A Lesson in Authenticity

by Tammy Plunkett

One of the first things I noticed when I started volunteering with Airdrie Pride Society was the genuineness in our LGBTQ community. If you ever want to meet people true to who they are come out to a community cafe.

Do you ever wonder what’s the price we all pay to live an inauthentic life, gay or straight, transgender or cisgender?

In a day and age when we closely monitor our online persona to create exactly what we want others to think of us, it is often quite easy for us to forget our true selves. We are constantly bombarded by impossibly perfect opinions and images of “the right way to be” and “the right thing to do”. It’s, therefore, not surprising that we prefer hiding behind avatars that only share the highlight reels of our lives. But, the side effect of all this hiding is that we are lonely. Our true self is just aching to be called out into the open and to have a meaningful conversation with another true self. We are alone in a sea of people who are just as shallow as we are, as they’re hiding their true selves too.

The Pride community in Airdrie has a lot to teach us about showing up as our true self and finding deeper friendships. Especially our youth, who lead our community by demonstrating true acceptance, non-judgment, awareness, and realness.

Dare to be real, too. Start with those you trust most in the beginning, and then expand your range. Evaluate what is honestly at stake if you show your true self… will you really be forever alone if your friends know that sometimes you’re less than perfect? Really?

All that we want, all of us, on a very deep level is to be seen and accepted for who we are. But the only way we can receive what we want from others is to allow the intimacy for them to see into the deeper parts. In To Me See.

What’s missing in this world is real and messy interactions with real and messy people. We are all craving it and too many of us older folks haven’t been brave enough to show our ugly bits. Well, I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours. It’s time to relegate the term “normal” to a setting on our washing machines.

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