There’s a freedom to be who you are in Portland and it’s sacred. This city is unlike any place I’ve lived. The overall ethos of the city is to live with respect and communion with all people and harmony with the Earth, without pigeonholing everyone into tidy labels and categories. That’s one reason why this city (and so many others) are ready to come together to helping other people, communities, social groups.
Speaking out against oppression and refusing the status quo has been a hallmark of Portland’s overall championing of social justice and human rights in various domains. The added bonus of empowering others gives one a new sense of ownership in their own lives.
Facing down police brutality and calling out fascism with thousands of like-minded people emboldens even millions more to physically and mentally stand up to corruption and agents in many facets of society.
It’s helping many of us grow and retrain our private thoughts and actions in our personal lives.
You cannot grow in the same place that forced you to expand.And if you are not growing it will be very hard to stay in complete balance. Too often contentedness leads to complacency with apathy not too far behind. One begins to wither, grow bitter, or blameful without continual observation, discussion, and contemplation. We must tend and cultivate our inner gardens even when they are not in beautiful luscious blooms of life.
Until recently I realized I still had/have shame of owning or talking about the sexual aspects of my sexuality. Though I am gay and proud of it- many of us have been conditioned through the lens of cis-gendered hetero-normative White Christian practices and policies.
We have been culturally manipulated by the Church, as a whole, to believe that our sexual organs are to be hidden- tucked away. The act of sex is restricted to procreation and otherwise is condemned and mostly immoral.We are shamed out of acting upon our innate biological drives. The reproductive organs of our physical form are shamed due to cultural and religious mores that have caused women and so many other people groups shamed out of not only being comfortable in our own bodies.
For Black people, and Indigenous and People of color they are shamed, generationally oppressed, and persecuted just for the color and melanin of their skin.
The falling away of stifled and unnecessary cultural mores- of even the ability just to be free from the constrains of clothing in Oregon & other places in the world has given many people (self included) a new ownership in many areas of our lives.
Especially where owning the physical and sexual ascpects of myself proudly and without fear of breaking rigid taboos that seem so silly and antiquated now.
The more comfortable one is with themselves the more they able to make spaces for others to feel safe and also express their individuality.
Symbiotic relationships aren’t just relegated to sea creatures and cute orange fish with a short fin. We exist in constant feedback loops- of a taking in new information, processing that information, and our reaction is a result of variables and life experiences that cause us to grow, shrink away in timidity, recoil in disgust, aid in oppression, or revolt against tyrannies.
The broadening and active efforts to achieve social equality, championing of human rights, and equity across is all tribes, races sexual orientations, gender identities, polyamorous and many more identities and lifestyles embolden each one of us to embrace our own selves and elevate to a higher aspect of ourselves.
To Those who are struggling with your sexuality, gender, coming to terms with a non-heteronormative identity. I truly hope you will find yourself. You are worth living your truest life.
Follow your inner guidance- your life is your own. The Earth is ready to teach us the true power of humanity.
We must first accept that power for ourselves and not be afraid to treat yourself right, Express yourself, Show it off and show yourself and others a sustainably respectful good time.