Creating The Reframe Movement
It feels like yesterday — the cold locker scraping against my chapped cheekbones. Shoved into lockers, pilloried with cafeteria food, and humiliated with hateful slurs, I prefer to block these moments out of memory, but our country’s deep rooted issues question my safety and security as a gay Asian American man and I believe it’s time for our generation to fight back and mobilize in progressive change to address social justice.
I didn’t even know I was gay nor did I want to know, but with all the bullying, I was forced to answer that question.
Through high school, I felt conflicted and hid my shame of being different in the closet. At first, pretending these humiliating moments never happened used to help me feel like this piece of me didn’t exist, but it only created emptiness. Sure — being gay is just a piece of me, but if my bullying taught me anything: my neglect showed me that my sexual orientation is an important piece of my identity.
It’s a part of how I create and invest in relationships.
When I decided to embrace this part of myself, I expected life to get easier. Though the process of no longer hiding a facet of my identity felt relieving, revealing my sexual orientation became an endless, ongoing process of new challenges. Every day, I found myself coming out to new people, educating others what being gay actually means. It’s not talking in a funny way, crossing my legs when I sit, or playing with Barbies. These stereotypes are at the root of misunderstanding and pretense. Of course, I will always be grateful for the privilege of having a coming out process; still, that inappropriate side-comment or that subtle glance of disapproval can instantly remind you that someone thinks that there is something wrong with you. It can instantly remind you that there are people out there that hate you and that someone believes you shouldn’t exist.
Where do we draw the line with embracing the diversity of thought?
Is this hatred and lack of empathy something we should be embracing? For me, I used to believe that embracing the diversity of thought was key, but I was wrong. Yes, we can agree to disagree; still, that doesn’t deliver the complete solution. We need to move beyond this. We need to restructure our modes of thought and the institutions that reify and reproduce racism, xenophobia, misogyny, transphobia and homophobia. We need to progressively strive for unity and collaboration because the current state of our country is troublingly reflective of our deep divisions and clashing ideologies.
The purpose of The Reframe Movement is to help us recognize our victories in diversity, address the lack of understanding within ourselves and within our culture, and continuously learn about the ever-changing art of identity as we consider alternatives to the binary construction of dualities like women/man, gay/straight, and Black/White.
With a tremendous amount of hope, I dream for this project to open the dialogue for collaboration, reframe our perspectives on social stigmas, and shed light on the marginalization faced through racism, xenophobia, misogyny and homophobia.
join our revolution. #RFM
P.S. If you would like to share a story that reframes a worldview either for you or for others, please email email@example.com.