Kanye West is making news from what he sees as his powerful self-expression.
It's confronting people and challenging them in many different ways.
I feel compassion for him. I wonder if he's actually doing ok. I wonder how much of what he's sharing comes from intentional choices to get media attention or because he's actually ignorant.
At a basic level, I do support his self-expression. I support him saying what he thinks is true and real. We all deserve that. But he's speaking from a position of power in our society, and incredible wealth and privilege at the moment. And with that platform comes responsibility.
People have strong feelings about what he's saying and doing.
It comes down to knowing who we are, not only for ourselves with our own opinions and perspectives but who we are in relation to all human beings. We don't exist as islands. We have impact. We all have relative privilege and disadvantage. Each and every one of us, some of us more than others.
I shared this sentiment on the two panels I sat on this month, once in Pittsburgh to an audience of tech/startup-minded individuals and last week in NYC to an audience of activists, social media marketers and all sorts of other people.
I am consciously positioning myself on those panels and outing myself as a #transgender person to share insights about privilege and power and identity development. I'm working to help the current social awareness of trans* people and what we can do or are capable of being and where we belong. I am also just sharing from the deep reservoir of information and knowledge I've acquired throughout my career.
Most people don't know who they are outside of what society has shaped them to be. Most people aren't given the tools to explore identity and know themselves as complex, dynamic beings capable of changing and evolving with each moment.
It's the work I've been doing for my entire career. It's the message I've been sharing since becoming a coach. It's starting to gain traction. The time is now for me to keep expressing myself and sharing this knowledge to help others. I know everyone won't agree with me and the ways I'm doing it and how and why.
It's why I support Kanye sharing his truths, even if I disagree with him.
Ultimately, we all deserve to say what we need to say.
When we can do it with integrity and from a place of deep introspection and awareness, we can be even more powerful. When we can do it from a place of love and wisdom and compassion, like I did several weeks ago, we have the opportunity to change lives for the better. We can empower ourselves to inspire others toward their own self-empowerment.
This happened for me several weeks ago at my talk in NYC and my schedule has been so packed I haven't even been able to share about that. Here's a small video that's a bite-sized recounting of that experience. And know I'm working hard to make it happen again and more often as much as possible.
When we know who we are, we are unlimited.