GardeLuve

United States

In the hopes that I live every day of my life.

Message from Writer

I write to create something out of nothing. Let me conjure a world of my own and sit on its throne. Maybe one day I'll learn to share it, but for now, I'm living off of high hopes.

A Freedom to Love

March 21, 2017

    There are words that I want to take back. Words that I now know shouldn't have been said. It happened about two years ago when I was a mere thirteen-year-old and completely oblivious. And I said, "I don't mind, as long as my children aren't gay."

   I'm not sure if this is a common excuse among homophobic people. It was mine when I was answered that question. I was homophobic as a kid, no reasoning can change that. But can I be homophobic when I didn't even know what it meant?
    
    I live in a conservative Chinese family. I have not heard of the word, "gay", nor understood what the giggles were about in my youth. I wasn't acquainted with anyone at the time who was queer or bothered to inform me. My parents avoided the topic as much as possible and treated it like how they would treat six-year-old to the word "sex", yet they would fully encourage heterosexual love. It wasn't until 13 years of my life had past when one day in 8th grade, a guy jokingly asked me, "Are you homophobic?" To clarify, it was obvious the boy meant it as a joke, hoping to catch me in an embarrassing moment. I asked him what that meant and he answered, "You don't know what it means? It means you're gay. Boys like boys or girls like girls." I had wondered occasionally about same-sex relationships before, but never had it occurred to me that it was a real issue. "Are you not like of that kind of stuff?" He was obviously pleased with my confusion. "I don't think I care," I had replied hesitantly. "I mean, I don't mind, as long as my children aren't gay."

    I didn't "not mind." I was homophobic. That was just a measly excuse. Afterwards the boy would not leave me alone for the next month about how, "Oh my goodness! She's homophobic!" And I would panic because I was clueless to what I had said wrong. Until the summer of 2015, I joined Tumblr. And it was at that time, that marriage in America was legalized. Everyone on the platform was celebrating, rejoicing about this newfound freedom for the queer community. And with a twist of fate, I stumbled across an extremely impactful and emotional video on #ProudtoLove.

    I could not get over how human and powerful and, of course, romantic the whole community was, just by taking a small glimpse through an eight-minute video. It is a bit generic, but it was as if so many doors were opened and I could see and understand so much. I began to research and uncover so much about the world I live in that I was before so blinded by. I read about the movements, the parades, the flags, and the struggles. I read and watched dozens of emotional coming-out videos, comments, anecdotes, experiences, and loves. I had never felt so empowered by such a movement. It was like the 21st century dystopian rebellion against the oppressed society. The same bravery that I admired so much as a kid, I kept seeing it over and over as I witnessed these people fight for the love that their world has prevented them from having. That this emotion these people felt wasn't "just a phase" or "unnatural," but a love nonetheless.
    
    As I digged deeper, I learned more about the entire LGBT+ community. About a year since that fateful day, my close friend came out as transgender. I congratulated him with open arms. Like many of my classmates, I would have whispered about it and treated him differently. For that, I am tremendously thankful for the impact both that boy in my eighth grade class and the Internet for letting me see things in such a new light. As time passed and I met new people, I found out so much more about the lives around me. I am so proud that I have turned to be so accepting for this community instead of judging them and missing out on some of the most extraordinary people I have met.

    It changed the way I look at the world. I've learned to find the rainbow flag to be so fitting because of how colorful everything around me seemed to be after. I even started to feel sorry for the homophobic people who just need time to open their doors and let that rainbow through.

    But in reality, this subject is hardly a joyful, colorful topic. Many people, struggle with their sexuality and their identity to this day. Many are abused, kicked out of homes, and bullied for the way they were born to be. Countless people assume that this feeling of same-sex love isn't right because that's what they were told to think. That changing your body or the way one looks as opposed to society's standards means you're a freak. That not wanting sex or not having sensual feelings for anyone is unnatural and weird. The list of outcasting sexualities and identities is ongoing yet, numerous individuals are fighting for their social freedom, fighting for their right to love who they want to love and be who they want to be without discrimination or legal barriers.

    The fact that so many individuals to this day can not see the beauty of letting love and comfort free and undefined upsets me to the point where I do not feel capable of wandering idly around. Many of these unfortunate people are simply ignorant to the central issue, blinded by forced opinions from those surrounding us, as I had been. I bring to light the need for families and communities to fully educate young individuals what exactly is going on in the world they live in. Allowing young adults to be informed and have their own opinion and thoughts is a treasure not all can experience. By allowing them to grow and uphold a future where there is a freedom in love, we can all be free.

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  • March 21, 2017 - 10:56pm (Now Viewing)

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1 Comment
  • Kaitlyn ❄

    This is so emotional and extremely true. A beautiful piece of work.


    almost 3 years ago