My Closet is No Different Than Yours

Another riff on our strategy for working across difference: Flip Your Experience.

Inspiring talk by Ash Beckham at TEDx Boulder. “I think we all have closets. Your closet may be telling someone that you love her for the first time, or telling someone you’re pregnant, or telling someone you have cancer, or any of the other hard conversations we have throughout our lives. All a closet is, is a hard conversation. And although our topics may vary tremendously, the experience of being in, and coming out the closet, is universal. It is scary, and we hate it, and it needs to be done.”

She says that a closet is just a hard conversation. And that conversations are just hard–no comparing hard, harder or hardest.  She uses her own experience of coming out to begin to imagine the experience of others who are at a Dis/Advantage.

Thanks to Jenny for the link.

3 thoughts on “My Closet is No Different Than Yours

  1. Thanks for introducing this Kate – i really like this video – there’s such gentleness to it – along with a reminder that we often begin ready to do battle – she reminds me of some of the gentle “teachers” who have helped me get issues of my own unearned privilege over the years – and how much easier it has been to “hear” them than those who were vehemently angry (though of course i do know how hard it is not to dump all that accumulated anger sometimes!)- your description Kate in your last post of recognizing common ground with students coming out of their “closets” about their illiteracy brought this piece back to mind.

    I had saved the video thinking that i will show at least a portion of it when I’m talking with teachers about making space to recognize the varied lives of their students – including the sad truth that violence is widespread in many lives – and that in spite of child protection laws teachers likely cannot get many of the children they see to the “safety” or careful consistent nurturance – but they can help them to get a perspective on their own lives, to believe it’s possible to include themselves within the range of possible lives – and to come out of the closet about the violence and neglect they’ve experienced when they’re ready, so that it doesn’t remain one of those hidden truths we expect to be judged and shamed for if we ever let it out into the light of day. I increasingly think that the widespread nature of violence is one of the last oppressions kept silent and unacknowledged in many settings.

    I am really appreciating your posts and the reminders and clarifications of so many aspects of how privilege and oppression play out and how i can participate in interrupting rather than preserving inequity – thank you for doing this work :-)

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