A Letter from Them
This letter is a long one. I have a lot I want to say, but I am unsure how much space I have to say it.
There are many things that I have not told you. There are just some things that I cannot tell you out of respect for my elders. Some topics would not be appropriate for any conversation.
There are aspects of my life that I do not feel comfortable mentioning. The topics vary from my choice to not believe in God to why I don’t speak often and my entire college experience. Most of the feelings of discomfort might stem from a fear that I will receive the cold shoulder or a blatant refusal to accept me for who I am. I realize if support is conditional, I do not need it.
So, I am writing this letter to shine a light on who I am. I am still the creative, quiet kid you all know me as, but I think it’s time for you all to see who I am growing up to become. I am just going to lay it all on the table. As many of you know or probably have guessed, I am gay.
If you have not noticed at this point, are you shocked? There were many giveaways in my life, yet you didn’t know I had my first boyfriend when I was around fourteen. I hate wearing baggy clothes, but I do like wearing skirts, tights, and crop tops. I find them more comfortable. Traditional men’s clothing is dull and uninteresting. I am not saying I don’t like men’s clothes. I think they are lacking in many departments.
Experimenting with my fashion was the start. One thing that I started to embrace was my femininity. It is not that I always ignored it. I just became more comfortable with expressing it.
Going to a school for Men, I feel like being told you have to fit into a mold makes you want to stick out more. I avoided wearing suits and appearing “respectable” because I was not one of those people. I was not the typical depiction of the type of man, especially a Black man, should be. I was gay, hated sports, and did not feel like a man. But I also did not feel like a woman. Going to a school marketed toward Black men means straight, cis-gendered men.
While LGBT and queer students have been making their presence known, it still does not erase the fact that there is not a safe space on campus. During the 2022 commencement ceremony, faculty members completely ignored the expressed pronouns of a salutatorian. A lot of the support the school claims to give seems like a faceless attempt at raising their prestige in the press.
One thing I have been neglecting to tell you all is that I am Non-Binary. I do not care for pronouns anymore. I prefer if you would use They/Them. I avoided saying this because I would have some explaining and educating I would have to do. I am not exactly sure where to start. I can say that gender is a spectrum. Anyone can fall on there at any point. I feel more so in the middle. I do not feel like I am pulled strongly in any direction. I am still the same person you raised. I am just more defined.
There were points in my childhood when I thought I was the wrong gender. I preferred Barbies over G.I. Joe. I wanted to sing like Beyonce, stylish like Daphne Blake and be intelligent like Velma Dinkley or Sandy Cheeks. I hated playing with boys. I have always had friends who were women. I never wanted to be a woman. It was not until later in my life that I realized that your genitalia does not mean that you have to live as your assigned sex. I know this is going to be hard for you to wrap your head around. But I assure you, I’m still the child you raised. Just a little bit more defined and realized.
I have experienced a lot of homophobic and queerphobic words and actions in my life. I do not care if people laugh or point. I do not care if people judge me or laugh. I’m comfortable and cozy with who I am. I’ve made peace with it. There’s nothing I would ever do to change who I am.