Thanks for reading and affirming, James. And, that sucks.

Until I experienced that kind of power-stealing--as the norm--I had no idea what it felt like to be marginalized--for instance, what it's like to be an immigrant and all your life experience is discarded. Or enduring hypermasculinist white rural cultures as LGBTQIAA folx and BIPOC. Like slow water torture.

Those who have never experienced it (most straight white men, for instance) always think they would have done the interactions differently--they would have been included, liked, allowed access. I used to think exactly the same way when I'd hear people talk about microaggressions: it was a shortcoming on their part, probably. Was I ever fucking wrong. I didn't move there to make friends, but I sure didn't think I'd landed in a culture where the interpersonal (relational) goo was so toxic and thick as to actually slow, stagger, or stop dead my forward momentum.

I found out I had no control--even with the considerable communication skills I brought to the table--if other humans chose to make me disappear. I found that neither people or power exist without reflection back.

I've developed an even deeper respect for folx like you who endure those conditions daily. My work is for people like you I met in Southern Oregon. I'm so happy you found it useful, and thanks for letting me know :)

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A San Francisco independent researcher, creative, and cultural worker. Content developer for The Relational Democracy Project. (relationaldemocracy@gmail.com)

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