I am the girl kicked out of her home because I confided in my mother that I am a lesbian.
I am the sex worker working the streets because nobody will hire a transgender woman.
I am the sister who holds her gay brother tight through the painful, tear-filled nights.
We are the parents who buried our daughter long before her time.
I am the man who died alone in the hospital because they would not let my partner of twenty-seven years into the room.
I am the foster child who wakes up with nightmares of being taken away from the two fathers who are the only loving family I have ever had.
I am one of the lucky ones, I guess. I survived the attack that left me in a coma for three weeks, and in another year, I will probably be able to walk again.
I am not one of the lucky ones. I killed myself just weeks after they “fucked me into straightness”. It was simply too much to bear.
We are the couple who had the landlord kick us out when she found out we are two men living in a one-bedroom.
We are the refugees stuck in a land where love is a sin but unable to go back to homes that do not want us.
I am the person who never knows which bathroom I should use if I want to avoid getting the management called on me.
I am the mother who is not allowed to even visit the children I bore, nursed, and raised. The court says I am an unfit mother because I now live with another woman.
I am the homeless asylum seeker who sleeps in the park, terrified of the government in this foreign land, yet unable to find support from those that “fight” for others in this place.
I am the domestic-violence survivor who felt the support system grow suddenly cold and distant when they found out my abusive partner is also a woman.
I am the domestic-violence survivor who has no support system to turn to because I am male.
I am the father who has never hugged his son because I grew up afraid to show affection to other men.
I am the lesbian raped by her bestfriend. He told me he was ‘doing me a favour, afterall staying together meant I’m his’.
I am the home-economics teacher who always wanted to teach gym until someone told me that only lesbians do that.
I am the man who died when the EMTs stopped treating me as soon as they realized I was transgender.
I am the person who feels guilty because I think I could be a much better person if I didn’t have to always deal with society hating me.
I am the man who stopped attending church because they closed their doors to my kind.
I am the person who has to hide what this world needs most: love.
I am the lesbian everyone tells “you know, if you dressed more feminine, they would hire you”. No one understands how this strips away my identity until all that’s left is a hollow husk I don’t recognize.
I am the person ashamed to tell my own friends I’m a lesbian, because they constantly make fun of them.
I am the boy tied to a fence, beaten to a bloody pulp and left to die because two straight men wanted to “teach me a lesson”
I am the male student that had to switch to another high school because they found out I was gay. Some said that I was going to hell; others wanted to cure me.
I am the university student who lives to hold and dance with my partner all night only to go back into the closet when the sun comes up. I fear my parents will hear of my homosexuality and defund my education.
I am the person that cannot act/be myself in fear of what others will think of me.
I am your best friend–the same person you grew up with and told your secrets to–the person you can’t talk to anymore, because I told you I’m homosexual.
I am your daughter and best friend, the girl you raised and loved. Now you won’t talk to me because I shattered your dreams of ever having children. And you’re afraid of telling your friends about me because of the embarrassment.
I am a person with the same fears, hurts, needs, and wants as you. I bleed, I breathe, I understand.