We've received a lot of positive feedback since first launching the ¿Quien Tú Eres? podcast. Many of the comments we have received come from people who believe that we need to have the authenticity discussion more often within our communities. We agree. But we also know starting that discussion can be hard.
So many of us have struggled with authenticity because it wasn't something that was fostered in us throughout our lifetimes. We simply came to the decision, in adulthood, that we needed to be authentic. But without any knowledge of what it actually looks like, how does one act on that decision?
Believe it or not, this very problem was one of the motivations behind launching the Plurawl brand. We wanted to help inspire authenticity within our larger community. The Spanish art and Hispanic clothing we sell is a way to do that by helping people start the discussion.
You Don't Know Until You Try
It is easy for people who feel marginalized to assume that the rest of the world doesn't really want to have the authenticity discussion. But an assumption is just that. The fact is that you never really know until you try.
It could be that some of the people in your circle are more than happy to have the authenticity discussion. They just don't think about it because their daily experience is different than yours. But start the discussion and they will jump right in.
Other people really don't want to have the discussion. That much is equally true. But again, there is no way to know without attempting to start it. That is the whole point behind our clothing line, as well as our artwork and coffee mugs.
Things May Be Awkward at First
It has been our experience that starting the discussion is the hardest part for many people. But a close second is the awkwardness that usually follows. In the early stages of the discussion, people don't know what to say or how to act. Some are afraid to say what they really think because they don't want to offend.
In essence, what you have is a lack of authenticity preventing people from being authentic within the framework of discussion. That's okay. It takes time to foster an environment where everyone truly feels comfortable expressing their thoughts and feelings.
The one thing to remember is this: do not let that initial awkward stage stifle the discussion. Being truly authentic 100% of the time is too important to turn tail and run because those first discussions aren't comfortable.
Authenticity Takes Courage
People who are willing to start the authenticity discussion quickly realize just how much courage it takes to follow through. That's because authenticity itself takes courage. Not a lot of people are on board because they are afraid of the consequences. Yet we can tell you from our own experience that the risk is very much worth it.
Consider our T-shirts and hoodies as a way to give yourself a courage boost. If you can be comfortable wearing one of our AOC shirts, for example, then use the shirt as inspiration to find the courage to start the discussion. You might even find that the T-shirt starts the discussion for you.
If we are to be truly authentic in every situation, we need to make a commitment to the authenticity principle. But that commitment must be followed by action. And the only way to get the action started is by having the authenticity discussion first. Having that discussion can be hard. But the result can be far more rewarding.