Checking My Privilege
If I am going to be writing “philopolitical” essays, then I need to go ahead and lay out a few things. I am writing from the perspective of a cisgender, pansexual white male. I am writing from the perspective of someone who’s never been homeless, but has worked 2 jobs at 80 hours a week to hold down the bills, and had to take on massive debts. I write as a business owner and an artist, and a college graduate. But most of all, I may write things that reflect and show my privilege. I’m talking about simply being aware of advantages I’ve had that others have not had, and how it affects my viewpoints on things.
First and foremost, I am fully aware that I am white, or at least look white. I have never had the experience of being stopped or stalked through the stores solely for my skin color, or solely because I was walking down a street. I have seen, in retrospect, cases where others would have been stopped and questioned, where I was simply allowed to go. I have been given passes in places and ways I cannot see or comprehend in all likelihood, and I am aware of that. I’m also aware of how others perceive that “whiteness”. I will try to be self aware of how this will influence my philosophical and political works, but if I miss something, do not be afraid to call me out.
I am fully aware that I am a cisgender male. I, in the last year, have become very aware of the various privileges that has afforded me. I have never been questioned on my masculinity, and have had debates where I won probably only because I was male, and not female. I am afforded levels of bodily autonomy that women are not, both medically and in public. I have access to healthcare and advice that they do not. This is even more painfully true when compared to trans, nonbinary, or other groups of people. I am very aware of this privilege. If I write something that sounds privileged, please let me know.
Growing up with a comfortable family and without having to worry about day to day problems. Growing up not being bullied for my sexuality, even if some have tried since I’ve come out as an adult. Never having been homeless. I realize my experiences and my privileges have coloured my life. I will not apologize for having had these privileges. I will, however, apologize if my privilege makes me blind to something offensive I have said, or if I step on you or your toes by mistake. So if you ever need to tell me, “Check your privilege”, please do so.
Originally published via Facebook on 2017–01–27