I will be the first to admit that there are times in my life when I simply have no filter. I am not always the highest self-monitor. By that I mean, for the sake of my social self and the emotional comfort of those around me, I could stand to think a bit more before I speak. For instance, when a set of twins at my high school were involved in a tragic game of Russian roulette, one twin was killed and the other remained alive. In rare form, I blurted out to a group of mutual acquaintances, “Well, at least I will be able to tell them apart now!” NOT my finest moment.
Of course, I was sixteen years old at the time. I was a strange kid. I clearly could not even distinguish between a one-liner that would be funny in a sitcom, but wound up very hurtful in reality. Today, I have a clearer understanding of what is socially appropriate. Having to be accountable for my actions in an adult world has led me to be more cautious with what I say and do. In short, I censor myself. Perhaps we all do. I think most people choose to monitor how they behave in order to avoid hurting others. Sometimes, though, withholding information from the world is what ultimately causes disconnection, isolation and pain.
In my own life, I locked away my deep dark secret. I believed that if I were completely myself I would never truly belong…anywhere. So, the most I could do was censor my truth and hope for the next best thing: Fitting in. It is a truly beautiful day when someone emerges from the dark corners of life, steps into the light and celebrates every part of who they are. It is a celebration not only equal to, but surpassing the pain felt in all those years of hiding and emotional isolation.
Melita Noël Cantú is not only delving into the topic of censorship to celebration, she is raising awareness on the subject and making connections using social media as well. You can find her on Google+ and keep up with each installation of her live webcast series #Censored2Celebrated: Exploring The Alphabet Soup of Sexuality and Gender. I had the wonderful opportunity earlier this month to sit for a live web interview, which is available for viewing on YouTube. Watch the whole interview now!
Clip from #Censored2Celebrated to hear about my own C2C experience