What’s that overused, cliched saying? Sorry seems to be the hardest word? Well, the thing about cliches, is that they happen to be true. A couple of weeks ago, I posted THAT image on my squares equating camping to homelessness and, here I am to say, publicly and permanently, what a dick move that was on my part. When I woke to the reaction, it was clear I’d made a mistake. A huge one. Should I have seen the offensive nature of the post before I posted it? Absolutely. Was I blinded by my privilege – almost certainly. I was careless, thoughtless and stupid. Is sleep deprivation an excuse? Absolutely not but I had only had 3 hours sleep in 36 hours so maybe, if you can bring yourself to, it could go someway to explaining (not excusing) why I made such a ridiculous error in judgement.
As many of you know, I deleted the post and posted an apology on stories. I deleted the post not because I wanted to hide the comments (although I wasn’t gutted to see numerous instances of people calling me a cunt disappear) or because I just wanted to sweep it under the carpet but because I was embarrassed and ashamed to have shared such a crass sentiment. It didn’t and doesn’t reflect me and my ethos or the things I talk about on Instagram and so I removed it. Despite what people think of me, I’m not ok with making a mockery out of serious social issues and I am deeply sorry for all the offence I caused in doing so with that post.
I put my apology on stories because, in the moment, it was the quickest and easiest way to get an apology out there. Since then, I’ve been bombarded with criticism for my apology and the way I chose to issue it and it’s been hard to know what the right thing to do is. To be clear, my silence until now has not meant that I haven’t been thinking about this, that it hasn’t been weighing on my conscience. I have never been at peace with the issue nor felt that I dealt with it 100% correctly. My silence has been me taking time to figure out the right thing to do, the right thing to say, the right way to say it.
I am sorry for the post. I am sorry for the offence I caused. I am sorry I made light of a serious social issue, especially in the context of having just returned from a festival that I was damned lucky to be at. It was wrong. I should know better and I have a responsibility to do better. There’s no justification for it and I’m sorry.
I hope this mistake isn’t the thing that defines me in so many people’s eyes because, with my hand on my heart, that’s not the person I am. I recognise that I’m privileged; I recognise that privilege makes me ignorant of the realities of life for so many people but I am truly aware of that and I am working to educate myself and understand where my experiences leave me lacking. It’s a process and I want to open up the avenues of dialogue so that we can start to discuss this without anger or resentment. It’s not easy – it’s probably idealistic – but I’m willing to try.