The Landscape: 5 Tips For Being Unapologetic Through Your Platform

There is nothing “wrong” with you. Who you are and what you hold dear is sacred to you and you only. Do not ever feel that you need to “validate” your experiences with anyone else. As capitalist societies are built to be competitive, cutthroat, and agonizing, there is no peace within that. In our current climate, there is a persistent push for folks to conform to the “traditional” way and always be productive yet where is the emphasis on your humanity? Or the fact that you can only be in one place, at a time? Social media certainly does not help this. Regardless, keep in mind, that the essence of your platform should be rooted in what is uniquely you. Your platform means your art, your passion, your space or any other avenue you would engage in and coincide with your unapologetic self. It is okay to take a break and it is certainly valid to stress from societal pressure which is on repeat. Normalize appreciating your creativity and what gifts you have to bring to your own, personalized and brilliant table. A table not built from societal cloth but one that is uniquely yours. 

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Never Apologize. 

This is your quick reminder to hear from me, that I am proud of you. I am proud of who you are and I am proud of who you are becoming. I affirm your journey and I will always support you. Never apologize for being the gem that you are; filled with life, experience and so much to explore. Never forget that you are amazing and that your identities are not aspects of your being to apologize for, whatsoever. Own every ounce of you as you are incredible, one-of-a-kind and you are deserving of love, protection and affirmation. Part of this is also recognizing that whatever platform you have is something that is filled with you being the only one to tell your story and your truth. You owe no apology for living in your identities and choosing to go about them in any way you deem fit. Simply because the privileged and powerful are threatened, it does not mean that you are the problem. Because you’re not. Continue to live in whatever you choose because it is what you deserve. 

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Embrace The Intersectional.

Intersectionality should be the core. Not only shares the same identities and perspectives which is the point. As some folks may consider intersectionality to be “daunting,” it instead encourages us to value and uplift all of our humanities and the importance of marginalized communities being the center of everything we do. Color-blindness and “sameness” are not answers when it comes to anything. The goal is not erasure. The goal should be to recognize how oppression is connected through all aspects while also ensuring that there is a personal and collective responsibility to affirm those around us in our communities and in other marginalized communities who are living in truths of their own. It needs to be unlearned that combating against the status-quo is unruly, when in actuality, it shows how essential it is for us to show and support each other. Intersectionality is the best recipe. 

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Never Feel That You Owe Anyone Your Truth.

Your truth is yours, that simple. Never think that your truths are open for other folks to negate and dismiss. This aspect of gaslighting not only seeks to lessen your perspective, but it also seeks to diminish the importance of identity and individuality. Your health and well-being should always come first. Never apologize for setting boundaries and never apologize for being stern about what you have to say with your art. If you do not stand behind what you’re creating then who will? Your story is yours and no one can tell it better than you can. And, guess what? You should have the absolute choice to not disclose that sacred aspect of your life. Never let anyone believe that they are entitled to your story and who you are. They do not have the right and they do not get to dictate how life is supposed to play out. 

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Take It One Day At A Time. 

At this point, I believe that we are all tired of the “we are in this together” foolishness. Truly. Because, the truth is, not everyone’s challenges are the same, as well as circumstances for that matter. Do what works best for you. Not what others may want but what is going to work best for you. You are only one person. Amidst everything which is occurring in society, take breaks and time for yourself. There is no guide for dealing with a global pandemic in our day and age so never feel guilty about taking time out for yourself. It is what you deserve. 

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Keep Going. 

As emphasized earlier, your platform can extend itself in many ways, not just on social media. We all have our own platforms which are unique to us. Some of you tend to enjoy filmmaking, writing, journalism, art, music, poetry, etc. Whichever platform helps you the most, live in it! For me (personally), I have come to find that using art as a means of social change or as a therapeutic endeavor, not only helped me on my creative journey, it also allowed me to discover and affirm more aspects about myself that I thought were faded or non-existent. Never forget that your power is your platform and that regardless of what anyone says however you choose to express yourself is something that is beautiful, revolutionary and human. So keep doing you. You are doing your best which is a blessing in itself. Continue to shine, to grow, to learn and to give yourself a break. You deserve love and affirmation, too.