So, I got a tattoo

 

TW: i do talk about suicide, hospitalization, depression, and anxiety. so pls know that before you read this. i don’t want to upset anyone… 

21728173_10203711731949876_8061810169682498910_n[1]so, i got a tattoo on friday. now, i know what you are thinking “alexis are you seriously makes your blog comeback, to talk about your tattoo?” listen, i just needed something to start with please do not come at me rn.

anyway, i got a tattoo on friday. it was nothing too complicated, truly. just a hanger that at the bottom said “hang in there”. this tattoo does in fact have a meaning behind it, i thought i would just answer that question before it was asked. what does it mean? well, my friends, that is where we get to the real point of this post.

i have many mental illnesses that i don’t speak of. the meaning for this is because as a society we are taught that certain illnesses are not meant to be spoken about in a crowded room. they are meant for hushed voices in the back bedroom where no one can hear you. it’s just the way it was meant to be. we see this on television when they are used as plot devices to further a relationship or spoken about with some tragic song playing in the background. we learned about it from our parents and their parents. we teach each other when we whisper about it in secret and promise not to tell anyone. we are raised to believe that certain things should be hush hush and that we should feel ashamed that they effect us. well, i’m done with that now.

so, again, i have many mental illnesses. i suffer from ADHD, anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and depression; or at least that’s all that i am diagnosed with. These illnesses arose all at different points in my life. only to come together as i grew older and slowly turn me into the chaotic mess of an adult that i am. honestly, it sounds worse than it is.

now due to these illnesses deciding to work in perfect harmony, i have suffered from many side effects, if you may. one of these is the fact that i have been, since i was a freshman in high school, and person who suffers from suicidal thoughts.

i know you are all thinking “this is so shocking!!” “wow, but you seem so happy.” “i never would have known!!” honestly, even my therapist said those things when she first found out. the fact of the matter is that i hid it and extremely well. this being because we learn that suicide is something we talk about it behind closed doors. we are taught to be ashamed of it. which, i’m not saying we should proud of it, but we should be able to feel comfortable enough to talk about it. because, if i’m being honest, talking about it saved my life.

i know, it sounds dramatic and you probably won’t believe what i’m about to tell you next. which, it’s fine… i understand, i couldn’t believe either when it was happening.

so, some back story. i obviously have issues and i have finally come to the decision to find myself some help. thus i got a therapist and a psychiatrist. i was medicated and i talk to someone once a week, it’s great.

at first i was talking wellbutrin which gave me hives. so my psychiatrist decided to put me on an SSRI called prozac. prozac and i always had a weird relationship. it took longer to kick in then wellbutrin which wasn’t the best since i wasn’t doing my best. however, i knew it was take longer and i dedicated myself to hold out for this stuff to work. i was extremely hopeful that prozac would teach me how to be happy again, and how to make me smile again… to feel fine, really that’s all i wanted. well, my luck, that didn’t work out exactly how i wanted.

it started on a monday. i woke up and felt worse than i had before, but i just assumed it was because i was tired so i ignored it. then tuesday came and i felt even worse, but i ignored it… told myself, it would pass. wednesday was next, and i was walking across a bridge and i remember stopping for a second and thinking “i could just jump off”. everything for me, it went numb like i didn’t feel anything. i became slightly dissociated, like i was watching myself fall apart. and all i could think was this obsessive thought that i could just jump and it wouldn’t matter. and i wanted to, but i didn’t. i kept walking and later the feeling passed.

the next day was thursday, and i think that was the worst day. i was on a bus, and i was happy before it happened. i was excited to work, but then it happened again. everything went numb and all i could think about was just going home and take all of my meds at the same time because i could. because i had the means and i could and it wouldn’t matter what happened. and that’s all i could think about even when i came out of that dissociated state, it wouldn’t stop. i felt like i was losing my mind, so i contacted a crisis counselor and after talking to them i contacted a few other people, including my therapist. she called me recently after and helped me calm down before scheduling an emergency appointment the next day.

so, i worked and then i went home. i removed all the dangerous things away from me and i went to sleep, or i tried to. the next day i met with michelle. we discussed in-depth the feelings i was having and how they were so much more different than any other time before that i had been like this. we came up with a safety plan and then realized that maybe it wasn’t that safe… so by the end of our session, we decided that i should go to the emergency room since they had resources that could help me better than anyone else.

