Thursday, January 13, 2011

What's Become of This World?

Victor is an undergrad linguistics major who is trying to love himself and everyone else in the world. He chose his pseudonym to remind himself that he can emerge victorious over ignorance, oppression, and privilege.


I was born and raised in New England. I am now going to university here. I have spent three semesters here, but I have a semester’s worth of extra credits due to AP credits and a class I took over the summer. I try to keep up with social justice in the world, as that is one of my passions. I try to vote for everyone’s rights. But I’m mostly interested in my studies. I have a goal of becoming a professor in linguistics and then continuing to study different fields. On my current list: History, Physics, Psychology, and Math. I really, really love learning. So I have always intended to strive for a full, four-year undergraduateship if I can manage the cost. I have confidence that I can manage the cost.

But recently I’ve had an odd feeling about staying for 4 years. I wasn’t quite sure why. But last week, when class registration was happening, I became super-insistent that I arrange my schedule to get the most in in the fastest time possible without overstressing myself. I suddenly needed to be able to graduate in December 2012. And I realized why. I was feeling unsafe in this country.

In order to let y’all know exactly where I stand, I’ll give a comprehensive list of my various identity bits. I am male, socialized female, transsexual, white, temporarily able-bodied, heavily reliant on contacts and sunglasses, ambisexualish, dignosed with anxiety, OCD, and depression, universist, American by birth, Anglophile by persuasion, French-Canadien by ethnicity, raised middle class, family-less, poor by circumstance, fat, pro-life, pro-choice, womanist, ally, contrary, pacifist, and, above all, a linguist.

But what I know is important to my identity and what bits of my identity is important to others are very, very different. And I am afraid of the way this country is headed. I am not a proud American. And with how this shit has been going, I don’t want to be American anymore. People go on and on about how I’m ungrateful about my rights. I am not ungrateful for them, but I can’t help but look to other countries and see better rights in some of them.

And I’m afraid. I see Roe vs. Wade being chipped away at. I would not want to face the choices that women with unplanned pregnancies have to. I see the pain and horror that others go through. I have gone through some of those horrors myself. I do not want to be alarmist, but I feel like Martin Niemöller in his quote:

“When they came for the Jews, I did nothing, for I am not a Jew. When they came for the Socialists, I did nothing, for I am not a Socialist. When they came for the labor leaders, the homosexuals, the gypsies, I did nothing, for I am none of these, and when they came for me, I was alone, there was no one to stand up for me.”

I feel the need to stand up for others, but at the same time, I am unsafe because I am in danger. I feel like I fit into the metaphoric categories of Jews, Socialists, or Roma. Again, I don’t want to be alarmist, but I felt threatened enough that I changed my schedule so that I could graduate and move on in a new country before the new set of elected officials come to power if it came down to that.

What’s become of the world?