To Be The Provider Or A Huntress?

To Be The Provider Or A Huntress?

Going over my years of LGBTPQIA+ community activism to prepare for a new chapter.

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Lately, I've had an overwhelming passion to get back into LGBTQIA+ community activism. At first, I was feeling like my present interests are decreasing my desire to be part of the community again. Then as Pride season came around this past summer, I saw a lot of same gender couples and wanted a girlfriend of my own. This initiative doubled my interest in getting back into activism.

For me, being an LGBTPQIA+ community activist shouldn't be to perve for a future wife. It’s about creating a safe space for people to get answers to their problems and understand themselves better. However, I cannot deny that the ability and courage for a female to seek in person support and camaraderie for her sexuality is appealing to me. This is the basis of my present conundrum.

I haven't been in the closet about my sexuality since I was in high school. I didn't exactly put a name to it till my first year of college, but I was out and ready to meet others with similar life experiences as myself.

As soon as I knew I was positively attracted to other females, I started going to the Gay and Straight Ally Alliance on campus at Youngstown State University. There I met a very good friend that I still keep in contact with this day. I also met the woman who gave me my first same gender intimate experience as a young adult. I became the president of the organization not that long afterwards.

During my time as president of that organization, I was able to come home briefly to take part in an LGBT Youth Leader Conference. I got the chance to see Cleveland in a new light, a welcoming light, that I had not known was there when I was in high school. Cleveland had had a Lesbian/Gay Community Center all this time! I could have discovering the secrets of my sexual orientation years before I left high school.

I had never been to a center like that before. I didn't know what to expect, or what would be expected of me. The center moved from West 29th and Detroit to West 65th and Detroit which made it possible for me to find it and attend. So I decided to take the plunge and attend the center I did. After work I was at the center every night of the week. Meetings for different groups met every night and all day through evening on Saturdays. Groups were always packed to capacity, making me feel less alone and part of something really meaningful and helpful.

As my sexual orientation shifted, and the groups shifted dynamics, I was bit by the organizing bug. I didn't want groups to end once leaders stepped down. So I took over a couple of them. At one point I was running the bisexual group and the group for 20-29 year olds. I had also started marching in the Gay Pride Parade every year.

Once I came close to my 30s, I was only running the bisexual group. I was trying to start a Parents For Lesbians And Gays (PFLAG) for People of Color, but that proved a bit risky an idea to run with.

Its easy to just take over a group once people step down. So what exactly did my activism look like besides just being listed as a group leader? I consider my activism to be going beyond just being present and participating in support groups.

I planned topics for meetings, helped steer conversations when I could, wrote press releases for events, advertised for new members, planned programs, planned extracurricular activities, put up websites, hosted meetings in my own apartment, volunteered at the Gay Pride Festivals through check in/clean up, sitting at booths for different local organizations, working in the Children's Pavilion, made signs, sold T-shirts, made brochures, and I wrote awareness and personal articles in papers like “Gay People's Chronicle” (God bless its out-of-print soul now), “The Letter,” and “Bi Women Newsletter.”

I've always been amazed by my ability to put my severe shyness and introversion aside to be someone people could look to for support with their sexuality concerns. Benefiting the many always superseded just benefiting myself. Helping always has always helped me, so I don't know why now that it feels like I want to help others as well as helping myself. Helping me accept myself and my own story was just a side effect of being there for others. Now that I'm sure of myself and have come to respect my own story, my personal objectives have shifted.

How do I help others without turning it into a personal hunting ground? Should I not go back to leading and just focus on trying to find my one? LGBTPQIA+ community activism is not a part of my identity I want to give up. Its given me personal strength and purpose where I thought I wasn't important. I just don't want to misuse my purpose.

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To The Girls I Wasn't Good Enough For Because I'm Transgender

A thank you to those I wasn't enough for, because I'm transgender.

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I didn't realize it at the time, but I was breaking my back for women and for relationships that were nothing but toxic. I tried so hard to prove I was enough; man enough, worthy enough, and deserving of your love. To the girls who made me feel as if I wasn't enough because I'm a transman, thank you. No, this is not me being sarcastic or trying to "throw shade." I'm not "spilling any tea." Maybe I've been listening to too much Ariana Grande, but this is a sincere thank you.

In the beginning, it wasn't always as clear as you blatantly saying "no one will love you for what you are" like you did at the end, you had your own special ways of making me feel little and inadequate. You kept me a secret because you didn't want to be called a "lesbian" or have people question your sexuality; your image was more important than me and my feelings. You took a backseat and jokingly agreed whenever anyone would tell you to "get a real man." Your slick comments about being artificial and lacking a certain appendage cut much deeper than you could have ever imagined. Intimate contact from you was forced and I could see the slightly disgusted look on your face whenever it happened. Your constant comparing me to your ex-lovers and even men you might take future interest in because they "didn't require surgery or hormones to be men" broke me down lower than the dirt beneath your shoe. You knew it, and I believe you enjoyed it. I was never a priority and I was never your first choice, hell, I wasn't even your third or fourth choice. You just liked knowing you had your power over me. You did whatever it took to keep me wrapped around your finger, feeding me just enough to keep me coming back just to rip the rug from under me.

