Living in San Francisco for the last few years has built an invisible bubble around my little cottage in the Castro. We are usually one of the few straight couples in the grocery store, there always seems to be an amazing party going on in every bar, on every night of the week here, and people greet each other with bear hugs in the middle of crosswalks, with little regard for traffic. It’s an incredibly happy neighborhood with exuberant laughter coming from all directions, always shocking style (sometimes with minimal clothing), and nearly no double takes when you walk past a nude man dressed in nothing but a a feather headdress and face paint walking to get coffee on Sunday…because this is our normal. We live in a city rebuilt through the brave efforts of Harvey Milk and Sally Miller Gearhart, among many other tireless activists. Acceptance and inclusiveness are the pillars of San Francisco culture, the pillars which have built my magical bubble. We let our freak flag fly and no one can tell us to put it away.
And then horrific acts of what can only be described as insane occur and my bubble doesn’t just burst, it explodes.
Bigotry still exists. Racism still exists. Sexism still exists. Homophobia still exists. The list goes on and on.
From the political standpoint, we absolutely can make a change to improve policies, education, and break glass ceilings. But I find what we do at the ground level to be equally important.
Be kind to one another. Practice acceptance. Listen to one another.
Whether we admit it or not, outside influences can sway our subconscious to judge others before they even open their mouth. Opening our mind, walking a mile in one another’s shoes, it actually takes hard work. Work we don’t normally have time to commit to. Well, I’m asking you, as your powerful free fitness leader of the west, to take the fucking time. As we improve our ability to empathize and show compassion towards strangers completely different than us, the positive energy can begin a ripple effect which will wash over others. Do I sound like a yoga instructor yet? That was my goal.
NOW GO BE NICE! Sheesh.
Friday: Twin Peaks, 6:23 AM