so, my roommates took me in and i admitted myself. i was in the emergency room for 4-5 hours before i got to leave. after talking to a counselor and nurses and a doctor, it was decided that i got to decide what i wanted to do; this being because i was aware of my own feelings and what was going on. aware enough that i could be trusted in that moment to make a good decision.

due to the fact that being in that room made me feel a million times worse, i decided against waiting to be admitted to the hospital since it would take a couple of days, and instead going to a crisis center. we then decided my prozac was the cause and i was removed from them. my roommates picked me up and dropped me off at the center.

i was only there for a night, but i did get to talk to more counselors and decide on a plan in case everything got worse. after that night i went home. i didn’t feel okay again, but i was more stable. i knew i had options, i knew what caused it, and i knew people cared about me enough to help me if i continued to be unsafe. these things helped my mental state and definitely helped my recovery. which, i can say, despite how rocky it was at first; i am better. in case anyone was wondering.

so, i got a tattoo because of that. not only to remind myself that i am strong enough to get through something like that, but also to remind me that it happened. that i live with some not so pretty things, but that’s okay. because those things are part of who i am. my illnesses helped develop who i am as a person… and, god, it isn’t pretty and it isn’t what people think, but it is what is and i can’t change that.

these moments, feelings, and illnesses, the ones we talk about in hushed voices and behind close doors, they aren’t something to be ashamed of. no matter whether we like it or not, it’s part of who we are. it defines parts of us, even if we don’t want it to. and i think the best thing that my therapist ever told me is the way to get past these things isn’t fight them, but to accept them. if only because accepting them makes it easier to find a way to work with them; thus finding healthier ways to cope.

so, the point of this entire story wasn’t me wanting your pity or for you to feel bad. it was a way for me to say that i’m done hiding it and fighting against it. these mental illness are apart of who i am, and i’m not going to be ashamed of that anymore. i’m not saying i’m going to broadcast it all over facebook everytime i’m sad… what i am saying is that i’m not going to lower my voice when it’s brought up. i’m not going to close the door every time something like this happens. i’m done with the way society teaches us that it’s better to keep our mouths shut about an illness then to ask for help. these illnesses are real and they cause some very real things to happen. i know that sometimes mental illnesses seem like some story told to us on the tv, but it’s not. it’s probably the realest thing i have ever experienced.

so we need to stop hiding it and teaching kids to be ashamed of things that are just as real and serious as physical illnesses. we need to allow people the ability to speak out and ask for help. we need to be able to talk openly about these things just like one would when they break their arm. we can’t continue being ashamed of it. our perception of mental illnesses and the way we treat them need to change. we need to be speaking out about these things, not shutting the door every time you want to tell someone that your depression or anxiety or whatever else is getting bad again.

it’s time to stop shutting down about mental illnesses, it’s time to start talking instead.

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Goodbye 2016

It’s been rough, I will admit. 2016 has probably been one of the hardest years for myself and for everyone around me. We were all put through things that caused us pain, misery, anxiety, and other kinds of negative emotions. I mean we watched good people suffer, and bad people rise. We watched countries enter crisis’s, and death claim lives. We watched as 2016 developed from a dream to a nightmare. In simple words, it just wasn’t our year.

With that being said, I think there is something bigger to acknowledge here. Yes, we suffered and we hurt, but we made it through. When the clock hits 12:00 am, and today rolls over to tomorrow, we will have survived this year. We will have used all of our strength to preserve and continue marching on to 2017. We will have made it, because we were strong enough.

You know, I really think that means a lot. The fact that all of us were able to put our chins up and continue going on as the heavens above threw so many things our way. Like, honestly, I am so proud of everyone who is walking into 2017 after all the things they were forced to endure during 2016. I am proud, and I hope to god that 2017 is better for you; I hope it’s better for all of us

Now, I know that parts of 2017 seem scary and we fear that it will not be better. I know there are things that we dread and wish to not happen. However, just remember that we made it through everything that was thrown our way in 2016. We stood tall and we kept going, so don’t stop. Don’t stop marching on, because we can make it. Through all the scary things and all the things the heavens have planned for us, we can make it. I swear we can.

