AS LONG AS WE LIVE IN FEAR,….. WE LIVE IN IGNORANCE….
To the many of us who have struggled, being of the GLBTQ community, this is for you. To those who have triumphed over the idea of conforming to this fascist, hateful society, this is for you. But most importantly, this is for all of our loved ones who have become victims of hate crimes and domestic violence being of the GLBTQ community, specifically Trans men and women, who are singled out and have the highest percentage of victims of hate crimes and domestic violence. My love and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of those who have lost a friend, a brother or sister, a mother or father, an auntie, uncle or cousin, or a partner or spouse to this epidemic. To all those unfortunate cases, this is for you.
In the memories of those who we have lost, it is our duty to put an effort to make a change. We should not have to sit back in the fear of our own lives and well being, or the lives and well being of those we love and care for due to the hate that exist and threatens our safety. We should not have to mourn for the lives of the people we love and have lost due to hate and careless acts. We have to stand up against those who put us down and try to oppress us. We have to enlighten the neophobics of this world and to help them realize the vast and diverse world we live in. because as long as [we] live in fear, [we] live in ignorance.
I thank the lord everyday for keeping me here and giving me such a profound mouth and mind to share my experiences and the trials and tribulations I’ve overcame, because honestly, I never thought I would make it past my 16th birthday. To grow up and have that thought at a young age is unsettling. The thought or feeling of knowing or expecting that today could be my last day on earth, only because someone hates me for being the person I felt would make my life happiest, or for being in an abusive and controlling relationship with someone who has no regards or remorse as to how they treat their partner is an unsettling thought. But it’s more unsettling to know that this is our reality, and that these are the issues we have to face on a day-to-day basis. And even with all that we choose to live our lives, and to continue living them proudly with gumption, bravery, and love in our minds and hearts. I know I still have faith in people, and am willing to make a change if they are willing as well.
We all grow up in different communities, with different social categorizations, but when it comes to being GLBTQ, sometimes we’re excluded and put into a category of it’s own, that is demeaning and belittling, and that no matter where you are we are singled out. I grew up in a community that was predominately African-American people. And with the fact of me just being a minority in this society was bad, being African American and trans is an ultimate challenge. I can remember having loaded guns being put to my head and being beat until bloody. Or walking downs the street and being yelled “ a faggot”. I thought because of their ignorance I decided to change my surroundings. So I moved to a suburban community, which were predominately white people. Then, I remember people grabbing their purses and children, like I was a thief and was going to steal their money and kids, and to still be yelled “queer” or “faggot”, which made me feel upset and that my efforts of leaving one community to another, went without victory. Also being a victim of domestic violence was also an issue that I had to deal with in my early teenage years. And fortunately I got out of that situation.
The point I was trying to make was that no matter where you go, or community you live in, people will continue to discriminate. And as long as we do not stand up for our equality, we allow them to have the upper hand against us. We allow for them to feel that’s its okay to verbally and physically attack us. And I feel that it is our duty to give these people the awareness and education about whom we truly are, and not whom they assume we are. We have to make sure that we won’t lose any more of our loved ones due to hate crimes and domestic violence. These problems are often over-looked when it comes to GLBTQ people because people feel that it isn’t as important if it happened to a straight person. Which is ironic because these problems affect us disproportionately. I feel that it is our duty to change the minds of those neophobics, because as long as [we] live in fear, [we] live in ignorance.
We have to be the matriarchs of this society. To start teaching our younger generations about hate, and why it’s so important not to hate. We have to end the bullying and harassment in our school systems. To organize more community actions and awareness about hate crimes and how to stop them from happening. We need to be leaders and role models for all to learn from. And from that we would be able to help and comfort someone who is unsure about his or her own sexual identity and preference. We will be able to eliminate people’s fears of being victims of hate crimes and domestic violence. To help someone to accept and be comfortable as whomever they choose to be, with no judgments or stereotypic labels attached.
And to all my brothers and sisters of the GLBTQ community, this is for us all. This is for those who are still here, and for those who have passed. With love and determination we can be the leaders. We can make a change. Because, see, what people fail to realize is that, even through their hate, bigotry, conforming, and biased views and actions that are enforced upon us,… love is inevitable and overcomes any and all things. And as long as love is in our mind and hearts, it can show us, even in fear, how to be leaders and role models, to be the leaders to show how to overcome the hate and oppression. Love is powerful enough to change the hearts of the neophobics in this world. Because as long as [we] live in fear, [we] live in ignorance.