In a way… I always knew. No matter how much I tried to suppress it, I just couldn’t shake the feeling that I was different. It was the little things. The way Black Lives Matter protesters always seemed too aggressive. The way my stomach turned when my classmates would mention Mao, Marx, or Sanders. The way Adam Smith seemed to be speaking directly to me; to my soul. Looking back on it, I’m surprised I didn’t realize sooner.
My epiphany came one day in my political philosophy class when I found myself playing devil’s advocate (again). My classmates were blathering on about how “the poor” deserved “not to die” from “preventable diseases” just because they “couldn’t afford” healthcare. Couldn’t they see that not having to struggle for healthcare would only make people lazy? Did they even consider that this would increase taxes? It was then that I realized: these people aren’t like me. I’m not one of them.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some confederate flag-waving, nazi-sympathizing, climate change denier. I have multiple black friends and I would never vote for Trump. Heck, I’d even say I support women’s rights! But even though I’m woke, I’m reminded every day that this campus isn’t welcoming of my lifestyle.
Coming out has been an uphill battle. I’ve gotten significantly fewer tinder swipes since I put it in my bio. I’ve endured glares, japes, and even the dreaded “…anyways.” For a campus that claims to care about diversity, I’ve seen nothing but persecution. The left always asks cis white guys like me to “imagine being a minority” but I don’t have to. I’m living it.
I don’t ask for your pity, only for your acceptance. This isn’t a cry for help, it’s a shout of defiance. My people have been silenced for too long. My hope is that my story will inspire others to speak out for what they believe in. Some people may say I’m going too far, but I think I’m going just the right amount of far. In this liberal echo chamber, my form of subversive protest is being a centrist. In this culture of radical polarization, who will fight for the status quo? I’ve decided to take the burden on myself; this is my identity. Do you have the courage to join me?