IDAHOBIT – I stand with you

When I was 15 years old I was outed at high school. Looking back, I didn’t help my own cause because I acted out in a way that was immature and self-destructive. But then again, I forgive myself wholeheartedly for doing that, the actions of a confused teenager in 1997, trying to fit in without any real guidance.

Phrases I was harassed by were ‘you’re a pedophile’, ‘get a sex change’ and ‘do you wank off to me at night?’ What I experienced was ugly. Things like being burnt on the neck with a lighter, being tripped in the hallway, and being laughed at when I cried myself into a heap.

Needless to say, this was not the first time I had been a victim to this type of behaviour in my life. But it was the first time I could attribute it to being gay.

To everyone who did that to me. I forgive you.

When I started University, I decided it would be a fresh start. I could make new friends and leave the ugliness behind.

In 2001, the space on campus for LGBTQI people was highly politicised and called a Queer Space, something I would learn later had different meaning to different people. I felt uncomfortable with the term queer, but was forced to accept it because to be included by the group, I felt compelled to accept their terminology and views. Acceptance was the most important thing to me.

Eventually I found myself elected as Queer Officer where I championed events on campus like Pride Week and fought for our rights on the picket line. It felt great to belong to something. Anger and rage about injustice began to define who I was and the group I belonged to.

When I came out to mum and dad, I spent several years trying to force my left-wing speech into their heads and would erupt into tantrums when they opposed or dismissed it. I’m sorry mum and dad. It was the only way I knew how to express who I was.

I wanted a boyfriend so badly. TV and film made love look like a fairytale and this was exactly what I needed. Someone to take all the pain and struggle away. How would I go about finding it though? Men seemed to find me attractive. If I slept with them, then maybe they would fall in love with me. I still get excited at the end of Pretty Woman…

But that wasn’t the case. No sooner was I in the thick of it all that I realised the heart-break of dating, emptiness of casual sex, and unpleasantness of a throat swab in a sexual health clinic that came from trying to find love in a sea of equally confused and partially opportunistic men. Men who knew that they could enjoy my body with a promise, and then take it back as swiftly as they finished their business.

Fast forward several years later and I have dated women, had 7 ex-boyfriends, been engaged to a man that I was with for 8 years, been the victim of domestic violence, been cheated on, gaslighted in a throuple, and left suicidal and broken.

But I am still here. I am resilient. I am a phoenix.

I was told I couldn’t pass university. I now have 3 degrees. I was told I was nothing more than a pen pusher, I’m now a project manager and researcher. I was told my art wasn’t good enough. I have now sold some drawings. I was told I was a wimp. I now regularly train in freestyle wrestling.

I will not be told that anything about my sexuality or identity is inappropriate or not accepted. I will not be told that anything about who I am is wrong, broken or less than anyone else.

My message to my readers is this. Seek freedom to be who you are and accept yourself as you are. Do not aspire to other people’s standards and be courageous. Get out of other people’s heads and spend time investing in yourself.

Today and always, I stand with all of you against homophobia, biphobia, intersexism and transphobia.

Thank you for reading. Feel free to show your appreciation by donating below. Thank you.


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Published by changeofheart82

The Phoenix is a symbol of strength and renewal. My tattoo is to remind me to shine as bright as flames flying through the air, and to remember that no matter how bad things get, I will rise from the darkness transformed and better.

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