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  • Writer's pictureEdie Montreux

Positive Intent

I am a white hetero/demisexual cisgender woman. 

I sometimes say the wrong thing. The ignorant thing. The stupid thing. The privileged thing.

I pride myself on being an ally. I also fail as an ally. I recently had an opportunity to identify myself using my pronouns, and I did not. I also assumed pronouns of a teammate based on appearance, and I should not have done so.

I hurt my best friend when I make dumb white girl comments. He forgives me. I don’t know why or how, but he does. Even so, I hate myself for hurting him. That’s not my intent.

Lemur and I have long conversations about the difference between intent and perception. I mean well, my intention is good, but we all know the road to hell is paved with good intentions. *

My mistake: I don’t assume positive intent in others. People do not set out to hurt me, but I believe they do. A careless or ignorant word said at the wrong time. A statement taken out of context. An awkward attempt to join the conversation. 

People just want to talk to me. I’m likeable, according to my bestie. I make eye contact. I listen. Some assume this means I’m truly interested, rather than just being polite until I can run the fuck away. People try to monopolize my time with trivial shit, and that just pisses me off. 

In 2018, I want to assume positive intent. I need to take a step back and realize people are just trying to connect. I need to take a deep breath and do my best. That’s all any of us can do.

If I’ve hurt you, my friends, please know I did not mean it. I’m trying to do better. Call me out if I fail.

*(If you don’t, there’s a Randy Travis song to tell you about it.)

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