I took such pride in being transgender before you came along and ripped that right apart. I spent too much of my time questioning myself. Why wasn't I good enough? What could I do to become good enough? How could I change myself to be better for you? Would you love me if I wasn't Trans, would I be good enough then? I was beginning to hate myself again and question the choices I made to become my authentic self. I would look upon myself and my body with shame. What a sick and twisted way of thinking. These thoughts ate away at me for the entirety of my relationships. That's not love, that's toxicity. It is because of you and your manipulation that I hit an all-time low, my absolute rock bottom, but there's only one way to go from such a low, and that is up.

It is because of you and our failed relationships that I am a better person than I was when I knew you. Our relationships weren't always bad, I'll give you that, but they certainly got there in time. I shared a few very special and incredible moments with some of my exes that I'll carry with me for life. I'm not being cocky when I say they weren't the best for me, but I believe I was the best for them. Out of everyone, I had the most to offer. I did the most for them, I put them before me. I loved, or thought I did, them despite destroying me with every cruel and degrading word that left their mouths. They took for granted and lost someone who would've moved mountains for a simple smile. Regardless of how our stories ended, I will always want the best for them, silently cheering them on from the sidelines. I hope they got what they wanted. I hope they never find themselves in a relationship with someone who treats them as they treated me. I hope no one belittles them, ignores them, or makes them fight so hard for their love or attention. No one in the world deserves to be treated that way.

At this point in my life, I can honestly say I'm more confident and sure of myself than I have ever been, it's because of you, thank you. Thank you for telling me and making me feel like I wasn't enough because I know now it's not that I wasn't enough, maybe I was too much, but you're never too much for someone who can't get enough of you. Thank you for breaking me down because in those days is where I did the most self-reflection. I will never question myself again. I will never apologize or make an excuse for being who I am. Thank you for leaving me completely alone, because I was able to grow and be stable on my own two feet, without you. I learned to find the positivity again that you stole from me. I learned to love myself again, by myself, making damn sure this time it wouldn't falter again for anyone. I learned I didn't need to beg for another chance from you, but to instead give that chance to myself. By giving myself that chance I am thriving and living as the happiest I've ever been. Thank you for kicking me down so low, because I've rebuilt myself back better than I ever thought possible.

Thank you for being so bad to and for me, because I can now appreciate how special my current relationship is. I'm so lucky to have finally found someone who never lets me question or doubt myself for a split second. I'm with someone who doesn't cringe when she sees my chest scars, someone who wants to learn how to give me my testosterone shot, and who showers me with reassurance every single day. I'm so grateful to have found someone who makes me forget all about being transgender, who wants to learn my body and how to love it alongside with me. What a beautiful turn of events it's been. I take all that I've learned from you and I've flipped it so that I am able to give my all to someone who finally deserves it.

Thank you.

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14 Great LGBTQ+ Valentines To Send To That Special Someone

Because love is for all.

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Sometimes for Valentines Day, it can seem like the world only aims to sell, advertise, and cater to the standard heterosexual couples. This can make a holiday that may already have it's difficulties be even a bit more difficult. Thankfully times are slightly changing, with some companies making cards geared towards those in the LGBTQ+ community and even making some cards and gifts with gender-neutral pronouns.

Even with the progress, it can be awkward to have a holiday of love when there are many situations that could turn uncomfortable, whether explaining your relationship or people assuming you are out with "friends". Even with said problems for those on valentines, many are becoming more inclusive, including some cute, funny, and slightly inappropriate valentines cards.

1. PAN-TASTIC!

Nice play on words, right?

2. Homosexuwhale.

Personal favorite. The adorable whale with the rainbow horn is just too cute.

3. Can't think.

If you need a bit of a laugh, this one is for you.

4. Janis.

For all those "Mean Girls" fans out there, especially those that thought Janis was the best character.

5. Bi the way.

Another fun one with a play on words.

6. Pairs.

Tetechnically a wedding card, this one can still be a really cute valentines day card.

7. Roses are red.

Taking a classic with a bit of a twist.

8. Platonic.

Even cards for those who aren't feeling especially lovey.

9. Chicks

Cute animals that have a secondary meaning, perfect.

10. No gender.

Cute and direct.

11. Love queerly.

For those who want more a classic looking card.

12. Lady boner.

For the more inappropriate couples, this is sure to get a good laugh.

13. Bow ties.

Simple, yet adorable, as the bow ties just add so much to the card.

14. Trans-cending.

What can I say, I like a play on words.

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