Sometimes, I get really excited about an idea, so much so that I refuse to think of the consequences. I think this is something everyone goes through, but nonetheless, it’s important to be self aware in this regard.
I made a mistake. Instead of ignoring it, I’m going to take you through the process. Instead of forgetting it, I’m going to embrace it.
Now, the reason I’m so disappointed in myself isn’t simply because I made a mistake. It’s because I had a breach of principle. As a goalie, if I let in a shot, I’m not necessarily going to beat myself up. The only time I’d dwell on it is if it was a mental mistake, like I made the wrong decision or hesitated.
This was a mental mistake, but it wasn’t on a soccer pitch.
Before I get into this I want to stress that no one made me write this; I am choosing to.
For spirit week, I cross dressed. This wasn’t inherently bad, but it was my intent that was malicious, and I’m a believer that intent is the most important part of judging a person’s actions.
My intent was to get a laugh. The problem was that there was no punchline. Well, I guess you could say the punchline was “Haha that boy looks like a girl!”
How weak is that? That’s not comedy, and I belittled an entire community by doing this stunt.
I even talked to my transgender (mtf) friend about my dressing up before I did it. I remember telling her, “Don’t think I’m doing this to make fun of anybody, it’s just fun.” She said she understood, but looking back, just saying you’re not being bad doesn’t relieve you of guilt.
I went through the whole week like this, and never looked back, until someone, who knew it was a joke, talked to me about this. He reminded me of the hardships that these kids have to go through, and he helped me realize that what I was doing was (albeit unintentionally) almost transphobic.
The reason I’m being hard on myself is the hypocrisy. The last year has been a constant journey to become less ignorant and more sensitive, yet what I’ve done has gone against all that work.
I think you can joke about anything, but that was a joke with no substance. I’m disappointed in myself, and I’m sorry to anyone I may have offended.
I will learn from this, though. It was a reality check, to remind me that I have so much more to learn about sensitivity, what’s funny, and giving off wrong messages.