Things That Gave Me Confidence | 12th Man in the Motor City

12th Man in the Motor City

Blog of a Michigander


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Things that lead me to have confidence: Two things that lead me to have confidence recently would be: Public Speech for Anti-RFRA (against Religious Freedom Restoration Act) a few years back that I was invited to speak on and media training followed by real Interviews during the time of World Meeting of Families held in Philadelphia as a Progressive Catholic Young Adult pilgrim.

Granted, I liked being on the stage as I used to belong to multilingual theatrical company, when I was a child. I was a pretty imaginative kid and so acting as a character on books, was just extension of my imaginary play I did at home, but with more audiences.

In High School, I belonged to a Jazz Band. I was chosen as the trumpet soloist for the school Jazz Band. At first, I was baffled with confusion, because I was used to classical music through long years of piano lessons. What confused me was the Jazz Music Sheet I was given. It didn't have any note on one page, but just a line with "Improvise!" written above. It took me a while to get used to improvisation, but after I realized it was just like an "ad-lib" in music version, I was cool with that. I started to enjoy freedom, it had given, that I was never able to experience, when I was learning classical music.

With those experiences, I was a kid who enjoyed being on the stage. However, as I entered adulthood, I started to get very nervous. I think, it might be related as I started to accept myself of being a sexual minority. At the time and it still is here in Michigan, that LGBT folks could "legally" be fired for simply being who they are! And as a young adult, I learned I had to be "closeted" in order to avoid being fired. So, while I'm outside, I had to be acting "straight", and the only place I felt I can be out was at my apartment room, where I can be alone. It kind of taught me in a sense, that "my existence" was something to be ashamed of and that I should be feeling "embarrassed" about.

But you know, no one's core personality can be changed that instant. I was invited to make public speech for Anti-RFRA movement in local LGBT friendly town. The RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act), which was pretty much a trojan horse to legalize all sorts of discrimination, while disguising under the name of religious freedom. Anyways, I was against this act, so when a local LGBT activist invited me to speak from my Roman Catholic position, I accepted to do so. I thought I was going to get nervous, and I was right up until the time for me to speak. It's kind a funny, I get sick to my stomach kind of nervousness, right up till the show time. But once I speak one word, all of a sudden, I can calm all my apprehensiveness. I was able to work up the crowds, giving the crowds response time, and when they responded, it just gave me confidence cuz I knew I had supporters; that I didn't have to be ashamed of being authentic self. In fact, shame was on the those who lives by their ignorance, with their limited mindness.

The other thing that helped me gain/grow confidence was the Media training I attended through the organization I work for. At the media training, I remember asking the teacher to come at me aggressively, like the nasty media person would. I asked that, cuz I wanted to know what would be a trigger question for me and how I would react to it when I'm angered. After the training, our team was interviewed by NYT and other media outlets.

I still got nervous, but the first interview I received, the interviewer lady was so kind and so mindful. She took long time to interview, rather than rushing, even though she's such a busy successful journalist. I truly respect her and appreciate the organization that made my first experience with media, a very positive one.

Anyways, that gave me a bit of confidence. To speak out for the marginalized and oppressed. At least, I can use my outgoing personality to express the need of justice and equality, for those who might not be able to be authentic selves due to the risk they have to take in their home environment.