A Sense of My Place in the World

By Margo Dent
Published: MArch 19, 2015

Consciously or unconsciously, we all look for people in our lives that are a reflection of ourselves.  It is how we find validation, camaraderie and a sense of our place in the world.  To be able to say, ‘they are just like me!’ brings comfort and connection.

Through my work, my children and my community involvement I have had the opportunity to have in depth conversations with many youth at a gut level.  I have been privy to their insecurities, fears, hopes,  in-sights,  dreams and questions….so many questions!  And funny enough, many of the very same thoughts and feelings I had as a youth:  where do I belong?  who are my people?  where is my place in this world.  Who knew the youth of today would be struggling with the same things as me 30 years ago? 

A dynamic that was not present for me in high school, but one that I speak a lot about with youth and 18 years ago become a part of who I am, is being  LGBTQ+.  (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning)  Although I don’t particularly identify as anything in particular, I do recognize the LGBTQ+ as being ‘my people’.  For me, I just fell in love with a most incredible individual and she happened to be female.  Love is love…and the sooner society can look past the stereotypes and stigma, the sooner we can all live more freely. 

Freedom! Taken for granted by many and craved by those that it eludes.  Many in the LGBTQ+ community often do not feel free to present themselves as how they truly feel intrinsically for fear of rejection, judgement or persecution.  Years ago I would hold my partner’s hand as we were walking on the trails, yet we would always ‘release the hold’ when others were walking towards us.  Heaven forbid someone see the two of us holding hands!  Oh, and telling family!  I was so fortunate: when I sat my Dad down and told him about my marriage being bad and all the steps that led to me being in a relationship with a woman, his only response was, “There are no surprises in situations like these.” 

I was 29 and entering a same-sex relationship.  I was not 15 or 10 or 6, knowing that my body parts did not match my brain, or that I loved to do drag or that I risked being kicked out by my parents or…. For some youth, their parents are struggling to understand and really don’t know how to support their child to be their best self!  Where is the freedom to live one’s truth when, according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the very basics of life are at risk? 

I believe that when we know better we do better.  I feel strongly that with education there is more room for compassion and acceptance and we can peacefully co-exist with a ‘live and let live’ mentality.   

Safe ‘n Sound Squamish is a newly formed organization with the following  mission statement:  Safe ‘n Sound Squamish celebrates and honours our LGBTQ+ citizens, their families and allies, through awareness, education, visibility and resources.   The excitement is building towards our first event which will be a conference and celebration, “Someone Like Me” on May 9th, 2015.  Details about the event can be found on our website, www.safensoundsquamish.com or on our facebook page.  This event is for the entire community!  We welcome you to come, learn and share in a safe space.  If you are looking for “your people” or if you don’t know what the ‘+’ means, you need to join us!