 

So jut tonight when the clock hits 12 and today rolls over tomorrow, please remember the strength you had. When everything was falling apart, you were strong. You dreamed of a better tomorrow, and i hope that your dream comes true. Say goodbye to 2016 with a smile on your face. Remember not the trials that were thrown your way, but the way you conquered them. Don’t remember the enemies you made, but the friends that helped you. Don’t remember the tears, remember the strength you had to wipe them away and continue going. Don’t remember the bad, but rather the way you made it into good.

And just know that when the ball hits the ground, and my countdown reaches 0, I will not think of the things that I went through. I will think of all of you. I will say goodbye to 2016 with a proud smile on my face, because I have met some strong people. I have met people who made it through this hellish year. And, god, am I proud and  am I lucky to have met all of you. To have made it through this year with all of you, that is what I am proudest of.

So promise me this,  that tonight when we all say goodbye to 2016 you will not think of this year as a battle that we lost, but rather as one that we won.

 

Today, I wish I was that puppy

Yesterday I saw a dalmatian puppy playing in the leaves next to someone’s house. He had no worries or stress, but just played happily as if nothing had happened. As if his world was unreachable and unable to crash down. I envied this puppy seeing as he had no clue what was going on in America that day. He was unaware of the protests and the fear that many people were feeling. He was unaware of the anxiety that raced through me. He was unaware of all it, and, god, I wish I could have been that puppy.

See, two days before today Donald Trump became our President-elect. I would like to say that is when I became the most upset. However, that would be incorrect. It was when I got on facebook and my other social media platforms and watched as my people who claimed to be my friends were supporting him. Not only that, but they were telling me and others to just get over it. To move on. To acknowledge that our fear is invalid. That’s when, I think, I was the most upset.

These people obviously are privileged enough to not understand our fear. I envy them that they get to live in a world like that. A world where they don’t have  to watch their country bring a man to power who has insulted them and would probably rather have them dead then deal with them. You see, I find that the scariest thing is that a country where we are meant to feel loved and safe, has abandoned us and shown its true colors. More over, so have our friends… So have our families.

Now, I’m gay in case anyone was wondering. This election for me means a lot. Not just because of Donald Trump, but I am more upset about the person he chose to be his VP. See, siding with Mike Pence is siding against the LGBT+ community. He has done so many terrible things to us. He had same-sex couples jailed for simply getting married. He believes in conversion therapy. He wants to take away HIV research funding, to fund against gay marriage. To him, people like me are the plague of this earth. Donald Trump supports him and so do his followers. Meaning they don’t support me. They don’t care about me. I am nothing to them.

However, it’s more than that.I fear for all my fellow LGBT+ people, I fear my Muslim friends, I fear for my Hispanic family, I fear for my POC friends, I fear for all the women in my life… I fear so many people for they have been insulted and demonized for no reason. And to have this man elected, means that people are okay with that. America is okay with that. And, I can’t be okay with that.

Yes, you can say that you voted for the “lesser of two evils”, and god I am so happy that you had a choice like this. That, for you, it was so complex. It wasn’t for me. It was between a man who disrespected me and supports another man whose ideas could kill me, or a woman who you all claim untrustworthy. And, god, if that’s your only reason for disliking her then I envy you. That you could hate someone over an email controversy, and then watch her lose. When I hate a man for sexual assault, racism, sexism, homophobia, insulting remarks, lying, and the threats to take our rights away… and I watch him get elected… Because our country would rather have a bigot then a woman.

Now, tell my why I shouldn’t be scared? See, there is a man about to be in office who will fight everyday to take my rights away. Who has the house on his side and the senate on his side. A man who instills racism and hate into this country. A man who I cannot trust to protect me. A man who has no clue what he is doing, so he will rely on a vice president who hates me even though he never met me. A man whose campaign was run on hate, and our country fed into it. My country supported him. A country that is supposed to love me, protect me, and support me. But they don’t, and neither does he.

So, yeah, I am upset and I am scared. Not just because this man has the means and the resources to strip my rights away. But, also because through this election I have learned that my country doesn’t stand behind me, nor do they care about me. That some of my “friends” do not stand behind me. That some of my family does not stand behind me. See, and I didn’t ask for much.  I didn’t ask all of these people to give up their rights and their safety for a man who vowed them away, as they did me. I just asked for someone other than him. And my country didn’t listen to me, no matter how loudly I screamed. They didn’t listen.

