On resilience

I just finished reading a book called ‘The Book of Queer Prophets’. It is a short collection of essays, letters and write-ups written by people who have struggled to reconcile their queer identity with their respective faiths. People who are deeply religious, but felt that they were being pressured to give up this integral part of themselves because they had been told it comes in ‘conflict’ with another, equally integral part of their identity.

I especially loved the chapter by Jarel Robinson Brown. It is in the form of a letter he addresses to his future nephew. Here is my favourite passage from the chapter:

My saying this to you might tell you something about the time in which I live. By no means are all people free, and not many people can live the truths they know about themselves. We exist in a time when people are supposed to be unbreakable, and if they break, rather than calling them human we deem them weak. Resilience has become a requirement of this age, and only a handful of have the wit or the courage to ask of the times why resilience is necessary. Your uncle gave up resilience a long time ago, not because I do not possess it, but because it is unnatural. Our hearts are made to feel, and some minds, weighed down by the burdens of reality, break. I sometimes cannot help but wonder how much better life would be if we allowed people to be as human as they could possibly be. If we could create a world in which the masks we wear, and exert so much energy maintaining, simply became redundant.

Relatively short post I know, but I just wanted to share this before I forgot.

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