Something different has the quality of not being the same as another thing, being distinct.
- We leven allen verschillend en toch gelijk.
- We've looked and looked, but after all where are we?
Do we know any better where we are,
And how it stands between the night tonight
And a man with a smoky lantern chimney?
How different from the way it ever stood?
- Robert Frost, The Star-Splitter.
- I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
- Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle.
- Thomas Jefferson, inaugural address (March 4, 1801); in Andrew A. Lipscomb, ed., The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (1904), vol. 3, p. 319.
Being women together was not enough. We were different.
Being gay-girls together was not enough. We were different.
Being Black together was not enough. We were different.
Being Black women together was not enough. We were different.
Being Black dykes together was not enough. We were different.
Each of us had our own needs and pursuits, and many different alliances. Self-preservation warned some of us that we could not afford to settle for one easy definition, one narrow individuation of self. At the Bag, at Hunter College, uptown in Harlem, at the library, there was a piece of the real me bound in each place, and growing.
It was a while before we came to realize that our place was the very house of difference rather the security of any one particular difference.
- Difference does not have to be threatening.
- Difference is that raw and powerful connection from which our personal power is forged.
- Audre Lorde, The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House. 1984. Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches. Ed. Berkeley, CA: Crossing Press. 110-114. 2007
- As women, we have been taught either to ignore our differences, or to view them as causes for separation and suspicion rather than as forces for change. Without community there is no liberation, only the most vulnerable and temporary armistice between an individual and her oppression. But community must not mean a shedding of our differences, nor the pathetic pretense that these differences do not exist.
- It is not our differences which separate women, but our reluctance to recognize those differences and to deal effectively with the distortions which have resulted from the ignoring and misnaming of those differences.
- If I could wake up in a different place, at a different time, could I wake up as a different person?