I’ve been noticing a particular form of objectification of marginalized groups lately, the sanctification, idealization, and mythologizing of marginalized people is just as fucked up and patronizing as demonizing us.
This next bit is my personal little rant about being idealized, but I think other’s may see some of their experience in it:
I refuse to be a martyr for your Oscar bid. I will not face pain or torment with the limp pacifism of a Christ analogy. I am not mystical because of my sexual orientation, gender-identity, the sex assigned to me at birth, or any other trait inherent to me. I am not mysterious for any of these reasons either. I am no closer to god than anyone else (frankly I’m an atheist). I am not an etherial creature too good for this world for any of the reasons I stated earlier, and I refuse to allow you to feel better about it if I were to die due to prejudice because I was “too good for this world.”
If I’m too good for the world, fix the damned world, don’t remove me from it. I am not extra special, extra cool, or somehow superior because I belong to a marginalized group. I am not heart warming. I am not your path to redemption. My struggle although righteous is not heroic. I am not better than you because in some ways I have it worse than you. We are equal, neither is better, neither is worse, now if only society would acknowledge that. I am not a paragon of virtue, something to perch on your pedestal. I am a human being clawing tooth and nail at the warped fabric of a bigoted society.
Do not patronize me by making me the little saint of a sentimental Victorian novel, the little saint who dies piously so that everyone else may learn a saccharine moral lesson.
My identity doesn’t make me incapable of cruelty, ignorance, bigotry, violence, prejudice, or any other vice. Do not romanticize me. I refuse to soothe your guilt, but I will say this, don’t feel guilty for being privileged, the guilt of the privileged too often leads to new faces on old bigotry. Do not feel guilty for the mistakes of history, for the mistakes of your ancestry, they are not your crimes, but if you allow them to continue, if you allow the crimes of your fore-bearers to continue to have an effect, they become your crimes. Do not idealize me or sanctify me to make me seem more worthy of justice, you are treated like a human being and you aren’t perfect either.
All in all, I just want people to think of me as me, rather than the aspects of me that make me marginalized.