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Ayn Rand Story Contest Featured Winner: For My Own Good

Ayn Rand Story Contest Featured Winner: For My Own Good

Andres Trespalacios

October 15, 2021

My story is a complicated one, because the mere decision to write this could eventually expose me to unwanted attention from everyone who knows me. Although I don't want to be misunderstood, objectivism has helped me overcome the barriers of prejudice and the expectations that others may have of my life, since the only one who sets them, in essence, is me.

It all started when I came across an article on the web, it was from a magazine I had never seen before. I have always been libertarian-leaning so I know several media related to the ideas of freedom, but never from a philosophical perspective. It was at that time that I saw The Objective Standard, a network that contains various opinions on various topics from an objectivist view, but the one that caught my attention was a column on homophobia and how this philosophy had helped the author to value himself as a rational human being and how to stop depending emotionally on the vision of others on such a sensitive issue as homosexuality. Once I finished reading it, I found myself researching more about this author's motivation to live his life freely; that's how I realized that this idea corresponded to Ayn Rand.

I needed to know more about her and what she thought, which was difficult. Where I come from it is much easier to find a copy of the Communist Manifesto in a neighborhood bookstore than her works. But that didn't stop me, thanks to free market capitalism, I was able to acquire a copy of her book Anthem, simple to read and concise. I was caught by the heroism of the main character that could easily represent me. At that moment I realized that being a homosexual, it is not necessary to live in a constant state of resentment and disgust toward society, I did not have to be a victim of my circumstances, but rather a Prometheus, who spreads freedom as a basis for individual development.

This change of perception in my life gave me the courage to come out in the first instance to my friends, not because I expected their approval, but because I knew I had nothing to hide, my sexuality was no longer a defining factor in my relationship with other people, simply an aspect of my life that I could no longer deny due to collectivist customs that predetermine people who are like me to live anguished and packaged in a false identity that overlaps your personal merits. I told myself “My life is lived for my own good, not for the good of others" and under that mantra I have directed my decisions as rationally as possible.

Unfortunately, it is common nowadays to encounter a reality that on one hand prefers to consider your sexuality over your character and ideas, not only by religious conservatives, but also by postmodern progressives. It makes you feel locked into an identity that is clearly not yours and disregards your capabilities by turning your sexual orientation into your only achievement.

Anyway, the world may have ignored Rand’s warnings, but I didn’t, and from that moment on, I do my best to spread information about her life and works. With any luck it may resonate in the minds of some curious person who has been as lost as I have and may recognize the value of freedom and reason using the tools that technological advancement gave me and my generation. The power of social media is immense, and I plan to use it for good.

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