When I was a child, I knew where I wanted my life to head. And, of course, there are hurdles put to distract, detour, and mislead one of their pursuits of happiness. Now 23, I’ve never imagined my life to take the turns that it has. My life has been a constant roller-coaster ride, with all its loops and deep dives. But I refuse to let these rides make me feel that I have to back away from my own pursuit of happiness.
As another day passes by, I thank God everyday I get to see another one. When I was younger, and even now, I always tried to understand all things, it didn’t matter what. I always like to dissect a situation, and piece it back together with full understanding. I never liked just knowing enough about anything, or what was only given, which caused me to do my own research or my own further investigations. I’ve always had a curious mind, and am always willing to learn something new. Because I realize that these people who live on the very same planet we do, have totally fucked the world, brainwashed humanity into their fake image of how society is (or should be in their eyes), and everybody wants to blame each other for the way we live, as an if it was an actual decision to make for ourselves, for the economy crashing, for so many killings in the world, and in the U.S. right in our own communities, and all the hidden evil that lurks around us, and not many pay attention to because of their own ignorance or not caring enough to know what type of people could even be living next door to them.
I know that from generation to generation we, which suppose to be the brains, heart and backbone of this nation as well as the world, continue to let these false and hypocritical teachings to continue, leading on the things that people, us, are supposed to be trying to eliminate. I don’t understand, and what always boggles my mind is, how can one just hate without reason, or of reasons that are biased and ignorant. It bothered me so much to know that people hated me so much, yet that feeling dissipated. Why? Because not many took the initiative to try to understand me, and not just take me for what they see on the surface.
Now that I’m maturing into an adult from a child, I understand myself more than I could ever have, especially with the situations I’ve been placed in currently. I see that no matter what, hate is a natural part of life, but yet most refuse to end those unnecessary burdens that we put on each other, our future generations, and ourselves. How crazy can I be, or anyone for that much, to not want to actually live in a world where love and peace actually take place. But it’s only inevitable when people continue to brainwash, and be brainwashed, to conform, or try to, to this society, to hate each other, and all other illogical reasons. And for what? Who knows? I would never understand why a person could or would hate anyone for not being what someone thinks they should or suppose to be.
I was told that I should never worry about how a person feel, or think about me, because I would never be able to progress within my own life because of my fixation on what or how someone feel about me. And that was true, because I found myself stressing over the fact that people actually hated me for their own reasons. And I would feel some form of wanting others to understand me, as a living breathing human being, just like everyone and everything else on God’s green earth. And as generations continue, I can see that society is willing to make a change, with the initiative of the people who actually want to change the world we live in. Regardless of a person’s race, religion, sexual preference or identity, age, or any life choice, should not be the overlying factor on which we judge someone.
And fortunately, I had people in my life that were honest and told the truth. And not those candy-coated, bullshit stories people get throughout their life growing up. I was taught that we as people should embrace each other, and love each other as we love ourselves. And, of course, I know it’s a challenge to love someone who is taught or manipulated into hating a certain person, race, or sexual preference and identity, but I heed to what I was taught. And the challenge with all its complexities, I will never turn my back on anyone. Throughout my life there were people there who took me in, even when I gave up on myself, and I vowed to myself and God that I would help any and everybody in any way that I can. But I will no longer go the unnecessary lengths to make, or even try, to convince a person to like me. If someone, anyone, is going to be associated with me, then I want it to be from their own personal perspective of me, and not from their idea or assumption of me, but by getting to know me.
Sometimes I wish people would use their minds, and actually think of what results can come from what they say to another person, before they let the words leave their mouth. I don’t understand how, or why, my sexuality is such a threat to someone. I never asked for this, but I’m not going to be ashamed of who I am, not only because I have strived so hard to get self-understanding and acceptance, but also because it isn’t in my nature to be ashamed of who I am, even when I was forced by others to believe that I am or should be. From many people I was told to hold my head high, and to do me, regardless of what anyone says or think. And me being able to accept who I am, I’m going to do just that, with no feelings of worry or shame. It just hurt, and can be very disturbing, when a person isn’t allowed to be comfortable in his or her own skin because of the ignorance of others, and dealing with all the isms and phobias there are in this world. Or not being able to feel comfortable enough to be in public because of the fear of being attacked or verbally assaulted by the occupants of this world. And some of the things I’ve heard from men and women (mostly men) would make any person feel inadequate or useless, i.e., and I quote, “all faggots should die”, or “all gays (faggots is/was the term usually used) are going to die from AIDS”, or the infamous line that I know most of us get is “you know you’re going to hell”. Now if you’re a person dealing with confusion of your sexuality, and have to hear things like these then I’m sure that hearing them won’t make that person comfortable, unless they’re a person of sureness and need no acceptance of anyone, within themselves to accept who they are, which leads to the closeted and “DL” people who need to feel accepted by family, friends, or society which is where most of the derogatory statements are predominately heard, which was the case for me.
