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Someone accused a dear friend of mine of “banging on” about her sobriety not too long ago. I’m sure many people have thought the same about me, although they’ve had the grace (let’s call it grace) to not say it to my face.
What are we allowed to “bang on” about? New jobs, new partners, new children, new lives. New TV shows, new cars, new houses, new noses, new crushes. Old ones too, to be fair. We’re allowed to bang other things too, but I’m not going there right now.
What are we not allowed to “bang on” about? Going sober, going ve*an, quitting smoking, dipping a toe into mindfulness, yoga, running. Racism, transphobia, homophobia, ageism, misogyny, class discrimination, ablism.
I used to roll my eyes when close drinking friends would have a month or two or three off alcohol. Yeah yeah, better skin, better hair, better shits, better sleep, better whatever. UNE AUTRE S’IL VOUS PLAÎT. I’m not judging those who are still rolling their eyes, because it’s really hard to believe that everyone *isn’t* actually lying, until you start to feel it for yourself.
But I also know that if it wasn’t for people who have the courage to “bang on” about the benefits that can come through not drinking alcohol DESPITE the eye rolls, I wouldn’t be about to celebrate a year without drinking alcohol and all the amazing things that have happened since I made that decision. If it wasn’t for those who have the courage to “bang on” about trans rights, the existence of non-binary people, the spectrum and universe that exists outside of the cis-centred binary, I wouldn’t have found it so “easy” to come out as non-binary trans.
To paraphrase (not plagiarise) Lady Gaga – there can be 100 people in a room and 99 of them don’t bang on about something but all it takes is one and it just changes your life.
And to directly quote the democratically-elected president of everyone’s heart, Ms Barbra Streisand – I’ll march my band out, I’ll bang my drum.
If you have something you want to bang on about, you do just that, OK? You never know who’s listening and needing to hear you.
(picture of Barbra looking wise and dignified, borrowed from Variety)