I Am My Complex Self, A Son And Brother

1776 Words8 Pages
I am my complex self, a son and brother, a privileged man who uses his systematically placed power to deconstruct social expectation and hierarchical structures as much as I can. A white, upper-middle class, openly gay Midwesterner who is representative of many intersecting identities that are the result of my fight for ownership of my identity in a part of the United States that might otherwise try to silence my voice. These complex identities are not contradictory, as much as they may seem to be on paper. Instead, they work harmoniously together to create the self that I am to this day. My family – cohesive and supportive – gave me opportunity, and I made sacrifices in my primary and secondary education that pitted privilege and discrimination against one another. In this essay, I will spend time reflecting on my privileges and opportunities, ultimately juxtaposed against explicit and harmful discrimination. First, I will explore my blindness to white privilege in the classroom. Then, I will discuss my middle-class opportunities that left me unaware of many problems facing America’s public schools. Finally, I will move into an in-depth analysis of how I balanced power as a man while fighting discrimination as a closeted gay student – concluding with a confluence of all three. When I was a child, race wasn’t discussed. It was that simple – something that didn’t stand out or seem to make a difference in my life. Little did I realize, though, that race had a profound effect
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