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I am feeling very sad and greatly disappointed in someone that I have long loved and respected.

This person has decided that their need to be angry is so great that they cannot differentiate between people who might disagree with them, and people who actually want to do them harm because they are different.

They have taken to flinging around jargon that most people outside their political circle do not understand, and then after applying these labels to people who have no idea what theses words mean, take offense when their targets object.

They cannot understand the fact, that just because most people come from what Queer Theorists call a "Heteronormative" background, that not all non-Queer people are the enemy.

Their use of jargon, and their use of rhetoric, is no different than the people who are their actual sociopolitical enemies. The people who throw phrases like Social Justice Warrior and "snowflake" around. The people who shout down other people while they are trying to speak.

I have tried throughout my relationship with this person, to always build them up. They once, as a teenager, had a crush on me (Don't ask me what they found so attractive, the middle-aged, balding guy writing this doesn't understand it either). I did my best to explain to them how this was a really bad idea, and would be injurious to them.

Once that phase had passed they wrote a letter to me, one I still have. They said in that letter "Thank you for respecting my boundaries, even when I didn't know I had any."

When they were looking at colleges to go to, they were only looking at schools they thought would be easy for them to get into and afford. I encouraged them to look at some schools that they would really want to go to and apply to them regardless of how admission standards and cost. The safety schools (one of which I went too) would still be there.

They were accepted to both of the schools they applied to simply for liking, and are attending one of them.

And trust me, though they might disbelieve this, I understand where this anger they are feeling comes from. And they are right to be angry. But they seem to be targeting people indiscriminately with no regard for strategy. But if it continues on past a phase of youth, it is going to eat them alive.

I have to admit that I let my anger get the better of me yesterday in responding to their "fuck you". But this former friend does not seem to realize that freedom of speech does not mean freedom from critique. If they do not want to have people disagree with them, then they should not post in a public forum.

I and the rest of my family have had to deal with a similar level of anger from my sister. Who, of her own choice, cut herself off from us. She later, after mom died, complained that she didn't have a relationship with the family.

Hopefully my friend develops some ability to differentiate friend from foe.

Epic-curious 5 Feb 10

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14 comments

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Humans are complex beasts...

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Sounds like friend...could be in a learning curve...major anxiety and stress! And, from their history, may not do stress, well! If you want to maintain relationship, you may need to stop any monitoring of this person, and should he need your help and advice, let him ask for it! This person could progress in a totally different direction than other people that you know! It is not always easy to predict how a person will evolve (even in one's own family).

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I knew a guy many years ago who often wore a t-shirt that said "It's a queer thing, you wouldn't understand." It always bugged me, because I was like "How do you expect to make allies out of straight people with an attitude like that?" I do think that a lot of people are worried about discrimination and hate, so they block people out before they can get hurt.

Luckily, there is more of a conversation now to encourage people in the "dominant culture" to be allies.

@Dida Exactly!

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It's really hard when politics and social differences come between you and friends or family. I've found that there are some people in my life that I just lose respect for. Certain topics you can agree to disagree on, but others reveal a mindset that you can't be impartial about.

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This is close to what I was trying to say in my snotty liberals post. I've had people similar to your friend treat me like crap, shout me down, or ostracize me because I, out of ignorance, didn't phrase something the way they liked. I understand that life is tough for people who fall outside of what society perceives as normal or for denigrated minorities. I understand as a person of this description myself. But I'm not going to stick my nose up at someone who asks me a genuine question about, say, my Hispanic heritage or accidentally calls me Mexican rather than Hispanic, or even makes a joke IF I know that person has the well-being of Hispanic people at heart and takes it to the voting both. Why? Because if I make an enemy out of this person who clearly means me no harm, I might actually end up putting more power into the hands of people who do mean me and people like me harm. Duh.

@Dida So where are you from originally then? Nothing to being Hispanic, really. I can't even speak Spanish because the adults used it to gossip so none of my siblings can speak it and many of my cousins can't. Most people assume that I'm all white, and then they're surprised when they see my family because my dad looks like Cheech Marin and my family is culturally very Hispanic (part Mexican, part Spanish). But I also only saw that side of my family about a week out of the year because they lived in Chicago, so while I'm privy to some of the culture, I was mostly raised in a variety of environments with different cultures that were not Hispanic.

@Dida This is the first time I'm doing research on wards of the State. I had no idea this was a thing, but it seems obvious now. I'm interested in the circumstances they happen under, but I know some probably can't talk about it.

@Dida Wow. The system is crazy.

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You have been very vague about the details. He/she sounds rather young and the young are notorious for taking up causes and dedicating their lives to it to the point of unreason.

You have stated your position on the matter so all you can do now is wait. The ball is in his/her court and when the time is right they will come back with questions. If this person is important to you then you will need to have patience. Good luck.

Betty Level 7 Feb 10, 2018
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I actually have had friends who became toxic to me and I've had to cut off the relationship because I got swept up in their depression and judgemental behavior. Had to cut a very negative friend off for 3 years. Take a break when I need it.

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If you were talking about an older person, I would suggest that these can be early signs of dementia. But since you seem to be describing a young adult it’s probably developmental. This sounds like a somewhat late arrival to the “no one understands me, I hate the whole world” phase that many of us went through as teenagers. Most people grow out of it - some people don’t. It is often related to having a very black-and-white view of the world.
When opportunities present, you might talk about the difference between people who don’t understand, and people who actively want to oppress you. Otherwise, you might have to just hope that they haven’t alienated too many people by the time they learn to see more gray in the world.

Well said.

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Sounds like this is a relatively young person? Still going to college? At what level; graduate?, undergrad?, or...? Anyway, at some point, he or she will, hopefully, get over it, and perhaps then you can resume the friendship. If not, suck it up and move on, life's too short.

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There is little anyone can do about another person although it does no harm and cost nothing to try.

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I'm still trying to figure out what cis-normal is.

cis-gender or cis-gendered or cis-normal means that you identify with the sex you were assigned at birth. This is differentiated from trans folks, who are misgendered at birth.

@orange_girl thanks!

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allies are all we have

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