Confessions of previously held hurtful beliefs/actions

As a person who self-identifies as a queer, genderfree, trans, poly, pagan feminist with nuanced views on porn and BDSM (mainstream of both is evil but ethical versions do exist), I've experienced a great number of perspective changes. There was a time when I identified as a woman, a wife, a Christian (exclusively), a Republican, and monogamous.

It occurred to me one day recently that had my previous self come across my current self, I wouldn't have been able to take everything in. There is not just one difference to work through, and with virtually no framework for understanding people different from oneself, so much perspective shift at once is too much to hope for. It took me years to figure out these things for myself, after all.

Considering this and also the constant lament of people who are working on growing as a person and feel that they should have gotten it already, I want to share the things I have believed/done that I now consider wrong and would be ashamed of.

[racism, sexism, cissexism, ableism, etc :-<]I thought that same-sex sex was morally wrong and that AIDS was caused by people choosing to have sex the wrong way.

I thought that there were only two sexes, and that they were opposite.

I thought that there were inherent qualities based on ones assumed sex.

I thought that capitalism was the best way for people to be responsible and productive.

I thought that it was possible for any person to gain wealth, and that this made it fair for wealthy people to be exploitative hoarders.

I thought that marriage was inherently religious and the government shouldn't be involved in it- and I voted against gay marriage in my state.

I thought that people who only had sex in a committed relationship (as in, made vows to each other) were more trustworthy and caring than those who had sex in other ways.

I thought that people who did drugs or drank were lazy and unimaginative and irresponsible.

I thought women who dressed/groomed as demanded by society were my enemy.

I thought black men were sexually predatory (because my parent literally told me that).

I thought there were inherent differences based on race.

I thought disabled people were less useful than non-disabled people and that given the chance they would all want to be 'fixed.'

I'm sure there are more that just aren't coming to mind, but this is enough shit to make anyone ashamed. I didn't make any of these things up; I absorbed them from the influences I'd experienced at that time. I am ashamed because I know that whether I chose it deliberately or not, I hurt people. I cannot let my shame at having hurt people cause me to entrench around those hurtful ideas and try to justify them. I was wrong, and those ideas should be destroyed.

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llama_friendly ══╣╠══
"porn and BDSM (mainstream of both is evil but ethical versions do exist)"

I've really struggled on my feelings with this, though I've given more thought to porn. I usually can't decide if porn is okay. Are people, women specifically, being free with their bodies or are they being exploited? I like your perspective and it answers my question. I will have to research about ethical porn and BDSM to learn more about what it entails.

I am also guilty of believing in some of these (and more of my own --I grew up going to a religious school..yikes). I like the idea of accepting and admitting the wrongness rather than trying to justify them in any way. I think I've always tried to justify them and used my religious background and racist family (I once asked my cousin why she was dating a black shameful) as my scapegoat.
belenen ══╣feminist╠══
I wrote a very long essay about porn which I really want to re-write into something more approachable, because it's important to realize both aspects. In a similar way, BDSM has ethical versions but the 'scene' has a lot of abuse in it. Here's a good take on it:

Yeah, I think the first step is realizing that the world throws shit on you, and it's your job to clean yourself, not to claim the shit as part of you. I had lots of shit in my brain. Now I have less, but I'll never be free of it, gotta keep going.
twofootsmall ══╣╠══
To that I say; please, do not feel shame for past beliefs. Instead, take comfort in your obvious growth and increasingly balanced perspective, because many, many people never recognise that their beliefs/thought processes are off, much less have the strength or inclination to rewire themselves. To do so, and embrace that change, is admirable.

belenen ══╣progressing╠══
I don't feel shame as a person, or ashamed of myself. I think that those ideas are shameful, but I don't wear them or mentally punish myself for them, I just stay aware of them and use them as reminders that as much as I didn't see them, there may be other things I don't see now.

Thank you for the kind words <3
Alex Vause - Look
classical_wolf ══╣Alex Vause - Look╠══
Just my two cents...
As I've been in safer and non-emotionally abusive relationships, I began to explore BDSM/kink in a safe way, and now it's a regular part of my life. It took years, but I got there.

I feel that if people are engaging in RACK (risk aware consensual kink), it's okay :)

While Dan and I aren't D/s or M/s anymore, we love hard and play harder, and I couldn't imagine my life without it.
belenen ══╣feminist╠══
Re: Just my two cents...
It's like sex -- individuals can do fine, but pretty much everything you see in the mainstream is filled with sexist oppressive bullshit. And it takes work to get it out of your own experience. I think there's a lot of complex stuff going on! I also 'play hard' so it's a work in progress for me too.
classical_wolf ══╣╠══
Re: Just my two cents...
elven_ranger ══╣╠══
Now you show a lot of bravery, admitting you believed these things but that life has shown you different.
I am proud to have you as my friend.
grail76 ══╣╠══
I think we're all embarrassed by our past beliefs and understandings.
(Anonymous) ══╣╠══
belenen ══╣artless╠══
oh no, I learned to be open through LJ, I was not open before that (probably not until 22-ish). It was very much an unlearning process for me, since I had to close off to survive living with my parents.
wolfteaparty ══╣╠══
I had some past beliefs that were hurtful or embarrassing, which I now feel ashamed of. And when you're surrounded by certain influences, it's hard to not get them ingrained in you. I think what matters in the long run is the ability to grow, change, and put things into perspective.
goddessofchaos ══╣╠══
It can be hard to shake off the influences that surrounded you growing up. They can become quite ingrained. I was raised a Jehovah's Witness for most of my childhood and I retained some of the same beliefs you talk about here - such as gay marriage being wrong - for some years after I left. It was a conscious choice of mine to open my mind and change my thinking. I do cringe when I look back now and see some of the outmoded views I held, but then again, I think it takes some maturity and experience of the world to break away from the beliefs we're raised with. Many people never do, so I think you should congratulate yourself.
halfshellvenus ══╣╠══
This confessions are very brave... and also a sign of how very far from each of these beliefs you've come.

I hope others find this inspiring, because those beliefs really boxed in from all directions, and yet, you broke through ever single one of them. :)
hardigrin ══╣╠══
This was beautiful. Thank you for sharing. *hugs* That you came so far makes you more admirable, not less, and I hope you sharing this helps people feel less intimidated by you, or worry less that you'll judge them.

And. Hm. This sounds like unsolicited advice in my head, so I'm sorry if it comes off that way? It feels important though:

I think you should try to look at your past self with the same compassion and patience that you would treat a stranger you met now who had both those toxic beliefs/actions and the genuine caring for other people and passion to learn that your past and present self share. <3
chillychilly22 ══╣╠══
Didn't mean to post anonymously! Lol
nocternacis ══╣╠══
It took me years to figure out these things for myself, after all.

*nods* wise words. :)
elledanger ══╣╠══
Becoming a better person is hard work and it's constant work, so well done you and keep going. Anyone who ever thinks they've reached the pinnacle of perfection is sadly mistaken, because a new perspective is waiting around the corner.
May Day
karmasoup ══╣May Day╠══
Congrats to you for escaping the conservative bubble!
hands_cupped ══╣╠══
I've shared some of these thoughts, plus other ones I'm morbidly ashamed of. I'm inspired to come up with my own list for self-improvement purposes...
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Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
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Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.