Your disrespect for me is apparent. You never respected me when I think about it and you never liked me. But I'm the parent and you're the child and it is not your job to love me the way I love you. My love for you is unconditional and no matter what you decide in your life I will love you. Doesn't mean I have to like it, but I will always love you. Love, Dad
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APAJanet Mock Quotes. (n.d.). Jar of Quotes. Retrieved , from JarofQuotes.com Web site: https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=your-disrespect-for-me-is-apparent-you-never-respected-me-when-i-think-about-it-you-never-liked-me-but-im-parent-youre-child-it-is-not-your-job-janet-mock
ChicagoJanet Mock Quotes. Jar of Quotes, 2020. https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=your-disrespect-for-me-is-apparent-you-never-respected-me-when-i-think-about-it-you-never-liked-me-but-im-parent-youre-child-it-is-not-your-job-janet-mock, accessed .
MLA"Janet Mock Quotes." Jar of Quotes, 2020. . https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=your-disrespect-for-me-is-apparent-you-never-respected-me-when-i-think-about-it-you-never-liked-me-but-im-parent-youre-child-it-is-not-your-job-janet-mock
I believe that telling our stories, first to ourselves and then to one another and the world, is a revolutionary act. It is an act that can be met with hostility, exclusion, and violence. It can also lead to love, understanding, transcendence, and community. I hope that my being real with you will help empower you to step into who you are and encourage you to share yourself with those around you.
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Rationalizing him and the glass pipe, Dad smoked crack, but he was not a crackhead; it was just something he did. To do something didn't define you, I thought. I saw Dad through a dusty lens that distorted our relationship, as tarnished as his pipe. He was no longer just our father; he was his own person, with an identity and label and body separate from his relationship with us. He was someone who was judged outside of the lens of fatherhood, outside of our connection. When he was in the streets, he was not Dad. He was Charlie the crackhead.
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My grandmother and my two aunts were an exhibition in resilience and resourcefulness and black womanhood. They rarely talked about the unfairness of the world with the words that I use now with my social justice friends, words like "intersectionality" and "equality", "oppression", and "discrimination". They didn't discuss those things because they were too busy living it, navigating it, surviving it.
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In Hawaii, family showed itself in the way that my siblings never dared to call one another "half" anything. We were fully brothers and sisters. Family appeared in the pile of rubber slippers and sandals that crowded the entrance to everyone's home; in the kisses we gave when we greeted one another and said good-bye; in the graceful choreography of Grandma hanging the laundry on the clothesline; in the inclusiveness of calling anyone older auntie or uncle whether or not they were relatives.
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Femininity in general is seen as frivolous. People often say feminine people are doing "the most", meaning that to don a dress, heels, lipstick, and big hair is artifice, fake, and a distraction. But I knew even as a teenager that my femininity was more than just adornments; they were extensions of me, enabling me to express myself and my identity. My body, my clothes, and my makeup are on purpose, just as I am on purpose.
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Becoming is the action that births our womanhood, rather than passive act of being born (an act none of us has a choice in). This short, powerful statement assured me that I have the freedom, in spite of and because of my birth, body, race, gender expectations, and economic resources, to define myself for myself and for others.
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Self-definition and self-determination is about the many varied decisions that we make to compose and journey toward ourselves, about the audacity and strength to proclaim, create, and evolve into who we know ourselves to be. It's okay if your personal definition is in a constant state of flux as you navigate the world.
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