Does self acceptance lead to the acceptance of others?
Now not for a moment am I saying that everyone is naive for that is simply not true but after watching a program last night about the paratrooper who transitioned I had a bit of a think. I have seen in real life and on other programs including that last night an idea that self acceptance will lead to acceptance of others. To some degree that is true however the undercurrent of society is to be concerned about that which is different especially when it is not understood.
Whatever we might like to believe we are not the accepted norm as most choose to see it . We have been suppressed and oppressed in westerm society for millenia. Our primary cultural guide for the vast majority of the time has been monotheistic religious beliefs that are interpretated to require compliance and uniformity. Like it or not this ingrained thought still exists in our cultural subtext.
So I accept myself as a transgender woman, I am actually a subversive in my own minority so in the context of the wider community how could I possibly fit. I have chosen not to have my gender dictated to me by others, well not totally obviously I haven't coined my own title here, none the less I am not engaging in the concept that I must stay in a certain box. With this defiance of the concept of others I must be willing to pay a price.
I would love to believe that everyone would naturally accept my choice but I am far to cynical of human nature to believe that. I know that when I meet people they're going to be pleasant to my face but I expect a certain amount of derision behind my back. That said I have never experienced it I just know and accept that it will be there for in general people are quite childish when confronted with difference. Most people in this situation find great difficulty and start a struggle with themselves as to how they can conform to the veiw of societies norms. This is where the problem lays in my view. Ourself acceptance is not truly complete we culture it to fit with society, we all have truly to experience ourselves not the constructed self the society wants and we can't freely do this because society is yet to change.
From there I see it as my job and the job of everyone like me to act as a conduit of societal change. An educational purpose now exists in my life to shift the concept of normal gender expression, we all find some things strange and that is ok but because it is strange to us it is not automatically wrong. I want a world where people can be naive for it is a different world that is educated and accepting of different people.
There will be no messiah walking through the door to lead us from the darkness into the light, we must be the ones who change the way society is , we must change the future for those who follow and ensure that those who follow don't have to bare the same tragedies and indignities that can be found today.
I am not sure if I stayed on my own train of thought here but in the end if we don't make an effort nothing will change and people will naively believe that they will be accepted if they accept themselves. Only to find out that society is still to wakeup to the fact of their existence. Then the misery will continue for another that is not what I want for those who are sure to follow.