What is it like to be queer?

What is it like to be Queer? We can tell you.

(The names of students besides the author have been changed to protect those students who have not come out, yet).

I choose to be the person I am. I will first point out that I am not a lesbian, I am bisexual meaning I like both girls and guys and whoever I want with a preference. For example, going to an ice cream shop, vanilla is girls and boys are chocolate. Now for me, I would say a mix of both with toppings being others.

Every queer person has one thing in common when they come out. The fear and hate.

The fear, is our best friend in the queer community from when we first start realizing we are different to the present day trying to find people who are like us. Hate is a side character that no one wants there but we have to put up with it. We hear all sorts of things when we come out to now good for you, thank you for telling me, okay, YAY GAY, to EW, what a waste, you will find someone eventually, how do you even know, you are going to hell and our absolute favorite one is just being blocked (no it’s not).

Growing up, I always knew I was different. When looking at Rapunzel the same way I looked at Flynn Rider, whenever one of my friends came out, I was supportive and interested in it, and how I defended LGBTQIA+ more than the hate that was brought onto me growing up by my homophoic great-grandmother who babysat me every day. Many of my friends are not so lucky. For their safety names have been changed for anonymity.

“I’ve always thought I wasn’t accepted [for] who I indeed was. In their eyes, I was this perfect doll-like being that could be commanded against my own personal will, their stubbornness is what caused them to deny any change to their view of me,” said A.

Another friend, B said, “growing up, I never got to be around anyone gay or at least openly. Most of elementary, I was never in the same place for more than a year or two. So it was hard to understand it even then. Third through fifth I was more seeing openly gay people. I was so confused. I met some people who helped me understand it more. It was weird at first. Then, it made me realize that I had more than one option. I saw that I have always thought female presenting people have always been a bit prettier than boys. Middle school was a whole new doorway, though. It opened so many new doors for me.”

“Growing up, I never really experienced anything out of the ordinary. I never really had any female crushes (that I knew of), or anything really relating to queerness during my childhood. In 6th grade, it dawned on me that I might not be straight,” said C.

In middle school, I got a lot of comments from people thinking I was gay for having a lot of queer friends. Well, they were right. I am, but that still never changed me. A lot of people thought that I changed completely.

I didn’t.
I just confronted myself, and my biggest problem, and came to terms with who I am. But for some, the pain had just begun from people around the school.

“Being in middle school I was always learning something new or seeing [something new]. It was so weird and new at first, it took me two years to get most of it. This last year, I was probably the most intense and loud. People got barked at and yelled at and got pushed at and told off when they did something that was too different or new. I did not know how to take it all, [I thought] let’s hope high school is better,” said B.

Are you okay?
Being queer is hard because of the mental health. For me hated myself and I felt like I could never find somone that would love me for being queer. I spent multiple days wondering if people in my life even loved me. I felt ashamed of myself. I was ignoring the one rule I was given by my great-grandmother to hate gays and to “never be gay”. I felt like I wasn’t good enough for her anymore and that I let her down. “I’ve never been able to express myself fully in the way I want to, I’ve dismissed my own personal feelings and been this people-pleaser for a majority of my life to the point where I’ve never regarded myself as a human. I always need to use my birth name while referring to myself in the presence of my family,” stated by E.

What we are now
Today I still remember when I was arguing about the queer community about if was good or bad when I was five-years-old. Now looking back and seeing that it makes me feel proud of my younger self. I knew back then that it was okay and that it was okay to be different even with people telling me it wasn’t. “Today I understand the difference between so many things and how many things there can be. I’m bisexual and genderfluid” “I feel good where I am, I don’t feel the need to change anymore.”

At the present moment, I still feel that my family will never accept me for who I am, but needing their opinion on how I express myself is irrelevant now, this time I don’t need their approval at all, said E.