Why history seem to be less appealing lately

When I was at work the other day I found myself saying that I am not overly interested in history and historical things. First I just thought it was just an expression of my forward-looking creative mind. However, today I realised that it might be much more into the whole thing.

When I was in school I actually was fairly interested in history and had really good grades in it. I think most of my interest was focused at the Second World War era and of course aviation in particular. I still have all these books in my bookshelf but I seem less and less inclined to read them. It is not because I have lost interest in miitary warfare, in fact in my job I think I need to consider historical lessons learned quite a lot.

I believe it has more to do with progress in terms of human rights, democracy and respect for minorities. My own journey into the woman I am today and my work with LGBT-rights has actually influenced me a lot. So much that is has became a centerpiece of all my values. I have learned so much about all the aspects of human rights from laws and regulations down to the importance of awarness building in schools and society in general.

Each time I see some historic exhibition it often is fairly obvious that the situation for women, ethnic minorites, gay and lesbians, transgendered, disabled people was a lot worse than it is today here in Sweden. I have a hard time disregarding the fact that it would have been a real tough for me to live in that era and that gives me a feeling of sadness. I think that is why I find it very hard to be fascinated by historical reenactments, historical cities and exhibitions. I have no interest in either taking part in nor watching people reenacting an era where women in general and lesbian ones in particular had such a hard time.

This also seems to overflow to my feelings when I see news segments from other parts of the world where it usually feels like travelling back in time in terms of respect for human rights. However, my feelings in these case are different because I feel an urge to do something to change the current situation. Still, it also seem to give me reminders of “old times” which makes me even less interested in history.

Of course we also have the aspect of my own history which I find myself struggling with now and then. I have chosen to be completely open with my background since I desperately don’t want to get back in the closet again. On the other hand it is hard to relate to my own history which represent a time where so many central things were wrong. It is sometimes even hard to relate to the fact that it was me doing this stupid things back then. I also find myself more uncomfortable to be reminded about what it was like then, my old name and things like that. It nearly makes me shiver sometimes.

Finally I think I have a tendency to be charmed by new novel ways of solving problems and that I think is the final nail in my history coffin. Playing with a ten year old computer isn’t actually that much fun and I fail to be charmed by the thoughts of that time. One of the few exceptions is that I actually enjoy going to the National Air & Space Museum where there obviously is a lot of old aircraft. Still, I often skip the oldest parts of the exhibition and move to the newer aircraft and of course enjoy future-oriented exhibtions the most.

So, history seem to make me feel there wouldn’t be any place for someone like me in that setting and the sad part is that it is probably true.

The Land of Affirmations

I spent last week in Las Vegas, Nevada and as usual I enjoyed being in the United States again. On my way back home again last Friday/Saturday I started thinking what it is that makes me like it there. Sure I think I am more pro-US than most Swedes are and it always nice to go on a long trip – it is almost like an adventure. But there must be something more to it…

First of all I think the gender roles are a bit more accentuated in the US especially among the business (or military) people that I normally meet. It is something about how people dress I think. Women are in general a little bit more formal (during daytime) than what is common in Sweden and also in general a little bit more makeup. Match that to a style which favours sneakers (during leisure time) together with pink colors and it fits me like a glove ūüôā So I actually think I blend in better in terms of my looks in the US. All of this are generalisations of course but still. I actually feel a little less stared at in the US which of course is a big relief for me.

However, what really affects me is the constant affirmations I get everyday when I am being adressed as “Miss” or “M’am”. Lately I seem to have became more of a “M’am” than “Miss” actually I think I feel rather good about that. The first times years back I noticed this of course and became very happy but I guess I became used to it over the years while forgetting the effect it had on me. It is very good for my mind to get these affirmations when being addressed on the aircraft, at the hotel reception and at lunch. It secures me on my “pink cloud” where I feel secure and proud of myself.

Actually there are very few wrong pronouns when I am in the US also. I can hardly remember when anybody over there used the wrong one for me the last time. Here in Sweden it happened just a few weeks ago at the Headquarters in the middle of a meeting.

So I guess America is good for my self-esteem. Fortunately I am flying back there on Monday morning and will stay in the Virginia area for two weeks.

Note to non-Swedes: In Sweden the equivalents of Mr/Miss/Mrs are hardly used any more. Maybe if you get a very formal invitation from the King, otherwise it is usually done with some kind of humorous remark. It is very informal conversational climate.