ALIVE & QUEER
Growing up isn't easy for most. But if you find yourself coming to terms with your sexuality during this youthful time, things can be even more stressful especially at home. A lot of parents struggle with the realization that their child may be bi, gay, trans, queer, or even just questioning their sexuality.
Growing up I identified as straight. I was raised in the Catholic church up until the age of 10 when my parents divorced and so my mother instead turned to a cult like religion. That whole experience messed with my brain and my self-confidence for years up until I turned 18. I still had this mindset that I had to find a man, get married and have a family as soon as possible because that was the ideal "American Dream". Fresh out of school, I unhappily tracked my way through a heterosexual marriage for over 7 years only to find myself in misery up until I decided that choosing me and my own dreams was far more important. That's when I decided to file for divorce and began finding myself.
I've known I was attracted to woman since I was a young teenager but through religion, I forced those thoughts and impulses deep down feeling extreme guilt and remorse. It took me choosing myself for me to finally realize my own self-worth and so alongside some positive therapy, I allowed myself to feel my feelings and be attracted to who I was actually into. With time, I came out to my parents around the age of 25. Their reactions were exactly as I anticipated only to hear their words of disgust and perversion. But, I had the one up on them. I was years into adulthood having a place of my own as well as a tribe of friends who I was fortunate enough to call my family. Their support alongside the love and support of my sisters held me strong and I was able to be confident in who I was regardless of my parents approval. If the conversation of my sexuality came up earlier in life, I know that living at home in that "life style" would not have been accepted and I wouldn't be riding the same level of confidence I am now.
There are so many young humans on this Earth who find themselves feeling less than in their own self-worth as they struggle to navigate through their sexuality. Some of these people aren't fortunate enough to have the proper resources or even the support to avoid the daunting thoughts of suicide. Especially when you feel so alone in the world as if there is no one like you out there. Sometimes even just having someone to talk to about how you're feeling is enough to pick you back enough to feel like walking again.
This is why I AM HUMAN is choosing The Trevor Project as our next featured organization to receive donations through all sales. We would like to shine a light on those who are making great strides in the LGBTQ+ community as they provide crisis intervention and suicide prevention for queer youth under the age of 25. The Trevor Project advocates against inhumane processes such as conversion therapy which is something I feared I would personally be subjected to if I had come out as a young teen. It's organizations like this that truly help to perpetuates us towards a brighter future for all youth no matter their sexuality.