The Stories I Won’t Tell

I want to say some things that a white, cisgender man should not be given a lot of time to say. Rest assured, I won’t take long, and once I’m done, I’m going to close my mouth before I say more than I need to.

One of the most valuable lessons I learned while studying creative writing is discerning what stories are mine to tell, and which ones deserve to be spoken from a different perspective, if at all. It is an exercise in humility and self-awareness, and a test of faith in the world of storytelling. It is not glamorous, it should not be documented in vanity, and it will only become more important that we (referring to my demographic) learn it.

For a very quick example, my girlfriend recently found herself strongly invested in the world of social justice. I could not be prouder of her, and it’s exciting to see her criticize the world from her own (very relevant) perspective. I could write an entire article about her and everything she’s told me, but that’s not my story to tell. I would be doing her experience a disservice by writing about it from my point of view. This isn’t about my ability as a writer. I’m sure if I really wanted to, I’d write a perfectly nice and interesting article, but I don’t have the experiential rights to her story.

This discernment is not something to brag about, nor should anyone be congratulated for it. This is a standard of decency in art & literature that needs to be established loudly and clearly, and while I don’t want to be the face of those that make this happen, I do want to be one of the voices calling for this accountability.

And that’s all I need to say.

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Aspiring Actor, Musician, Comedian, Writer, Functioning Adult.

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Connor Thiessen

Connor Thiessen

Aspiring Actor, Musician, Comedian, Writer, Functioning Adult.

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