Wednesday, October 3, 2012
I had never been to such a fair prior to that Saturday, but I was hardly out of my "comfort zone." Whatever that is. I haven't felt the true comfort of belonging in a long time, but in small instances with certain people that I can truly say complete me and make me feel whole--that worldly whole that moves your entire being and wakes you for another morning on the same earth with the same expectations, low or high.
A mirror ball was hanging in one of the tents; a perfect, spherical shape with square mirrors reflecting the light, the self, in fragmented parts. Flags looked like Rubik's Cubes and I looked like a Minecraft character--or perhaps my current fixation on the game is why my association immediately goes there. We see what we know first. In a mirror, I look at myself in parts: the quality of my skin, the shape of my body, the weight I'd rather lose. I never see the whole picture. My eyes aren't trained to see what others see; perhaps that's why people battle with such self-image distortions. We fight ourselves regularly to finally see what we want to see--or to finally accept what we see. However, in this mirror ball, I'm constructed poorly, and I accept it. Because I know it's not reality. I'm not obtuse blocks poorly crafted. I am someone.
My reflection is my state of being. I can look at the state of my eyes and gauge my exhaustion--but my body experiences the consistency whether it agrees with it or not. I can't see that in this mirror ball. Because here, image is not important--though they are using it to their advantage. The fair is reflective of a state of mind--a state of State. It boasts its pride. It evolves with the times. And it does not falter to opposition. It is the South Georgia Pride where men and women of the LGBTQ community come, not to start disputes, but to join together and spread awareness of the bullying and hurt members of the past have endured. It's a civil rights movement for a different minority--a subculture diversified by the people in it that find peace and community there.
Pictures were hanging on the booth nearest to me and the mirror ball. Pictures of people who had taken their own lives, or lives taken from them, too soon through terrible means. Their images surrounded one small mirror that hung at a standard height--when one were to walk up to it, they would, undeniably, see themselves. The cause the booth represented was the result of one young, homosexual male bullied until he took his own life. What scars could he see when he saw his reflection? What struggles suppressed his sleep? He saw bruises that some could see, but not all--physical and emotional bruises that tore apart his spirit. The picture of the young man was one of a happy youth--he looked strong and determined during his time. But he, too, was disconnected from the self. He did not only see what his oppressors saw, but he pulled himself apart in front of that mirror everyday. His reflection was fragmented. If only he could have seen how beautiful he really was when the pieces were put together.
That Saturday wasn't just for the broken, though, but for those liberated by a time that is moving towards understanding them. It was a time of reflection for how far society has come. And for those fortunate enough, it was time for every person there to stand up, no matter the weight holding them down, and say, "I'm still here, and I'm still whole."