I haven’t known how to talk about this. How to talk about me.
Last week I made a facebook post.
Last week I buried this in the middle of a politics laced treatise on why I voted for Hillary, “I believe that gender and sexuality exist on a spectrum. I don’t exist on a binary, and I’m tired of hiding it. I’m tired of fitting myself into a box for other people.”
But then, the next day, I deactivated my account. Because I was scared. Because I couldn’t watch my friends and family celebrate a man who has actively and loudly spoken out against me as a woman, me as a queer, me as a sexual assault survivor. It wasn’t about politics. It was about personhood. And I didn’t know how to say that. Or anything really. I didn’t know how to talk to people about me anymore. Or about them. I lost my voice. And I have the privilege of losing it, hiding silently. With my blonde hair, my blue eyes, my white skin, and my ability to pass as a straight mother of two. So, for a week, I hid.
I didn’t know if I should go into detail. Should I try to explain what I meant? Should I breakdown and define what it is to be demisexual and biromantic? Should I just pretend it never happened in hopes that people who got it would wink at me in solidarity, or ignore it? Should I spare people’s feelings by not explaining that little snippet to those who wouldn’t understand what it meant? To those it might make uncomfortable?
Clearly I’ve come to a decision, and this is what I’ve decided: I can’t just stay silent because there are so many who don’t have that choice, but I also don’t feel the need to educate anyone. That’s your job if your curious. Instead I’m going to just tell you what it’s like to have a family of friends, and also a supportive family. I’m going to tell you about the people who checked in. The people who have made sure I’m doing ok. I’m going to focus on the positive, because that’s something desperately needed and missing from the narrative right now.
So here it goes…
I’m going to talk about the cousin who rallied her entire family to check on me because she was worried. About the wonderful human she is. How she sent me messages making sure I was hanging tough, telling me I was loved, that I could always talk to her about anything. How her sister and mom both have followed up with me. They all made me feel safe. They all made me cry. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate them.
Then there’s the friend who reminded me that family isn’t just who you’re related to, it’s who you surround yourself with. It’s the person who will text you late at night to tell you “I love you. I’m here.” Who will remind you, “You are a gift to the world, and the people who choose to hide from your light are missing out.” It’s the people who check in everyday just to make sure I’m still breathing. I’m still getting out of bed. I’m eating more than ice cream, but also, that I’m eating at least ice cream.
I literally could not mention everyone who has sent me a string of “hope” emojis, or offers to come stay with them for the weekend to get away, or who have offered me coloring pages, kitten pictures, stalwart support, or even to let me borrow their pets. If I tried, this post would get out of control levels of long, but all of these people have meant the world to me this week. They’ve all made such a difference.
Over the past week, my inbox has been flooded. It has been wonderful. I’ve realized that I’m not alone, and that I’ve never been alone. I have zero regrets about saying what I said, or writing this.
And, I guess what I want to do with this is let everyone know that people have my back, and people will have your back if you need it, and that honesty is scary, but there are so many wonderful humans out there who will hold your hand through scary things. I’m not alone, and neither are you. At the very least, you have me in your corner, and you know I know where you’re coming from. Together we totally have this. Together we can do anything, we can fly.