Now I am here. I am angry and I am scared and I do not know what is going to happen next. All I do know, is that I am prepared to go back in the closet if I have to. I am terrified for my friends, and I hope they can walk down the street and feel safe. I hope that I can walk down the street and feel safe. But, we don’t.

Today, I wish I was that puppy. Today, I wished that all I had to think about was playing in leaves. No fear, no uncertainty, no protesting plans… Just leaves.

I’m just an angry gay

Alright, so, I haven’t talked about this much because I was just gonna let it slide. Then I changed my mind because I am a very angry small gay.

Basically, a couple weeks ago I was talking to someone I know and for some reason they started talking about how they feel about The Gays. Now, let’s clarify that she did not know I was gay before stating her opinion, okay? Okay, cool. Anyway, we were chatting and she just brings up her opinion on the gays. Her opinion, in short, is that gay people are gay because they are having an identity crisis and claim to be gay so that they can have somewhere to fit it. It’s not because, ya know, they were born this way. No, it’s because of an identity crisis. It was then when I was like “yo, i am gay tho.” and she instantly apologized and we stopped talking about it. What she never got to hear was that as a gay, I can safely say that the only identity crisis I ever had was the 19 year long crisis when I thought I was straight. Like, the heck was I even thinking?

So, I thought that this would be the last time I had to listen to someone tell me, a gay, how they negatively view gays. Yeah, I was wrong.

See, after this I then had to endure some stranger telling me all their views on gay people and gay marriage. See, they just believed that being gay was a sin, and that all gays were going to hell. They also told the entire bus that gay marriage should be, ya know, illegal again. Like just take away those sinners rights, ya know? He then got off the bus, and I swear that I have never seen red until that day.

Now we are here, and I am angry. Like, alright, I get that people don’t like the way I am. I get that there are homophobic people in this world. Cool. Whatever. Keep being ignorant, Sharon, I don’t care. What I do care about is how you go about being homophobic.

Like, ya know, telling me I’m having an identity crisis. I understand that she didn’t know, but that isn’t really a conversation to have with someone you just met? Like, “Hi, Alexis, let me tell you about my views on gay people.”  I get it, she assumed I was straight just like everyone else I meet ever. Okay, cool, what do y’all want me to do? Tattoo the word lesbian to my forehead? Like, it could be just me, but just because you don’t know doesn’t make it okay? Like you don’t need to run around telling the world how you think and entire subunit of humans are undergoing an identity crisis. Like, maybe it’s just me, but that seems extremely offensive. You are kinda condemning an entire subunit of humans by telling them that they gotta be crazy or something; since being gay is OBVIOUSLY not an option.

Then, of course, you could have always gone the other route and preached to a big group of people about how gay people are going to hell. Like, thanks man. I really needed to hear that I was going to burn right along with satan. Lit. I just feel like if you got views, public transportation isn’t the proper way to share them? Like, go open a church if you feel the need to preach. I’m sure that everyone on the bus doesn’t want to hear your sermons, man. And, yah, I get it. Free speech. Cool, whatever. Just because you got rights, doesn’t mean you still aren’t being an asshole who should shut up.

I mean, I guess I could have endured worse. I mean I could have been murdered or beaten, that’s not wrong. However I find that these minor acts of homophobia is what leads up to the hate crimes. It’s the ignorant views you share with people you just met, and public sermons on buses. It’s these acts of homophobia and ignorance that breed the violence. It’s what spreads the word of homophobia to others, and that’s why I find that we should still be upset and react to these situations. It’s like this bo burnam quote that my friend keeps telling me “I’d rather have an overreaction then no reaction at all.”.

So, yeah, I’m going to overreact about these extremely homophobic people because these small acts of homophobia lead to even worse case scenerio’s like pulse and all the other hate crimes we see on the street. It all starts with one opinion shared with another person. It all starts with a mind overcome with homophobia.

 

 

“I have ADD/ADHD”

I find that a lot of people self-diagnose themselves with ADD or ADHD. They believe that their lack to focus on school is reason enough to diagnose themselves. This leads society to believe that ADHD and ADD isn’t serious. So that when I, a person who has been diagnosed twice with ADHD, say they have ADHD most people scoff or say they don’t believe it. I find this offensive seeing as I have literally struggled my entire life with ADHD. I mean from the medication side-effects, to my day to day life; i have struggled. Like, it’s a real thing that I have to deal with and I literally have people laugh in my face when I talk about it. I have people who discredit my diagnose all the time and who tell me I can’t possibly have ADHD because I am not hyper enough. First, I would like to say that these people obviously haven’t my child-self. Second, that some adults who have ADHD, don’t suffer hyperactivity all the time. Third, and who are they to tell me what mental disorder I do and do not have. They are not trained, they literally don’t know anything.

