I ride mass transit for part of my commute to school. It's really cool, besides running for the train and looking like a total dork, I also get to meet people I would never had a chance to meet before. Like today this older woman in an electric wheelchair came zipping onto the train. She then leaned back in her chair, gasped and said "whoop! I had it set on fast!"
So I said "you're a speed demon!"
She laughed and laughed, and I laughed. It was a short uplifting interaction that I would never have experienced if I hadn't recognized and responded to the human next to me.
I'm kind of a shy person, but I'm getting more and more outgoing since my deconversion and coming out. I think part of it is the layers of shame and fear I was taught, not just as a Christian but also as a middle to upper class white person, are dissolving. I'm living on my own now (yep, my move was successful and my new place is great!), I'm working and going to school at the same time so my financial status has changed (I'm still really well off compared to most people), I'm openly queer, I am one of the people I was taught to be afraid of. So, the old fears fade as I realize their bigoted origins. Also, my "enemy" (for lack of a better term) is now the people who taught me I should be afraid, not those they taught me to fear. I am far more threatened walking into a church then onto a bus.
I don't really know where this post was going, I guess I'm just happy I can recognize the people around me as people, and engage them as equals, rather than living in a world of potential threats.