“Girls or boys?” the dilemma would commence. What an internally easy problem to dispense. No romantic attraction to one, yet the raging emotions for the other tickled my heartstrings betraying all notions of societal acceptance.
“Girls. I like girls.” I would always utter with suspense. And with that, the draining performance of a life in pretend begins.
Covered in speckles of reheated sand while playing with Jenny and the girls, discovering we all think alike, share dislikes, and think boys are quite unripe.
Roasting in a school portable listening to the unseasoned whispers of Rashard passing on Crystal’s number; the first-rate mate wants to orchestrate my first date. But as the thought swirls around my mental plate, I’m left with a cluster of emotional aches.
Inebriated by high school peer pressure I begin to date the girl I could never hate, but because I digested the bait, both of us desolate in the fears of my previous mental state. So in the year 2008, I play a terrible dating game with my best playmate, to stagnate the feelings that await at the floodgates, with hopes that I don’t agitate, complicate, disintegrate, and desecrate fraudulent relationships with all of my schoolmates.
So then I contemplate on all that there is to contemplate and I come to face that…
It’s hard to be me. It’s hard to be me when the echoes say you don’t belong. It’s hard to be me when raised by a loving family rooted from a homophobic culture. It’s hard to be me when the music infiltrating your eardrums vilifies you. It’s hard to be me when your friends associate the bad, the evil, and the lame with synonyms that describe pieces of you. It’s hard to be me when you look for someone like you but they too are hiding. Hiding for survival. Hiding for acceptance. So you continue to hide too.
So each day I struggle to suppress the best parts of me hoping to snuggle, uncomfortably, into a fragile puzzle of approval. I do this long enough without knowing that I am killing pieces of my dreams, sabotaging the journey of blossoming into the beautiful person I am meant to be, and distorting versions of my reality.
I do this until the emotions corked up inside allows me to realize, that as I waste time’s time by living a lie, that as I watch seconds and minutes pass me by, is really how a person dies. That by living in disguise, just to be cherished by someone else’s eyes, is quite unwise, because until I confront the misery that underlies, I am creating my eventual demise.
Finally, I relinquish the shackles. After confronting me, the real me, in a mirror that crackles, I dangle my truth like an apple on a tree waiting to be set free to travel into the pits of all those I no longer want to grapple.
I set that buried human jewel free so everyone can see. I shout from every rooftop with cheerful glee, “look everyone I’m finally me.” I feel empowered by thy holy spirit of me while flaunting my uniqueness in a world craving conformity, yet propagandizing individuality.
I’m a rebel now. I no longer fit in with the masses; the person I never wanted to be but am. So I find other rebels of society questioning the socially constructed definition of masculinity while rewriting archaically concocted views of femininity.
As I become surrounded by more and more souls, just like me, in that ever growing rainbow sea, I constantly tell the people that matters the most, “yes, this was always me.”
Then I wait until they contemplate on all that there is to contemplate, and I hear, “Yes! We know, this was always you.”
Perhaps it was the pitch in my voice every time I yelled. Or maybe the tweeting birds in the sky that swore they would never tell. Could it be that I had a certain smell? Whatever it was could not be dispelled, hindered me to propel, and left me with wasted years of footprints, my footprints, in self-perceived cracked eggshells.