Wednesday, September 23, 2015

It's Not "Us or Them." It's Just "Us."

Today I need to make some steps to get back to some semblance of daily life. I want to say a few more things, and then I'm doing what I can to move forward in my own way.

Everyone has a right to express their reactions, emotions, and feelings in the face of tragedy. Everyone is going to have their own healing process and timetable. Talking about healing doesn't mean it's happened, or should happen quickly. I don't know when things are going to be "normal" again, nor do I have all (if any) of the answers.

As human beings, we are highly complex. Our backgrounds and experiences make us who we are, and that allow us to have different perspectives. The answers we are given are rarely the answers we want or crave. And that in turn makes us angry. This situation is far more complicated, and so there is no one side or two sides or eight sides. I can forgive and still be as angry as fuck and raw from in the inside out. I can talk about the hope of rebuilding without condoning the atrocities. I can only approach difficult situations the way I know how - with kindness. It may sound like an easy solution, but it's not. But once things are said and done, it's me I have to wake up with every morning. I'm the one who has to live with what I say to others and how I treat them.

I have not only been deeply pained by the original issue, but the way I have seen fellow human beings treat each other because of it. Slandering, name-calling, and bullying in private groups and exchanges makes you no better than the individuals responsible for this mess. It's good to vent, but it's not good to abuse someone who has a different perspective than you. No one has all of the information, no matter what they claim.

It's very important to stand up and fight against the injustices being done to us by "them." Words have power and can harm greatly - whether they are of a sexual nature or not. Abuse is abuse.

We need to communicate WITH each other, not at or around. So much treachery has been done by dancers to other dancers behind closed doors, or by people claiming to support them. This in itself is nothing new, we've been doing it ourselves forever. We have all done it, and have it done to us. I made a conscious decision a few years ago to try separate myself from participating in that vicious cycle. It's not easy, but it's made a world of difference in my life.

Your fellow dancers need you. We need your love and support. Stand up with us, not just for us. Ask us what we need, not just what you think we need. Be involved in building a healthy dance community that includes everyone, and where we work to solve problems by communicating, listening, and being kind.