Rain Dove is a gender non-conforming, gorgeous model and their recent Instagram DMs have been all over Twitter. Through this sneak peek into their messages, Dove has earned their reputation as an understanding, strong ass human being. An angry parent accused them of getting their child sick with "mental problems" because the kid asked for a chest binder. The parent was distraught that her daughter "wants to be a boy" and "hates her body." Dove, however, responded in a remarkably respectful and informative manner, which completely turned the conversation around:
This special exchange is the definition of patience and truthfully brought me to tears. I immediately sent it to my mom who also joined me in the cry fest. It's easy to get irritated and angry when someone comes at you, blames you, and generally holds different views than you. Especially when a stranger has the nerve to attack you without really knowing who you are. It's expected to lash out with frustration and attack them back, but this will just create more negativity. On the other hand, the more difficult response–to remain cool, calm, and created–can produce real, advantageous results.
It's not your responsibility to educate, inform, and convince others, especially when it comes to gender non-conforming or trans folks who have to fight for their right to just be. Nonetheless, it's admirable how Rain Dove reacted to a concerned parent. Most parents care for and want the best for their children. They may be filled with fear or pain, but they love their babies. Dove reminded the mother that safety–physical and emotional–is the utmost concern for both of them. As a result, the worrisome mother realized that pushing her daughter away is not the path to take and Dove was able to change the at-home situation for the respective child.
In our times of impulsive social media arguments, violent incidents, and name-calling, we need to come together and just listen.
I always say that if one goes low, I'm not going to go lower, but it's a lot easier said than done. If someone were to send me messages full of hate, I don't know what I would do. I'm not perfect and have definitely responded to these situations in a more aggressive manner. I tend to get incredibly defensive, but I know that being patient is in my favor.
You won't change everyone's opinions, but every respectful action will have some sort of positive reaction. Even if an antagonist gets annoyed that you're being so kind and not reacting in a hostile manner, you are setting an example for a constructive discussion.
Next time you want to reply with a hostile comment, send an angry tweet, post a passive-aggressive Snapchat story, or spit a snarky comeback, think about the result. Will it be successful? Will you get what you want or are you just adding a flame to the fire? Try to hold yourself back and practice some much-needed patience.