Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Born This Way

Some of my earliest memories are of feeling like I didn't belong. I didn't fit in at school. I didn't fit in at family events. I didn't fit in at church. The world was a puzzle and I was a piece that was all the wrong shape. 

It wasn't a particularly enjoyable way to feel, as I'm sure you can imagine, but it resulted in the development of some personality traits of which I am particularly proud:

I will always fight for the underdog.

I will always speak out against injustice.

I will never be silent in the face of intolerance.

The beauty of not fitting in is that being unpopular is never an issue. I don't have to worry about people not liking me when I speak my mind because I NEVER think that anyone likes me. My main concern is that the world becomes more inclusive, accepting, and fair for the people who come after me.

Not everyone will get it. Not everyone will agree. But that doesn't mean that I will ever give up; I can't. I remember much too clearly what it's like to be picked last, to be looked at with disdain, and to be talked about to be comfortable with feeling as though I'm guilty of allowing it to happen to someone else.

I write this now because I know that there are people currently in my life who wish I could just shut up about some things. I get that my refusal to stand by silently makes them uncomfortable. I understand. 

I also understand this: I felt as though I stood on the outside, and no one invited me in. I will do whatever I can to make sure that no one else feels that way because they are, in some way, different from the mainstream. 

If that makes you uncomfortable. You should ask yourself why, and consider the answer very, very carefully. 

In the meantime, I'll keep talking and fighting and arguing. It's who I am, and it's how I found my place when I didn't think I had one. THIS is my place. THIS is where I belong.

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