and flex your arms as you try to break it down on the dance floor. It’s fine that you stumble on your words, reach for the right nuance and grasp the wrong tone, fumble the place or syntax or form of a sentence. Because communication may be elevated to an art form, but it’s hard to become an artist, let alone an amazing one.
This brings me to what’s really on my mind: Censorship. I’m not just talking about the government-sponsored, Farenheit 451, thou-art-too-naive/stupid/malleable/easily-influenced-to-read/see/hear/know-this brand of censorship. I’m talking about socially-implemented censorship: not being able to talk about being gay, or being poor, or being happy. I’m talking about having to worry about what people will take you to mean. Because being gay can translate, to some, as being dirty. And being poor, to some, can translate to being lazy. And being happy, to some, can translate to being stupid or lying about your life (because it can’t be that good!), or bragging.
I take issue with censorship, not just on a political level, but on a deeply personal one, too. For that reason, I don’t care how uncomfortable I make you: I will not stop expressing myself. I will not change my style of dress. I will not hush myself. I will not refrain from bubbling over with enthusiasm every time my boyfriend showers me with affection – no matter how often it happens. I will not keep my mouth shut when I’m broke or when my parents are driving me nuts or when my entire world falls apart. I will not miss every opportunity to bring you off your high horse of moral/racial/sexual/gender/class elitism. I. Just. Won’t. Do. It.
I have the right to express myself to the best of my ability. I have the right to decide when to suppress my “wrong” urges. I have the right to live out loud, no matter where I live, what I’m doing, or who is around.
You have the right to be a hater. Because, trust: if you feel the need to censor me, that’s exactly what you are.