I can recall so many times dealing with being scrutinized for me wanting to be myself, most of these incidents happened within my own household with members of my family. I can recall an incident that happened when I was living with my grandma, during a family gathering. I had a letter in my backpack for this boy who I was talking to at my school. After writing the letter I put it in my bag in anticipation of giving it to my friend, and then I went to the bathroom. After leaving the bathroom I went downstairs where the rest of my family was together. But I noticed this look on one of my uncle’s face, and before I could figure out why he was looking at me the way he was, he asks if he could speak with me. So we walk into the kitchen, and he tells me to have a seat. Next thing I know he’s holding up the letter that I wrote to my friend. But as he’s asking me what’s with the letter I’m thinking in my head how rude are you, or whoever went through my bag to get my letter without my permission, and not only that I’m in no mood for any lectures. And as I got fed up with the argument we were having, I got up to walk away from the situation. But in my attempt, my very own uncle wrapped his hands around my neck, and threw me to the floor with force, and continued choking me. I was so shocked, I didn’t even know how to process what actually was gong on, because I expected behavior like this from strangers, but to have it happening in front of my family by my family was a totally different experience in which I didn’t know how to handle. I never felt so betrayed in my whole life. Later that very evening, after all was done and said, he tried apologizing and goes on to say that he did it out of anger and he was looking out for me because he didn’t want me to die from AIDS, because gay people get AIDS. And of course everything he said went through one ear and out the other. Once again listening to the ignorant statements of a person, who in fact was in the medical field and still gave biased topics that many have just associated with being gay, as in if straight people cant get AIDS, and for all the other reasons his statements were brushed off as ignorant and unworthy of being listened to. I wasn’t sexually active, and if I was there were way better approaches to the subject, instead putting a confused teenager in a hostile environment, where most should feel comfortable, which was with my own family. From that point in my life I knew my family would not be supportive of me in my life decisions, especially dealing with my sexuality.
And not just dealing with the judgments of my own family, I dealt with it outside of the home. I remember being harassed everywhere from school to even the people in my own neighborhood. One incident where I came from m local store and being harassed there, but I spoke up for myself and I guess the men didn’t like that. When I walked out the store I was followed and then jumped by 5 guys, all who were in high school while I was only in the 7th grade. And it seemed that when I tried defending myself, the retaliated more. I can remember hearing them yell, “kill that faggot” as they stomp and punch me. I begged them to stop, but they continued. After they took my money, they ran off leaving me there. No one was there to help me, and I was scared to even move, even though I was only a couple feet from my house. When I walked in the house, my mom asked why it took so long, and then she turned around and noticed that I was bloody and distraught. It hurt me for m mom to have to see me like that. Her reaction was grabbing her shoes and the closest thing she could use for a weapon, and asked who they were and where they lived. I told her to forget about it, and she was furious that I could just let that happen to me and not retaliate. My biggest fear was my mom or siblings getting hurt in the process of defending me, or even being associated with me. I went to the bathroom and cleaned myself up. And as I washed my face blood continued to run, which is when I noticed that during the jumping my lip went through my tooth which caused me to have a scar over my top lip, and it’s still there. That was one of the many bashings I endured during my years growing up. And dealing with the bashings, being disowned by some in my family, my own confusion throughout the years caused me to grow angry, hateful, depressed, suicidal, hopeless, scarred and scared. I lost hope in others and myself. The best advice I got was pray that the lord makes you straight. And the younger naïve me did thinking that my life would be easier if I was straight. I was forced, literally, to go to church. I even remember being in the bathroom on my knees balling, asking “God why am I like this? Please, please change me. Please make me straight”. And after all the praying I would still wake up attracted to men, even if I tried not to be. But later in my life and learned lessons he changed me in a way I never would have imagined. He changed me to accept me and love me for who I am, and not how others wanted me to be.
And now, with the recent incidents that involved me, involuntarily, I feel that once again a single situation has blocked me from further reaching my pursuit of happiness. This time not only dealing with transphobia, but also racism which has never been an issue that I’ve had to deal with. Me being of different ethnicities, I never found room to discriminate or judge someone racially, even though I know that I have been indirectly judged by many of different races, along with being discriminated for my sexual preference. But to deal with racism and transphobia directly and upfront is very hard to deal with. Even hearing the words being said left me in total confusion and shock. And to have to be attacked in my own community by individuals who felt it was their duty to yell hate speech at not only me, but my family who was with me, and attack me for their own satisfaction of making someone else’s life miserable. I felt that I’ve worked very hard from where I started, to where I’m at now in my life, just to have it all taken away from me. It’s hard enough for gays and trans people to find stability in this society, and I’ve worked to hard to let anyone just take it from me. I’m so blessed to have such wonderful, supportive people who are here to help and make sure that all that is done from this point forward will be fair and just. I am truly sorry for the loss of a person who also was involved in the incident, but how would my mom and family feel if she heard that I was killed by a group of racist, homophobic/transphobic people only for walking to the store and being at the wrong place at the wrong time, which luckily I wasn’t by myself. Or even looking at it in different aspects, would the situation have been the same. Would they have taken the same lengths to prosecute him if he had killed me? Or would they have even cared if it were a black on black crime. But once again not to many people care if it doesn’t involve them or is of their concern. But think if it were your child, your sister or brother, a friend or family member. How would you feel? And now I have to deal with the repercussions of other people’s hateful actions. To deal with the nightmares, the stress, and the PTSD. To feeling paranoid that someone might try to kill me, or my family. To be unsure of where my future lies. I feel like the person I used to be, who didn’t know what life was about, or how to handle it. But I know with the support of my family, which is everyone who has been with m through this tedious journey, I will be better in time. I wont let the actions of hateful people detour or distract me. I will continue on my path to loving myself, and others. But most importantly, to continue in my pursuit of happiness.