I wear safety pins on my clothes sometimes. Not like other people do – no, I’m not one of those people. I’m wary of symbols – they can be bastardized really easily. It’s ironic, I guess. I like symbols, even though I’m wary of them. And I like safety pins, I even asked for safety pins for Christmas once. I got a lot. I also asked for bandaids. I collect bandaids.
But back to the safety pin. I use safety pins for my anxiety. They calm me down. One of my favorite songs is called Safety Pin, you know. “We’ll safety pin the pieces of our broken hearts back together.” It’s not a very popular song. It’s a pretty popular band. Though, honestly, it doesn’t always feel that way, especially when I get made fun of for liking them.
It’s ironic, isn’t it? We call them safety pins but we can get hurt by just a tiny little prick from them. They unhook by accident pretty frequently and then. Prick. Ow. That’s why I collect bandaids. They stick, and they don’t prick you. Maybe they hurt a little being pulled off, but that’s not the worst pain it could be. Safety pins aren’t as safe.
And I guess…
I guess that’s why I’m wary of people. You can’t cover heartbreak with a bandaid, and I rely on bandaids. So I try to just avoid it.
It’s hard. And heartbreak doesn’t always come from people close to you. It could be anyone.
Here, let me give you an example. There were these two guys from my high school. I didn’t talk to them then, don’t talk to them now. But we were Facebook friends. That’s how it goes, you know? You know them, you send a friend request.
Turns out one of them voted for a certain person in the 2016 election. I won’t name the person he voted for, but this former classmate is a cisgender, heterosexual, white, Christian male. I’m sure you might be able to guess who he voted for, but let’s just say America wasn’t great enough for him apparently.
This guy said he doesn’t support the racist, sexist, homophobic, and all the other terrible crap that’s too long to list that his candidate spouted, but he still cast his vote.
So I decided to tell him that people were in legitimate fear from the results of the election.
He mocked me for pointing out his privilege. I mean, how dare I be a feminist, right?
I was upset, so I vented on Facebook. He and his friend misinterpreted what I said and replied.
It was nasty. I cried. My heart broke.
If I could see him now, I’d finally know what to say:
This might shatter your world view, but being friends with a person of color doesn’t automatically make you not racist. Being educated doesn’t automatically make you a good person. Wearing a safety pin doesn’t automatically mean you are safe person to be around.
You hurt me in a way that I can’t put a bandaid on to fix. And I don’t necessarily want to try safety pinning my broken heart right now.
I want to let it hurt for a bit because the truth of the matter is I’m never truly whole, I’m always a little bit broken. I won’t ever be fully okay, and America won’t ever be great. But I’m gonna try to be a bandaid.