Feeling Overwhelmed

Growing up, I was a sensitive child.  I, like most kids, had feelings that could easily be hurt or otherwise change on the fly for any number of reasons.  As an adult, I find this to remain true.  Though now, rather crying in frustration like I did when I was six, I feel anger and sadness and use the techniques I’ve learned to manage them better than I did back then.  The intensity of my feelings when they’re triggered, and how I deal with them, I think is the primary reason I became involved with the idea of any kind of activism to begin with.
In my teen years, I had come to terms with being bisexual, and what that meant for relationships and how my family would react (there was more crying involved on some days).  In California, where I was born and lived most of my life, Proposition 8 was a big eye opener for me.  The stipulations of Prop. 8 was that depending on the vote, gay marriage in California would either be legalized or not (at least until the next vote).  Being underage for voting, I was in no position to make much of a difference when the polls came.  In the months leading up to the final outcome, several people gathered on street corners with signs condemning gay marriage, and supporters of it.  A friend of mine and myself were quite literally chased across a four lane road and into a gas station where we had to take refuge until it was safe for us to leave.  It was this incident that brought me to realize that even by having a different viewpoint from someone and stating it, that one could easily be subjected to violence for their views.  It left me feeling an anger I wasn’t familiar with, and had no idea how to handle when it came about.
My young adult life is really when I came to understand that being gay or bisexual, or a supporter made you a target of violence from others.  In 2012 I became friends online with a woman who introduced me to feminism as explained by an actual feminist.  In 2013, I expanded my social network in order to follow her blog and several others like it.  throughout the year, I’d read articles and heard first hand stories of violence, threats, and harassment that women have endured and still do.  Upon hearing these examples, it became more obvious to me when witnessing something for myself, like a filter in my mind had been turned off to allow me to see all the things I’d missed before.  I feel that it’s wrong that women should be subject to sexual harassment or embarrassment not only from men, but from other women as well.  I still feel strongly that marriage equality should have been a thing for far too long, but still it hangs in the balance.  I feel so many different emotions about so many different things, that I’m not even sure what I feel the strongest about.
My emotions, have driven me to feel so strongly about so many things that it’s difficult to say which one tops my list.  Am I a Womens Rights Activist?  Feminist?  Marriage Equality Activist?  Gay Rights Activist?  I love animals, but I like to eat them too.  Do I qualify as any kind of Animal Rights Activist?  Every day I see a new story about a woman who was raped and blamed for her attack, or a man trapped in a woman’s body that just wants to be acknowledged for what he is without being harassed, admissions from both straight and gay people claiming they wouldn’t date bisexuals because they feel their partner would be more likely cheat on them, or asexuals who are told by society that something is wrong with them because they don’t like sex the way they should.  Every new exposure I face, I feel an overwhelming sense that something needs to be changed, but I have no idea where to begin.  My sensitivity to my feelings has opened my mind to think like an activist, but also hinder my ability to decide:  Where to I begin?


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