“…Your own individual experience isn’t universal…”

www.cannonballblog.com posted a great piece on gender, celebrity children and trans people and their voices.  While anyone is publicly discussing Shiloh Jolie-Pitt’s gender identity is beyond me, the following quote has so many important applications in so many daily conversations:

“It’s important to remember that your own individual experience isn’t universal….Privileging your own outcome as normative is uncool and discriminatory against marginalized groups you’re not a part of.” –www.cannonballblog.com

Written in response to female commenters who challenged trans identities based on their personal experience growing up into more traditional feminine genders after a tomboy-ish youth, this quote applies much more broadly.  Implicit is the recognition that individuals have different experiences, and feel differently about their experiences, and that’s okay. There’s more than one right way to approach things.

This is a hard message to hear, especially in a time period where the message “its all about me, all the time” is increasingly pervasive.  It shouldn’t take away from your individual experience to recognize someone else’s.