See, the majority of people who discredit my diagnose believe that ADHD is just getting distracted by shining things and bouncing off the walls. This isn’t true. There is so much more to my disorder. Like, literally so much more. My entire personality has basically been shaped by my disorder. I’m not ashamed of that, nor am I upset about it. I love who I am, but who I am is a person with ADHD.

So, what is ADHD? Well, technically, it’s Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. That’s it name. I know that name like the back of my hand. However, again, it’s more then not being able to pay attention and being a little hyper here and there. Let’s list what ADHD really is, shall we?

  • ADHD is being impulsive.
  • ADHD is talking too much and interrupting people.
  • ADHD is focusing so hard are one certain thing that you get lost in it for days and forget to eat.
  • ADHD is not being able to focus on anything that you don’t care about. I.E. school.
  • ADHD is poor self control and addictive behaviors. (me, for example, i am addicted to spending money. oop)
  • ADHD is lack organization and losing things (the amOUNT OF THINGS I HAVE LOST IN MY LIFETIME.)
  • ADHD is procrastinating and forgetting things.
  • ADHD is being distracted. I have difficulties completing tasks because I get distracted and I don’t listen to half the things people say because I zone out.
  • ADHD is having a short temper and easily losing control of it.
  • ADHD is mood swings
  • ADHD is being stressed out easily, which could lead to an anxiety disorder
  • ADHD is low esteem
  • ADHD is being impatient
  • ADHD is not being able to process instructions
  • ADHD is daydreaming constantly.
  • ADHD is being confused often
  • ADHD is having difficultly with silence
  • ADHD is not having the ability to hide emotions
  • ADHD is just blurting things out at inappropriate times
  • ADHD is not being to sleep because your entire body feels like it’s shaking and just ready to run around the block even though your brain is so tired.
  • ADHD is not sleeping because your brain can’t focus on sleeping.
  • ADHD is getting bored easily and fidgeting.

As you can see, ADHD isn’t as simple as most make it seem. It’s something people with the disorder actually struggle with. It effects everything in your life and can often consume you. I have days where I can’t focus on anything and it’s so stressful that I have an anxiety attack. There days when the ADHD consumes me and I have to apologize to my friends and family, because of the way I acted. And honestly my ADHD and the symptoms effect everything about my life all the time. I find that I am constantly apologizing for my disorder because I feel like I have to. Because my disorder effects everything.

So, as you can imagine, having people belittle a disorder that effects you everyday life is offensive and it hurts. It sucks when people tell me my disorder isn’t real or laugh in my face as they say I don’t have it because I’m not bouncing off the walls. It’s also upsetting when people state that they have add/adhd because they heard the name once and they believed their lack to pay attention meant they had it. See doing this makes it seem like these disorders aren’t serious or aren’t real, but rather just words used as an excuse to why you didn’t do you homework. And when you use the words for an excuse, people begin to believe that ADHD and ADD is just an excuse for bad self-control or bad parenting. So, that when I say I have ADHD, people don’t take me seriously

See, and that’s frustrating because when I say that I have ADHD; I’m using it to explain the way I am. I am trying to help people understand why sometimes I get angry ar stupid things or why I don’t listen when they speak or why I ignored them all day to work on one singular project or why I blurt things out randomly. I’m not trying to use my ADHD as an excuse, nor am I telling you because I think it will let me get away with something. Normally, I am saying that I have ADHD because it consumes me and it’s a big part of who I am, and I want to share that with people. I should be able to share that with people.

What I’m trying to say is that ADHD is more than what people believe, and it’s a disorder that effects me everyday. So, next time you make a joke about ADHD or say that you have it when you don’t, just remember that these things make it harder for me to say that I have it. It makes it harder for me to tell people that I have a disorder that consumes me, because you made into a joke. You made the disorder into a fantasy, when it’s not. It’s real, trust me.

