Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Life and Being Lost

(1 week ago)
It was around 10 pm, and I was heading over to your apartment with three different boxes of pizza sitting in the backseat. I was only headed over at the late hour because I needed to talk, and you, being the friend that you were, said yes.
"I'm about to graduate in a few months," I say. "The main thing is, now that I'm not with my parents, I don't know what to do afterwards."
And I talked about my college life. And all the people that I've met. And how, even though all your friends say that one day you will find love, no one seems to be interested in wanting to know you romantically. And that lack of a long term relationship made that sense of loss stronger.
"I just feel so lost. It's hard to describe, but it's there."

(about a year ago)
My hall mate. We were talking in the common room. She had moved to college from Northern California. She just broke up with her boyfriend. Her boyfriend decided to go to an out of state college, and had told her that he could not promise monogamy, and she would not accept that. She felt alone, in a completely foreign environment, and just learned (over Instagram no less) that her ex had no trouble finding a replacement for her. Someone who was "hotter" in every sense.  She said that she found peace in the soft warmth of white wine, the cheap kinds you find in the corner of the local liquor store. As someone who used to find a similar comfort in alcohol, I could relate to her more than most.  She wanted to go home, to a safe space, but she couldn't. There was a desperate sense of loss and regret.
At times, I imagine where she is now. I hope she has found happiness. Because, I know, there are places one can find the soft warmth that one needs.
(3 years ago)
Summer after high school. My best friend sits across from me. I am talking about my feelings about my future, and how my parents told me that I wasn't doing enough. Tears started streaming from my eyes, tears that I did not want her to see. She held my hand, and told me that I was a fighter, and that even though I don't see it now, I am capable of getting up and fighting another day.
"You can do this," she told me. "Don't give up on me." 
(2 years ago)
At a Starbucks, waiting in line. When the door opens, a classmate from high school walks in. Although we didn't know each other well during that time, you walked over hugged me like a close friend.
You said, "I missed you. Because there was that one time when you made me feel important when I thought no one cared about me. Even though I have forgotten what you said to me then, I remember how special you made me feel."
You then ordered your drink and left. But I never got a chance to tell you how much that meant to me.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Coming Out

The process of "coming out" as LGBT is an extremely personal act, but of course, in many countries around the world, including the United States, it is a political one as well.

My life would honestly be much easier if I just shut up about my sexuality. If I just stop talking about how much I liked girls, or grew my hair out to an "acceptable" length for a girl, or just stopped. And to be honest, I exhibit enough heteronormative traits to pass myself off as a straight woman (if I grew my hair out of course). But whenever I think about just making my life easier and pass myself off as someone straight, I remember myself in middle school, a scrawny 12-year-old girl with braces and headgear.

I remember being bullied for being that"lesbo" or "gay". I have had the words "fag" been thrown at me. I have had food thrown in my direction at the cafeteria, and I've been thrown against the wall while walking down the hallway. I remember feeling completely and utterly alone, not daring to tell my best friend or my parents what was going on at school. Because, in my mind, being that"lesbo" meant not having any friends or people who care about you. I remember wanting to die before I let anybody find out that I wanted to spend my life with another girl instead of a guy.

As I remember my experiences before I came out, I try to be as visible as I possibly can because I know from personal experience that I would have vastly appreciated (as someone who didn't even realize I was gay) to see someone like me own her sexuality and live life that was not in denial. I would have loved to see someone live without fear of judgment from others.

So a bit of advice for the young LGBT people out there, whether you have realized your own truth yet or not: your sexuality does not own you, nor does it define you. I'm 23 now, and I've been where you are right now. I remember being scared and calling my best friend in the middle of the night and telling her that I was gay while crying and (literally) shaking with fear of how she would react. The LGBT community is blessed with some of the most creative minds in the world, but we are also bankers, athletes, lawyers, doctors, scientist, farmers, and much more. LGBT people are everywhere, and we can be anyone.
So, at the end of the day, remember this: you can be anyone you want to be. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise based off of nothing but this one trait.