4.29.2011

A One-Sided Story

Six blind men were asked to determine what an elephant looked like by feeling different parts of the elephant's body. The blind man who feels a leg says the elephant is like a pillar; the one who feels the tail says the elephant is like a rope; the one who feels the trunk says the elephant is like a tree branch; the one who feels the ear says the elephant is like a hand fan; the one who feels the belly says the elephant is like a wall; and the one who feels the tusk says the elephant is like a solid pipe.
                                ~Ancient Indian Folktale
 
Half a story is really no story at all. Half a story means you miss the sub-plot, the dramatic irony, the thing the narrator doesn't want you to know. Half a story is akin to half a truth– or half a lie I suppose, depending on how you look at it. I have been learning about this lineage of truths and half truths for along time but have never been more painfully aware of them until attempting to cross the fuzzy line that separates the genders.

It drives me crazy when people make assumptions about something or someone after hearing only one person's opinion. Unfortunately we are taught that behaviour from the time we are born; your parents are always right, the teacher is always right, your boss is always right, the customer is always right, and soon we stop having to think for ourselves. If your friend says I'm an asshole well then it must be true. You don't even need to find out why, or if the story you've been told as to why I am such a jerk is true. You don't need to know my side. Your friend has done all your thinking for you.

It seems the first person to disclose something is the one with the authority and everyone else has to prove otherwise. Think of Copernicus trying to prove that the sun was the centre of the known universe and not earth....no one believed him but eventually....well you know. So why is it that people are still in such a hurry to believe what they hear before substantiating it by simply asking a question or doing some research? Do you want to find out my side of the story or just keep on thinking I'm a dick? We used to be friends but now you don't even talk to me. Remind me to reciprocate that respect.

This has been bothering me for a while....(obviously).  I have been guilty of the same crime. I am trying to break out of this habit by getting both or more, sides of a story before I form my opinion. What really sucks though is when you realize that people are going to believe what they want and they aren't really obligated to ask for your side of the story. But anyone who is is a true friend will not be afraid to confront you and ask you for your side, your version of events, and as a friend you should be doing the same. Nobody wants to be the bad guy but it doesn't take long for someone to save their own skin (or face) at someone else's expense.

It's hard to admit when you're wrong. Particularly for us Leos.

It's happened to all of us at some point. You know that something has been said about you because people start acting differently towards you, conversations stop when you walk into a room at work, acquaintances no longer look you in the eye, you are no longer extended invitations to events that you would have normally attended, and some people you once called friend are now way too busy to stop for a quick chat when you meet them on the street....on the weekend.

If you're trans you KNOW what I'm talking about. Being the subject of gossip is something I suppose trans people have to get used to, particularly if they live in a small town or participate in any small community like a church or a school or club or even at work. It is pretty difficult to go into hiding to transition and come out the other end of it unscathed. It's not like you can just get on a plane a woman and get off the plane in another city as a man. You just can't. and even if you could snap your fingers and have your body match your identity, you will lose things. Important things. You will lose people. People you love. It hurts. It hurts a lot. But as a matter of survival it's akin to chewing off your own foot. That really hurts too but not nearly as much as knowing you will die stuck in a trap.

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