My coming out story

A year ago I came out with two sentences, and now I am here to tell all the nitty gritty details. Enjoy.

In August of 2015 and I was dating a boy named Jackson. We met on a dating app, and then met in june and things went very quickly. I wasn’t his biggest fan, if I’m being honest. I preferred the days that we weren’t speaking, but I continued to date him anyway. I convinced myself that I did like him. That I liked being in his presence, but that was a lie. I didn’t realize it at first, but it was a lie. None the less, I kept this relationship for a month or so. We spent days and nights together, and it was like any fling was supposed to be. Except, then things changed.

There came a day when we sat in his room, and he began to speak as if he could consider the idea of me being in his future. That just didn’t settle quite right with me. He was speaking not as if he wanted me in his future, but as if one day he could consider it if everything went well. I cut the conversation short, pretended to be sick, and went home.

When I got home, I laid in my bed and stared at the ceiling. I realized that Jackson could fall in with me someday. That, that was where most relationships went. People fall in love or they break up or both. And, I realized that loving me could be in his future. So, then, I began to think about if could fall in love with him. I thought about it for so long when I realized that… I couldn’t… I couldn’t love him.

I thought about it more and more, trying to think how I ended up there. I realized that I wasn’t sexually or romantically attracted to him. I couldn’t love him. I could never, in our entire lives, love him. It wasn’t an option for me. As I thought more, I realized that I couldn’t love any man in the way that a relationship calls for. I just… wasn’t capable of it.

After this realization, I began to reflect back on high school. I had always said that I had crushes on boys and celebrities… But, the crushes on boys I knew were boys I believed I was meant to like. They were boys who everyone liked or who people told me to be with because we’d cute together. I didn’t ever actually feel anything for them. My heart didn’t skip a beat when they walked into the room, and my stomach never got butterflies. It wasn’t like… with girls. Yet, I think subconsciously I was scared. I didn’t want to be gay, so I said I could be bisexual. Maybe, potentially. Yet, I still always said I liked boys. I told people I liked a boy I knew, to hide that I liked a girl in my English class. I obsessed over male celebrities, but fantasized marrying a girl from a movie I watched once. I just… shoved down who I was, because I was scared.

In the midst of my crisis, I fled to my best friends room. “I think I’m gay.” I blurted out. Everyone joined as I worked through every bit and piece of this breakthrough. In two hours I went from being a girl who said she could maybe be bisexual, to being a girl who had admitted to be a lesbian. I had discovered myself, and I thought that’s where it would end… but it didn’t.

I told my family, and I thought that would help. Yet, as the following months went by I had sexuality crisis’s every time I drank. I refused to come out to the rest of my family and friends. I was scared. I had come to terms with who I was, but I was scared. I was a girl who hid behind alcohol and fake smiles to hide that I was terrified. With how conservative my family was, and my small town was, I didn’t want to disappoint anyone. I didn’t want to be hated. I didn’t want to be torn down for loving women. So, I tried so hard when I drank to create doubt in my own mind and the mind of my friends. I also became quieter, more reserved to protect myself from the hatred and the cruel reality that came with coming out. I wasn’t comfortable with myself and who I loved. I know that now

October came, and I decided to come out to everyone else. I was scared, I had been putting it off due to my own reservations and self-hatred. Yet, finally October came and I was impulsive, so i did it… I was still scared, I won’t lie and say that suddenly I got over it.After I came out publicly, my family seemed supportive, so did everyone. I felt loved, I did. With this I began to become more comfortable with who I was. My family grew to accept the idea that I loved women. Some, I know, still aren’t comfortable with it. They say they accept me, but comments and jokes are made that proves otherwise. They are still learning, I know that. Despite the few that didn’t accept it, I still took the love from everyone else and let it consume me. I let this love and acceptance help me learn to love myself and who I was. The crisis’s stopped, and I had nothing to fear anymore.

I am now finally proud of who I am, and I’m not going to hide it anymore. If being gay means that I must come out everyday to a new person, then I will; I will scream it from the rooftops if I must. If being happy with who I am means standing taller everyday and fighting the fear that society wants to instill inside me, then I will. If being who I am means I have to educate everyone in my life to be tolerant and less ignornant, then I will. I will not be scared anymore, I will not let self-hatred consume me.

I am gay.

I am not scared and I love who I am.

I am proud of who I am.