For the asexually curious and the curiously asexual

Archive for April, 2014

Pride

Languages build like seeds germinate. They root into divisions, cracks in the concrete, where these people are different to those. Those from the other valley, those from across the ocean, those who work in the hut, or the field, or the forge, or the laboratory.

They root into divisions, and thrust their roots down, and cling, and clump, and bind. They create a unity of disparate grains. They thrust green shoots, strange growths into the sunlight of the public gaze.

 

A language is marked by what is unsaid. Each new word is a euphemism, an unexplained in-joke with the origins lost, but the punchline remains. Old sayings that everyone understands. New words that everyone can learn without asking.

 

The language starts before we realise we are different, almost. It is planted in us from outside. When we are young, and scared, and hiding is not a choice but a default.

 

‘Have you told your parents yet?’

‘I don’t think we should tell her. She’s from a different generation.’

‘I just think he needs a little more time.’

 

And hiding is not a choice but a default, and we understand this, and we build it into our tongue, and into ourselves. And hiding is not a choice but a default, and we invite it in.

 

‘I don’t want anyone to know right now, ok?’

‘I just don’t think we need to label it.’

 

And when we open our mouths to speak, we find we have been hiding so long that there are no words. So many years have passed of silent contemplation, and of whispered conversations over pillows and luminous words typed on keyboards to people we have never met. We have built a language to hide in and we have built another language inside our hiding, and we have forgotten how to speak.

 

‘She’s very important to me, but we’re not…’

‘It’s complicated. I guess he’s…’

‘They’re…’

 

And hiding is not a choice, but a state of being. We love in secret and we stumble over words in public.

 

We learn a new word. That word is ‘pride’. We have learned the word three times before. We have learned that it is a type of joy in the achievements of others, and that it is a type of sin, unrepentant and headstrong, and a kind of family. We learn it a fourth time. We learn it in a new language.

 

We learn that it is a word which fits our throats well enough to shout for miles, a t-shirt which fits our bodies well enough to read across a street as we walk with our heads high, a ring which fits well enough to raise a one-finger salute to the world. We learn that it is a kind of joy in the achievements of people like us, and that it is an acceptance of what has been called sin, unrepentant, headstrong. We learn that it is a kind of family. We learn to speak in the language of not hiding, in the language that breaks silence.

 

Words build like seeds germinate. They root into divisions, cracks in the concrete, where these people are different to those. Those for whom hiding is a choice, not a default.

They root into divisions, and thrust their roots down, and cling, and clump, and bind. They create a unity of disparate grains. They thrust green shoots, strange growths into the sunlight of the public gaze.

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