Saturday, 10 November 2018
I’m Afraid of ‘Woke People’
for Vivek Shraya, upon reading her book -- I'm Afraid of Men
I’m afraid of ‘Woke People’ because they divide humanity into either ‘us’ or ‘them.’
I’m afraid of “Woke People’ because they taught me to fear being gay. It was something that I worked very hard to be proud of, and now — once again — I am ashamed.
When I go to a theatre event or a sexuality conference, I am careful not to dress in a sexual way, because I know that for many ‘Woke People’ it fits an evil gay stereotype.
When I go online I brace myself for the postings about how politically insensitive, hyper-sexual and super-rich gay men are.
I’m afraid of ‘Woke People because they can’t see that I’m gay, but only that I’m a man.
When I send ‘Woke People’ emails, I have to go out of my way not to appear too gay, too sexual, or too irreverent. I do not want to offend them.
I’m afraid of ‘Woke People’ because if I mistakenly use the wrong pronoun to describe them, they may become furious and never forgive me.
I’m afraid of ‘Woke People’ because, for them, good intentions are not enough.
When I dress in drag, I fear I will be ‘dressed down’ by a “Woke Person,’ screamed at for enjoying appropriated music, for making fun of trans people, and for my camp sense of humour.
I’m afraid of ‘Woke People’ because when I appeal to them for generosity and kindness they see it as trying to make them weak.
I’m afraid of ‘Woke People’ because I am worried they will measure my lack of privilege against theirs, and find it wanting.
I’m afraid of ‘Woke People’ because they have said to me ‘your time is up.’
When I see a group of ‘Woke People’ laughing and tittering in a corner, I can’t help but imagine they are laughing about me.
I’m afraid of ‘Woke People’ because my intersectionality does not have enough intersections.
I’m afraid of ‘Woke People’ because our very human imaginations may not be able to survive the rigorous scrutiny of social justice.
I’m afraid of ‘Woke People’ because I’m afraid they will kill art.
You see I believe (gulp!) that we should try and love everyone, even (gulp!) the people who hate us.
I’m afraid of ‘Woke People,’ because — I’m sorry.
Because I’m sorry I exist.