So I wasn’t sure if I ever wanted to share this experience. I have rewritten this post quite a few times because I want to project my feelings in the truest and most educative way as possible. But as I continuously kept on redrafting this post and put off publishing it publicly, I just thought to myself ‘be real with it’. It’s something that when I think or talk about it, it makes me uneasy and just floods me with negative emotions. But I think I wouldn’t be doing myself justice if I didn’t. It taught me so much about the importance of knowing who you are as a person and what you stand for. I think now I kind of have to write about it because if this didn’t happen then The Scripted Diary would’ve never been created. Before I go into this post, I hope you all have checked out my last post on the ‘5 things you can learn from Lionheart’.
So yeah let’s get into my ‘tell all’. Let’s pretend this is the Red Table Talk, I’m playing the role of both Jordyn Woods and Jada Pinkett Smith. I’m telling my story and giving advice too. This is my raw and real emotions on how I felt about this whole experience, keyword ‘I’. It’s not bashing anyone.
So about 3 years ago I had a blog, a very educative blog called naomijspeaks. I was writing on deep and raw issues, motivational pieces, things that people really didn’t open their mouth to say (and that’s not in a bad way). I wrote about the whole transgender-toilet debate and challenged the thought process behind it. I challenged what was to be, should I say an ‘upcoming status quo’. I was looking for DIFFERENT thought processes on it. It was a post that was encouraged for anyone to comment on, whether it was opposite to my mine in which sensible people did. Looking back I’ve realised that we live in a world where challenging = disagree or against. In some aspects it can and in some it can mean simply mean learning and having a honest conversation. My whole blog was the latter.
I was labelled straight away nofullstopnocomma.
Labelled as homophobic and transphobic by a group of people who were immature at the time (I’d like to think that they are not anymore because people change and grow) . I really don’t know why I was labelled as homophobic too, they couldn’t even stick to one but oh well I guess that’s what boredom does.
I was starting a new chapter in my life – university. Now some of these people were people I was sharing a roof with. We had all just started this new journey and like you do, you add people on social media (in this case Facebook) to get to know them more and communicate. These people had stumbled upon the blog post that I had written on the transgender-toilet debate (which was lovely click bait I must say) and concluded I was transphobic.
All of this had happened within the first few days of freshers week…if only they knew the kind of person I was (nowhere near to what they labelled me as). Now to come into a setting like university where you’re away from home and now being in close proximity with people you barely know it can be quite uncomfortable. I’m the type of person to watch from a distance when I first meet people rather than jump into being your friend. The funny thing about this whole experience is that these people, did not read the post. LOL I could tell because they couldn’t provide me with a solid argument as to why what I was saying was discriminatory. It was much easier to gossip and jump on a hate bandwagon against Nao (my nickname).
My biggest regret is that from when I knew that what I had written wasn’t understood for what it really was, I should’ve just shut my mind to any comments against it. But I was young, I had never really experienced something like that so at the same time I let myself off for that.
Oh and let’s not forget I was bullied too.
Writing this right now feels like a breath of fresh air because I am not in that mental or physical space anymore. I don’t interact with them no more. I had forgiven them long time ago not because they were important to me but because of my own peace of mind. There was no point in me drinking their poison and then waiting for them to die, it doesn’t work like that. (hopefully this doesn’t get misinterpreted as me being a murderer LOL).
I was the only black person amongst them and not once did I think these white people were racist. I guess it’s because I wasn’t shallow minded and my thought process wasn’t and isn’t like that. Like I said, I just saw them as immature nothing else . I had explained myself once but that didn’t do anything. They had made up their mind on the picture they wanted to paint of me. Who was I to take the paint brush from them?
Looking back the only thing I would say is the colour of my skin and my gender subconsciously might’ve played a part in how they chose to see me, I don’t know. Now this is not me playing the victim role, this is me knowing how people can put together a narrative in this crazy world we live in. If I was different, would they have had the same energy? I will never know.
It was not a platform for any kind of discrimination. (ABEG)
Makes me think if they were so ‘socially conscious’ why didn’t they make remarks on my depiction of Africa post or my motivational posts. Why couldn’t they educate me or provide me with a different way of thinking in regards to my post…empty barrels make the loudest noise. In my post I didn’t bash transgender people, I didn’t have to. If I was truly transphobic, why would I pretend not to be?
I wasn’t given the benefit of the doubt. I was thrown into the lion’s den. I was my only my defence, I didn’t know anyone yet nor did I have any friends. We’re talking freshers week and these people DON’T KNOW ME. But yet they had the guts to prank call my phone, leave a pizza box in my room as well as dump flyers to a gay club under my door….the list goes on. I used to hurt very badly after thinking about this. But my very good friend inspired me to share this story after she recently found out about it. She didn’t believe it but had heard about it and was all ears to hear my side too. She said she knew I wasn’t that kind of person and so was shocked to hear those lies.
I’ve always been someone who wanted to talk about raw issues. I believe every single person is ignorant to a certain extent, yes we all are. That’s why I could easily forgive them and forgive myself too. Yes my post may have rubbed them the wrong way (even though they didn’t read and understand it), I accept that because we can’t all agree on things but we can agree to disagree right? Doesn’t mean you should be so quick to label someone anti-this or that.
We can’t all know the life someone lives, we subconsciously judge someone based on so many things we have internalised. I guess it’s our job as people to untangle all these misconceptions and actually educate ourselves and to not be closed off to other ways of thinking. In which in this process I have learned to do. I was sad that I stopped blogging, I truly enjoyed it, it was my pride and joy. I let what people who didn’t know me or bother reading my blog, dictate to me who I was and I really really do forgive myself for that.
A popular transgender celebrity had liked the post on Instagram because I tagged her and I remember being so excited that she had seen it and in no way did she feel it was an attack against her. These people were not transgender but yet took a ‘fake offence’ to it . If what I said was truly bad then why didn’t you save the post and do something for it to be pulled down? You think if I ever came across a blog post of someone slandering black people for instance, I will take it lightly, hell no! That’s why I’m still friends with one of the people I lived with then because not once did this person jump on the hate bandwagon. I guess I was that special to be hated on.
Now all of these people do not interact with each other like the way they did when they jumped on this hate bandwagon against me. If you can come together to turn on someone then there is no doubt that you can turn on each other, simple. It made me realise to focus on the people who choose to understand you and take time to get to know you. I will continue to write on real issues and please I don’t discriminate, it takes energy for that. Who has time ? I believe if you are transphobic, you are also racist, homophobic and sexist, it is all rolled into one.
I’m still blogging, yayyyy me. So ask yourself have you chosen to misunderstand someone or a situation? At times we all do it, I have done it but I realised where I went wrong. That’s why now when I come across matters in society, I take a bit of time to analyse it. When you are labelled with negative words such as racist, homophobic, sexist, it cuts really deep especially when you know they are wrong. I knew what they assumed I was, wasn’t me and I know people grow and learn. If I was such a bad person then I would have zero friends and my family would’ve disowned me.
‘Hurt people hurt people’.
We’ve all hurt someone some time in our life and we do make mistakes when judging people but it’s important to realise that. I will continue to be open and at the same time be able to drop life gems. Now I don’t entertain or make room for negativity. I make room for love and positivity and real discussions. Not beating around the bush.
Thank you all for reading my ‘diary’, sorry it’s a long post but boy I had to let you guys in on this.
Has anyone ever been misunderstood to the point where you found it hard to defend yourself?
If yes, what did you do to make yourself understood?
In these situations, is it just better to keep it moving and let people think what they want to think?
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