A couple weeks ago, I started thinking about the way in which I compartmentalize my life. I started contagiousqueer around a year ago, directly after lashing out at a peer for his problematic views but also because I was starting to realize that if I didn’t compartmentalize my life, there would be no way I could survive.
Over the past two years, many of my political views have drastically changed but the people around me didn’t. The people close to me stayed the same and in some cases, continued to believe problematic things. I tried for a while to correct the things I still see as problematic but a year ago, I was still holding onto a lot of pain and suffering and that showed in the way in which I responded to people. My activism and my pain and my suffering was all starting to negatively impact my relationships with other people and ended up causing more pain for myself. I felt like I was spiraling into a negative space, one that I wasn’t sure if I could get out of.
So I decided to dramatically cut back on my activism in my relationships with important people in my life and instead, funnel all my activism into a place where I felt safe. Thus, contagiousqueer was born. This is a place that I know to be safe, a place where I could grow without having to constantly argue with people over their problematic views and behavior. I did this mostly out of survival – knowing that if I were to continue to go down the road I was before, it would be disastrous.
At the same time, I started to realize that I was constantly hitting a brick wall when talking to many people in my life. More often than not, the people in my life were and continue to be completely unwilling to listen and change. They come to me and talk about social issues, knowing my passion and background in sociology; but instead of wanting to form a connection with me, it only appears that these people in my life want to show how political savvy they are and how great they are.
Slowly, I’m starting to cut more toxic people out of my life, which has been incredible for my mental health. At least for now, I’ll never be able to cut my family out but over the last few weeks, they’ve made some small steps that have made me a little hopeful. Getting rid of Facebook was also an incredible step because unsurprisingly, most of the people I know are pretty racist in their own ways.