(Trigger warning: mentions of suicide and rape)
Growing up, I knew I was different. I know it's cliche, but it applies. I liked and felt attracted to all kinds of people, not just boys. I knew it wasn't how everyone else felt and the older I got, the more I heard it was wrong. That I was gross. That my feelings were disgusting. And I hated myself. I never talked about it. I couldn't even bring myself to write it in my journal. One time, in high school, I finally worked up the courage and wrote down the following sentence:
What if I'm gay?
I knew I wasn't gay, but I didn't have the language to talk about my feelings. I didn't understand sexuality. No one talked about it. I knew that I was something and that something was wrong. I went into the bathroom and sobbed. My mom came down and asked me what was wrong. I said nothing.
I hated myself. I could never tell anyone. I ripped up the paper. I continued to talk about boys and boys only. Boys boys boys. I'm a girl. And girls like boys. Only boys. My dad made fun of those gross queers. He imitated floppy wrists and mocked dykes. I ached inside. I focused on my self loathing. It felt good to hate myself. I deserved it. I was the epitome of disgusting. I never talked about it. I plotted my perfect LDS marriage when I would be perfect and skinny and I wouldn't feel this way anymore. The love of a boy would make it go away. Going to the temple would make it go away. Hating it would make it go away. Praying would make it go away. Killing myself would make it go away.
Nothing made it go away. I'm Queer. I always have been. I will be for the rest of my life. And I no longer hate myself.
I hear some of my friends, family, coworkers, and acquaintances talk about LGBTQ people like they are some big abstract idea they can't even fathom. They don't think they know any LGBTQ people. They have specific disapproving nods when they talk about Queer people. They have big scared eyes and hearts full of pity and shame.They drop condescending sentences like.."oh she was that weird bisexual girl." Yeah, the Queers are ruining American families and they're coming for you. Or they're just children with irritable bowl syndrome and crippling shyness who can't stop crying in their bathrooms because they want to marry Cameron Diaz.
I know there are so many others who are hearing those things and hurting so bad and i'm so angry. I'm angry all the time and I'm tired of it.
I want everyone I know to know that I am Queer.
I'm Queer and that's good.
I'm Queer and I am good.