In 2020 I want to say it:
Thank you to all the queers
Earlier this year, I affirmed to my communities to the world that I am bisexual, and that they were invited to come share in my experience of who I am. (I don’t want to use the term “coming out” as it implies that my sexuality and identity is something out of the norm, and that coming out implies something abnormal). Affirming publicly and proudly that I’m not straight is something that has been ongoing, I realize that I have lately been showing appreciation to the people who encouraged me to live fearlessly and to live publicly as my authentic self
Now, not all of the people who have inspired me is queer: most are not famous, and are people I interact with everyday. Some people I haven’t talked to in years. However, all of these people are often struggling with some of the same insecurities that I do everyday.
I want to thank them, because just by existing and being in my life, they have been a symbol to me.
I don’t want to mention names (because some people aren’t publicly out, their choice to be public or not) but I also don’t want to descend into generic platitudes. But I believe that it is important to tell people privately, (through a message or in person) how much they mean to you.
There are many people who are queer, eccentric, or depressed and they are going through things that I relate to. And often, they don’t vocalize it. Whether they knew it or not, I was observing them, watching them to learn how to change, how to evolve, how to know to be safe inside a world that often isolated the “other.”
Telling someone they served as a role mode recognizes the work they went through, to know that being out and queer and different is validating, that their identity matters to those around them. It’s important, and it is good for them to know that they are loved, and that their honesty has contributed to an overall positive community.
As activists often say about representation on television: we cannot aspire to be the things we do not know exist.
So thank you to all the queers who I have been lucky to be around: thank you for existing, and thank you for everything.