In the last few months, there has been an onslaught of accusations and admissions of wrongdoing from prominent figures in pop culture. I’m not a prominent figure in pop culture (yet), but I’ve done and said things I’m not proud of. I grew up with a lot of privilege and opportunity. Because of that, I lacked empathy for other people and experiences different from my own. As a “woke” person in 2017, it’s easy to become self-righteous and ignore these things that are part of my history. But I can’t hide from it. Although some of these things are embarrassing and shameful, it’s important to me to be transparent and show how far I’m come from the ignorant, insensitive person I once was. Here is the list of all the bad things I’ve ever done.
When I was 4, I snuck into my sister Pam’s room and stole 2-3 pieces of Bubblicious bubble gum. I felt so bad about this I confessed to my mom shortly thereafter.
In Pre-K, I dressed as a Native American for Halloween. Picture above.
Later in Pre-K, I stole a snow globe from my classmate’s cubby and when I brought it home, I told my mom I won it in gym class, which was a lie. Karma is real because the snow globe shattered almost immediately after I brought it home.
As a kid, my friend had a life-sized stuffed animal monkey who we named Mr. Monkey. We used to pretend he was our boyfriend and kiss him without consent.
In 6th grade, I participated in bullying a classmate. I was riddled with guilt and apologized to her but I’ll never forget how shitty it was.
I’ve used the n-word, the r-word, and I’ve called things gay. As a teenager, I think we use language differently. I had no idea that singing along to Kanye West’s Graduation with reckless abandon, slurs and all, is actually completely inappropriate. Using the r-word and referring to things as gay is a result of being an ignorant teenager and is also really embarrassing.
In high school, my friends and I would prank call McDonald’s/CVS and I would take on the persona of a black woman. We thought these were so funny. I had no idea what cultural appropriation was at the time but I definitely do now and I cringe thinking about this.
I’ve driven while intoxicated. I’m generally very strict about this but I have slipped up before. Always in my neighborhood, close to home but regardless, it put my safety and the safety of others at risk.
In high school, I went to a live taping of the Maury show and they did “is it a man or a woman”
I was Republican for many years meaning that there was a time where I denied climate change, was outspoken about the pro-life agenda, and defended Sarah Palin among other things.
In college, and probably a couple years following, I’m sure I got drunk and pressured a few guys into making out with me when they didn’t want to. People think it can’t happen to men–it totally can. As someone who has been sexually assaulted, I feel gross at the thought of forcing myself onto another person.
The first time I heard “no means yes, yes means anal” I thought it was funny.
I went to Coachella in 2011.
When I was 20, I got blackout drunk at a work function and made an insensitive comment about people of the Jewish faith. It was so flippant and out of line. It’s one of my biggest regrets but it taught me an important lesson about tolerance and accountability.
I didn’t identify as a feminist until about 4 years ago. For a long time, I did not fully understand what it meant to be a feminist–it just means that you believe men and women should be equal. I bought into the negative connotations of feminism. I hate that about myself!
I’ve hooked up with people knowing they were in relationships. I think this comes from a need for attention for men. It’s something I’m actively working on.
I’m pro-fur. I just like it :(
That’s it for now! I’ll continue to add as I remember other terrible things I’ve said or done. Of course, this is by no means to say that I am perfect now. I’m working on it every day. I’ve grown a lot, specifically in the last 6 years (when I moved to New York). Reflecting on this is an important practice for me and I would encourage anyone else (especially white people) to do the same.