In my nearly thirty years, there have been a lot of you. Far too many. You guys have hated me for each different aspect of my identity.
Haters are usually people who don’t know you. If they really knew me, they would understand. You see, when people know something about me, they like to think that they know everything about me. In high school, you used to make fun of me all the time for being religious. The thing is, I wasn’t really religious. That was a facade — both to please my family and to deflect assumptions about my sexuality. The exact same people that would make fun of me for being religious would make fun of the gay and transgender students behind their backs. It was all fake acceptance and I knew that there was nothing that I could do to please you.
You always assumed that since I was religious, I probably hated gays. Well, besides the fact that I actually was not religious, no I do not hate gays. If there ever was a gay that I hated, it was myself. Thanks to you.
In college, you guys always gave me a hard time for being gay. So many of you wished that I didn’t exist. Not once, but many times I was told that gays would go to hell. You told me that no gays should ever go to “your” university. As someone who was struggling to cement an identity, that hurt. It served and still serves no purpose to be mad or angry about the parts of me that cannot be changed.
Now that I am at a place where I can breathe and explore my identity, I am thankful for the things that you put me through. I am thankful that I made it and that I was stronger than all of you. No, I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, but I made it. I can move on, being confident and proud of my identity. This is something that I fought for, and I hope that others who are like me can also thrive. Back off, haters!