Now, I realize that love is as infinite and unmistakable as the tides and the lunar cycles are. It’s bigger than our small feeble minds. As humans, we try to label it and put it into finite boxes that fit the patterns that are beaten into our heads; but it’s not a horse to be tamed. Love is the ocean and the ever expanding galaxy. Love is the most wildly unexplainable, mystifying, beautiful feeling we could ever witness. And how can that be wrong?
My life started out rough, as it does for many, unfortunately. But I have been surrounded by the most amazing mother and siblings anyone could ask for. My mom often said it was us against the world. When I was five, I was adopted by a man that my mother married. Along with that marriage came my marriage to the conservative Christian lifestyle. As you can imagine, living in South Dakota, there are as many bible thumpers as there are corn cobs. From a young age, I was taught that marriage was between a man and a woman, and I was to grow up to be a good wife and mother.
When I was in the sixth grade, I was beginning to discover the foundations of attraction. My first kiss was a girl. I went home and cried for days, feeling every ounce of guilt and shame I felt I deserved. I convinced myself that it was only by chance that I kissed a girl. My next four kisses were all girls. I still fought very hard to convince myself I was straight. It was all just fun. As innocent as jumping rope.
In seventh grade, whilst driving home with my mother, she received a phone call from my sister. I heard her voice become excited, then drop in confusion. I asked my mom about the call after she hung up. She told me that my sister was seeing someone. I asked what his name was and my mom responded, “HER name is *****”. As a devout Christian, I struggled with the fact that someone I cared so deeply about was openly admitting what I thought was a sin. All the while I was denying my own feelings. I probed my pastors with questions disguised as concern for my sister when in reality, I wanted to know for myself. They told me I needed to save her...
I struggled with my identity throughout all of middle and early high school. I kissed boys, and girls, always searching for meaning in the touching of lips. I tried so desperately to feel something in a boy’s lips that felt better than a girl’s. Late in my sophomore year, my parents split and I was finally able to truly explore my sexuality openly. I realized quickly that gender made no difference to me. I fell in love with shiny eyes, and broken hearts, and warm smiles. The body of the person made no difference. My love has always been beneath the skin.
I am who I am now. I am a human being who loves unconditionally, without labels. Gender, sexuality, and race don’t exist in my mind. My heart is blind, and it’s a part of myself that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Learning how to love others taught me to adore myself, and I can’t thank all of you (the LGBTQ+ community) enough for accepting me into this beautiful family we’ve created.
My message to anyone struggling is to remember that you were made from fucking stardust. Your love expands beyond the bounds of this earth, and your heart, your identity, and your love is NOT and NEVER WILL BE wrong.