Earthly Concepts

Proud to be yourself

Yesterday, I saw an article on Facebook that Tim Cook came out to the public and announced that he is proud to be gay. In response, I rhetorically asked why he would be proud to be a certain sexual orientation. The most common answer from other people were that gay people have been discriminated against, therefore it is brave of someone to come out to the world that s/he is gay. With that logic, that means anyone can be proud of a particular trait if that trait has been discriminated against.

Growing up, I was taught that one should be proud of oneself for the achievements they acquired, so long as those achievements came through honesty and hard work. I was never taught that all I have to be is of Chinese descent, be a certain sexual orientation, have a particular skin tone, nor be a specific nationality to be proud.

In my world view, one can say s/he is proud…

…to have ran the half marathon and completed it.
…to have stood up for him/herself in the face of discrimination, to show others that things can be done when people unite.
…to have worked hard and became a Directing Manager at XYZ company.
…to have cycled across Canada within three months.
…to get top of the class after studying hard and doing all of their homework.
…for overcoming his/her fear of water and learned how to swim.
…to be a Canadian soldier that saw the world and helped many people.
…to have become a doctor and help the sick.
…to have become a scientist that helped find the cure for AIDs.
…to get the courage finally come out to the world that they are gay and give indirect support to others whom are also struggling.

However, I cannot for the life of me understand the logic when people could be proud because…

…they are Chinese.
…they are Japanese.
…they are Pagan.
…they are Christian.
…they are Hindu.
…they are bisexual.
…they are atheist.
…they are gay.

In fact, I have been discriminated for being Chinese. People have told me to go back to my country, even made fun of my slanted eyes and the tone of my skin. I’ve had people of a different culture try to mimic my language, “Ching chong bing bong!”

In many of those scenarios, I stood up for myself. I stood my ground and when others were picked on, I stood with those who were picked on. I could say I was proud to have stood with those whom were picked on, but I could not say I was proud because I am Chinese. Why would I be proud just because I am of Chinese ethnicity? Why would I be proud of a trait that I never acquired, nor achieved? It is a trait that I was either born with or a collective of people that I joined with no effort on my part.

It may take effort and courage to come out publicly and one can be proud of that, but it takes no effort nor courage to be what you are. So don’t say you’re proud to be gay. Say that you are proud to have gained the courage to come out publicly to show support to others whom are also struggling.

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Disclaimer

Leemanism is about my views, my thoughts, and my feelings with as little filtering as possible. These concepts are not reflected in the people I value and are associated with. People who accept me, adhere to the parts where we are compatible and tolerate the parts where we are not. So however people perceive me to be, ultimately it obviously doesn't mean the friends I mention in this blog are the same as me. It means it's possible they are similar or the same, as well as different than me. It is highly unusual for people to be completely compatible with each other.

With that out of the way, and to make things clear, I never said I am a good person, nor am I trying to be one, though I would rather live with the empathetic than with the cruel. I would not deliberately do harm. I rather stand up against injustice than to pretend it doesn't exist. However, I understand consequences. The police is there to enforce the law, but not deter crimes from happening. Which means people must do what they must do to protect themselves, before the law of the land takes over and even then, the law of the land isn't there to protect you. It's there to protect the general consensus. Even if you may be right, society may deem you wrong - even most of your friends may side with society, than protect you. The law will almost always side with society.

We are few. Stay safe. (•̀ᵥᵥ•́)