Monday, October 17, 2011
As long as you keep a person down, some part of you has to be down there to hold him down, so it means you cannot soar as you otherwise might. -- Marian Anderson
This came to me today through the Human Rights Campaign: "She was a model student and a star athlete – an honest young woman in her final year at a private Christian high school, The Master's School, in Connecticut. But when school administrators asked her about her sexual orientation, she answered courageously and honestly that she is a lesbian. And then those same administrators told her to withdraw or she would be kicked out. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students across the country are back in school, many facing bullying from peers. The last thing these students need is a school administration that refuses to protect them from unfair treatment." When I was in high school, I had a counselor tell me that she didn't think I should apply to college because I wasn't smart enough to get in anywhere. I made her send in the applications anyway. When I was in the 8th grade I had a teacher announce to the class that I was "a stupid little cheerleader who can't pass math and has to get a tutor." This was in response to him being told by my mother that I was seeing a tutor to help with my math grades! In both of these experiences, I could have lost myself forever and believed them. But I am different. I use those people to motivate me. As a college graduate, I wish I could remember the name of that counselor (the math teacher I will always remember his name) and let her know that she was wrong about me. As it turns out, I am actually really freaking smart...about the things I want to know about. I never would have found that out if I listened to them. Children, young adults and adults alike around the world are all just trying to do the best they can with what they have. If they are gay...what's it to you? Who does anyone think they are to tell anyone that they are wrong, or dumb, or hell bound? This world as a whole is in trouble enough as it is without us treating our fellow brothers and sisters as if they are less than anyone else. And to all the children and people who are being told they have to leave school, leave anyplace for your sexual orientation or for absolutely any other reason remember this: It is up to you to rise up against those people. It is up to me to go to college and graduate after people told me I couldn't. It was me who wrote a book and self published it when people didn't believe I could or would do it. It was me who got it picked up by a publishing house and it is me who celebrates that book going on book shelves world wide this upcoming year! It was my work that brought me success. No one else can build you up without you being part of the build. No one can tear you down without you being a part of the foundation failures. It is up to us to live out our best lives. People will come and go who make us hurt. People are sure to come around to tell you that you are wrong, or less. But...SCREW THOSE PEOPLE! Don't let those people take you down to their level. You deserve what you put into yourself. The good the bad and the ugly. And as for your sexual orientation? That makes you YOU. You are special and sacred and no one has any right to tell you different. You also don't have any right to feel different just because of what someone says about you, either. That part is up to you. Rome wasn't built in a day...you are not expected to be made of steel and rise above it all so quickly either. But, you have to do the work. We all have to do the work. It doesn't matter to what the subject itself even is-that truth remains the same-you have to do the work. That little girl who got kicked out of the school? It's great for us to all ban together to get her back in...but does she really want to be 'back in?' What she needs is to gather herself and the grief that she has with feeling shamed for being herself and move on into another school where she can graduate-get through...move on to something much bigger-a greater education and go make a difference for herself. Those bitchy, judgy people are going to still be there. They may always still be there. But you won't. You are moving forward and upward. You won't see those people that are still in that office, because you will have moved so much further past those jokers. I can't remember that counselors name because who care's who she was? Now she is simply part of the story I tell of what traps were put out in front of me for me to move past. We all have the power to make a difference. We can all be a poor impact, or a great impact. That is our decision individually. Now, embrace the fact that you are not powerless and go do something real about it. You deserve to be happy and free from judgment. So do we all!