Me in the 10th grade Me this past February speaking at HRC's Youth Conference
Dear people who have hurt me over the years,
I'm still here and yes I'm still queer. While your constant bullying hurt me both mentally and physically, it did not change my sexual orientation. It did not prevent me from dating guys, from loving the arts and from finding the love of my life, who yes in case I was not clear enough is an amazing young man who I have fallen madly in love with and am glad I met.
Don't get me wrong your hatred for the person who I was then really hurt, and I often cried myself to sleep at night wondering how you could be so mean, why you hated my very existence so much and why I even carried what you thought about me at the time. But then again I was young, and your option of me matted then but now anymore. Your words of hate stuck to me; they stayed with me for years and caused me much pain in both the mental and physical kind. Over the years I have realized something, and I wanted to tell you that I forgive you for all that you put me though, for the countless nights you made me cry, for making me afraid to go to school, for beating me up, for the years of mental abuse and the name calling. I have realized that while you were hurting me, you might have been hurting as well and like I did you might have just needed someone to tell you that things are going to be ok, that you don't need to worry anymore and some to be your friend.
What I am to say might seem like a weird thing to say, but because of the pain, you caused me I have become a much stronger young adult full of dreams, passions, and resiliency in times of oppression. I have not only become more aware of who I am as a person but have also found my voice for advocacy and now work to use my voice, my story and the pain that you once caused me to advocate for all those who are hurting. I have become a decisive voice in the river of opposition and have added my voice to the ever-growing ocean of love that our nation and our world needs to thrive.
So yes while at the time what you said and what you did to me hurt me, brought me down and might have temporally made me feel defeated I have risen above and your hate and your ignorance and have become a stronger, better and more outspoken person because of it all.
So let me say again that I forgive you for what you did and also thank you for helping me become the person who I am today. I hope that you have found peace in your own life, that you to have forgiven yourself for the pain you caused me and others over the years, I hope that you are thriving in life now as I am.
With love and kindness,