I have had quite a few conversations with people lately who have differing views and beliefs than myself. Some of these conversations were informative and open, while others were lined with a derogatory attitude. I have left these dialogues holding onto a mere five words: I’m not less than you.
I’ve been told I can’t do things because I am a woman, because I am gay, because my beliefs challenge the conservative. I fail to see how, because my body is different than a man’s, how my sexuality challenges the traditional, and how my beliefs conflict with the conservative, equate me to being less than. I’ve been called names and been told I’m going to hell. I’ve been accused of being racist and sexist for speaking against a long history of patriarchy within the Evangelical Christian system.
My voice, as an adoptee, has been forgotten, ignored and disregarded by those involved in the adoption industry. Instead of an openness and willingness to hear and discuss a very important side of the adoption story, I’m met with silence. Instead of being acknowledged as important in the adoption world, I’m ignored, blocked and deleted.
What I’ve learned is there will always be people who disagree with me and there will always be people who will try to bring me down. This leaves me with two choices: I can either choose to let their words and accusations stop me, or I can continue to speak truth in the face of adversity. I strive towards the latter, and continue step by step, to share my story.
So, to the men who told me I couldn’t and to the people who told me I’m not worthy, I have only five words for you: I’m not less than you.
Don’t let people stop you from speaking your truth. Don’t let their ignorance and narrow thinking keep you from sharing. Your story matters. Your voice matters. You matter.
And, you… are not less than.