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.