I remember the very first moment when 7 a.m. no longer felt safe. On my college campus, early-morning discrimination kept me on the other side of the street with both fists and my heart clenched. I remember the bus ride alone with four men. I remember “dyke," spat at my frame while trying to buy groceries, the downward curl of strangers’ mouths in crosswalks, the homophobic-gang-rape nightmare five months ago that led me standing in my closet every single morning for about six days, in gnawing silence, searching for the most feminine clothing I owned before stepping onto my front porch.
Listen, I talk about sexuality a lot. And sure, in my world, on my page, it might seem like a non-issue after a few or fifteen posts with various likes. In my world, it is. Listen, thank you. Listen, welcome.
But my world is not this world. And my pride is a small light, and I need you all to understand something. Someone is not a coward for not revealing their sexual orientation. Someone is not a coward for remaining silent to words like blades, or under parenting by fear. My pride does not flicker, it is not wavering, and it is not fragile. It is smart. It can be quiet to keep me out of harm’s way. It will be loud when it needs to be, and oh so fucking help me and cry me a pathetic river if it makes you uncomfortable. It does not speak when you allow it to. I do not speak with your allowance. It does not exist with your permission—your permission is irrelevant to my existence.
Absolutely no one is a coward for bending into themselves under the pressure of this society that treats women and minorities and the LGBTQ+ community’s voices like a frequency too high in common sense for their ears to allow. We’re not asking you for your overrated stamp of approval, we never have been. We’re asking you for safety, for equal treatment. Because literally every single one of us who is out and visible and vocal about what we’re being denied is brave. And special. And worthy. We’re asking you to stop changing the channel because we’re something new, because we’re something, Heaven forbid, different.
We’re just fucking asking you to listen.