Courage is not the same feeling I expected to ever feel. Growing up, I imagined courage to be a strong superhero coming to save me from any harm. Wounds would heal in an instant and my heart would be mended swiftly. Maturing more and more, however, reality hit and I soon discovered that courage is actually feeling discouraged but longing to keep living with a smile on my oppressed face. I am bi-sexual. I am a woman. I am colored. I am different. I am a narrow minded, insipid man’s worst nightmare. What can I do? I can still keep living with a smile on my oppressed face. Courage is still wanting to keep living on after knowing that there is at least one being on this earth that sees me as a complete disgrace. Becoming ignorant is not an innocent dedication. It’s a disgusting addiction. You chose to be this way. Emphasis on “becoming” because no human is birthed an ignorant.
Courage is living in a country that holds the same amount of opportunity as it holds ignorance. My parents arrive on foreign land carrying their nine month daughter and eleven year old son through a border in order to receive something more than what their poor Mexico could not afford to lend them. They are only considered not refugees because they are not going at war. Little do many know that my people are at war with each other. My parents arrived here to escape the ignorance and indifference felt towards their own people. Courage is leaving your hometown, your entire life, in order to make a better living for your children. Recently, it turns out that the U.S leader wants me out and the only thing keeping me in from being trailed into the forgotten shadows are my aspirations, clinging on by the tip of my thin, fragile fingers. Not only this but I’ve been threatened by having my DACA rescinded, my main source of hope. This aggravating mutter in my mind chants “Nobody wants you here. You’re not wanted here”. Courage is converting that predating mutter into your own prey and convincing yourself that you are wanted here. I adore the this city’s scent of pouring rain and the sounds of passing trains. I adore the diversity seen throughout and potential seen within this community that could cure that certain blindness known as ignorance. Courage is ensuring myself that no one will take that feeling from me, ever. No one will take those beautiful senses away from me the way that my DACA was taken.
Courage is being able to reach my peak of acceptance. I was always a peculiar, witty, awesome child with so many delightful dreams. Having interests like dancing and writing, theatre and art, I was a filled bright spirit. I am proudly still witty, awesome, filled with spirit and loved but have figured out that girls are on the list of people who I could love mutually on a romantic level. But, because of my newly found love, those who have loved me for a long time may decide not to love me anymore because of my realization. Courage is choosing to let those people go no matter how agonizing it may be for someone fragile like myself. In that moment, there will be no strong man to mend my heart. There will be no gauze to mantle around my swollen heart. Courage is healing my own painful wounds.
There are many notions in life that may require me to be courageous and I can do that without hesitation. However, I will probably not be able to fully be myself around my boyfriend's religious parents yet. I am not courageous enough to face them. I fear that they will fall into that category of people who will no longer love me. I will not be able to tell my strict father that I really do love both genders yet, for the same reason. I love God. I have considered myself a christian. But this God's followers have not allowed themselves to love me for myself yet. Because of this, I remain confused, hesitant, discouraged. Guilt still lingers when I think about who I truly am. Courage is knowing that one day these troubles and fears will be diminished. Courage is knowing that I will no longer be afraid of expressing my bi-sexuality when the time is right.
Tomorrow is my high school senior retreat. We spend two nights in Boulder Junction, focusing on strengthening our bonds. One of the most intense portions of the retreat is the honest circles we have where we express our genuine viewpoints about each other and build resolutions. This way, we can graduate with a positive kinship. This goal contributes to the 2018 class as a whole. My own goal is to graduate with everyone knowing who I really am. Courage is expressing my true self towards my friends and acquaintances when the time comes to open up to each other during our honest circles, risking the heavy judgements to come for the rest of my school year from some people, and even after high school. An advantage of this: I will feel prepared for the real world when heading off to college. There is no in between when it comes to my school’s views on the LGBT community. Students either fully support or fully loathe the LGBT community. There will be mistreatment towards those that are like me anywhere I go. Courage is deciding not to be okay with this social norm and finally defending those like myself. The majority of the LGBT community will feel some kind of discrimination against them from someone out there. Will mouths pop open? Will eyes roll in disbelief? Will whispers begin to flow through the hallways? Most likely. But what will I keep doing? I will keep feeling courageous.
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