I Am a White Woman

To be humane, to be anti-racist, to see people as our equals is to know that if we shed our skins, there is no easy way to tell us apart without a degree in forensic anthropology. Shed of our skins, our shared nature comes through.

I’ve written before about the experience of feeling a sense of otherness and disconnect from being the only man of color in my recovery group. Today I want to share a story of connection.

In our larger therapy group, we divided into smaller groups of 3 to discuss emotions. The assignment was to explore each of the core emotions and the stories we have around them and the ways we can validate ourselves in experiencing them.

I deliberately went last because I want to listen. I already know my own story. I want to hear other peoples’ stories so that I might learn.

The person sitting next to me is my polar physical opposite. We couldn’t look more different. I am 6’2, 235, male and brown all over except for the gray in my hair. She is 5’6, 120, and white with blonde hair and blue eyes.

I listened as she shared her experience and when it was my turn to speak I spoke my truth: “It feels like reading my mind because the words you’re using to communicate your experience are literally the exact same words I wrote down to express mine. I honestly don’t have anything more to add because you captured so well everything I’d want to say.”

I expected that we’d feel similar emotions, I just didn’t expect that — with no coordination — we’d use the exact same words to describe them.

In that moment, for me, our shared humanity — the 99.9% about us that is the same — pierced through the 0.1% that fools us into thinking we are different.

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The world's most intersectional man.

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Light Squared

Light Squared

The world's most intersectional man.

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