“Remember: Resist, do not comply.” – Andrea Dworkin
Resistance is the refusal to accept something or the attempt to prevent something by action or argument. My life has been dominated by resistance. It started with a very basic act of resistance. I refused to accept the cultural notion that I was a boy, a man or a guy. If you want to learn about resistance, talk to some transgender people. If we wish to survive as who we actually are, we have to learn to resist right away. If we don’t resist, we conform to our assigned birth sex and who we are gets erased. We thus would be living false lives rather than lives of authenticity. My lesson in resistance was a trial by fire, but I don’t regret it because from an early age I knew I was going to have to fight in this life to survive.
Resistance is exhilarating. There is a certain kind of excitement in taking on the status quo. When you learn that the way things are are not the way they have to be, you also hopefully learn that the way to change the way things are is through resistance. Resistance comes more naturally to some than to others, but mostly it is learned through repeated efforts. Sadly, it is seldom taught in our public schools in any kind of overt way, or any way at all. Far too often, the status quo is glorified in our failing educational system. Thus, people have to figure out how to resist on their own, in their own way or through peers or groups of people who have a similar goal in mind of socio-cultural transformation.
If you belong to one or more marginalized groups, resistance is necessary for life. If you go along with the status quo, you lose who you are. You can survive physically, but not in any meaningful sense. When you resist, you move beyond survival to really thriving. Even if you fail, you are engaged in the effort to fight back against the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy, and that counts for everything in the world. I have the utmost respect for all people engaged in resistance all across the globe. And even if it sounds slightly corny, I feel a connection with them. We are joined by an invisible ray of light that is in motion to change the system of domination, greed and control.
Resistance is not futile, but it is exhausting, depleting and arduous. In an ideal world we would not have to resist because the world would not be set up for our extinction. Resistance without breaks could be deadly. Resistance extracts so much from a person physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. If you are going to be engaged in revolutionary acts of resistance, you should be under no illusion that it is easy or glamorous. We should not romanticize resistance [think black berets and black leather jackets with fists raised in the air, although that is a fierce-ass image ;] but show it in all its complexity.
Despite its arduousness, I hold no regrets. In fact my only fear is that I will ever reach a place where I cannot resist for whatever reason. If I continue to resist I know I am on the right track. I know I am taking on this nation and its many hypocrisies and many failures to live up to its own lofty rhetoric. Let us resist, and let us have strength and perseverance in our resistance. We got this.