I’m gay. Who knew that two words, six letters could mean so much. Who knew that these words could carry such impact. Do you know the severity of this simple statement? For me, it means freedom, a liberation that I’ve sought for years. The lightness of being myself. For me, it means hate and discrinmination, it means fear. These words carry with it the pain and heartache of all those who are different, those who were afraid to be honest to themselves and to others because of the consequences. They give voice to those who are silent, not because they want to be, but because they feel like if they vocalize their truth, because if they give in to the expression of self, they will be persecuted and they will be abandoned by those who they love most.
See, when you hide for so long, you get accustomed to it. The thought of finally exposing who you are, it’s frightening. You’re not used to being so vulnerable, your heart and flesh now become open to scrutiny and now it’s easier for people to hurt you with their words, their abandonment, their coldness. But at some point, the weight becomes too much to carry. Your back and shoulders start to give out and your heart becomes heavy with pain. You’re tired and you wonder how many tears you have left to cry. You wonder how many more nights you can spend drowning in your own thoughts. You wonder where you can find the strength to keep yourself from going over the edge of madness. At some point something’s got to give. For some, that means ending it all and putting a permanent halt on the future. A gun, a cliff, a rope, a bottle of pills. There is so much choice for the lonely soul. I have never thought of harming myself or taking my life, so I am one of the lucky ones. Yes, despite all of the crippling loneliness I’ve felt, despite the burning desire to be wrapped up in the warmth of someone that I could call my own while everyone around me is parading with their partners hand in hand, despite crying endless tears in spite of myself and feeling pathetic, despite having to endure the hateful words of loved ones that unknowingly cut me into pieces with their ignorance and bigotry, despite feeling helpless and hopeless, I am still one of the lucky ones. Because despite all of that darkness, there was still light.