This past month my campus was lucky enough to have the Dear World Project come and allow our students to participate. It took probably 10 seconds to come up with my letter to the world. As obvious an answer as it was to me, it seems that others still don't quite understand it upon first glance.
According to their official website, Dear World is a project that started in 2009, when residents of New Orleans were asked to write a love note to their city. Since then they have traveled around the world with professional photographers, and asked thousands of people to share their messages or letters to the world.
When they came to Missouri State University I had no idea what the project was. I showed up in a hideously orange sweatshirt and a fuzzy brown jacket and was handed a sharpie. Looking around me I managed to gather the gist of what was going on, and began to think.
Part of me was very tempted to write 'IM GAY' in the biggest letters possible, but that's not what I wanted to share with people. Five minutes of talking to me and you can gather that much. Thinking along those lines however, I was drawn to a book that my girlfriend had introduced me to.
Red, White, and Royal Blue is a gay romance novel in the most realistic of sense. In the book first son of the United States Alex falls in love with Henry. Henry happens to be a British Royal however.
Throughout the book Henry and Alex exchange rather poetic emails professing their love for each other. When these emails get leaked by an anonymous hacker it creates mass chaos. As people from around the world pour out their support they latch onto one of the phrases from the emails.
The context of the quote is Alex musing to Henry about how he'll fit into history someday. While this book will probably age into a cringy romance novel that your aunt reads while on a cruise sipping mimosas, this book will always be a part of MY history.
The first time I told my girlfriend I loved her was in the parking lot of a Barnes & Noble. Afterwards we went inside and picked up a book that had been recommended to us by a mutual friend.
I got to fall in love with the book with her. That is something I will always treasure. Watching her eyes light up, watching her laugh, her making fun of me as I cried.
These memories make me wonder how we will fit into individual histories. As a high schooler lots of the younger lgbt students thought of me as a safe space, and sometimes when I kiss her I turn and see a kid watching in wonder. My own history was deeply affected by a show as ridiculous as Glee.
That is why I chose this quote for my Dear World photos. Because no matter where in history you or what you do ends up, it could be the most monumental thing in somebodies life.
History is crazy sometimes. It's widely rumored that the spot where Buckingham Palace sits was a gay brothel in the 17th century.
So I will leave you with one question.
How would you like to fit into history?