Even though I don't know you, I love you. We might have different eye color, hair color, or skin color. You might like your eggs friend, while I like mine scrambled. You might stand at 6'1'' or 5'1'', when I'm 5'5''. You might wake up in the morning and feed the chickens, then wait for the bus to pick you up from your home to take you to your small school; while I wake up in the morning, rush out of my apartment to catch the train, and feel the stares of people who are judging me even though they have no idea who I am. Despite all of these differences, and despite the fact that I have no idea who you are--I love you. I love you because I know your struggle, I know your pain, I know exactly how hard it can be just to be.
My mama and dad always told me that, "sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you," and as more time goes by, the more I realize that this is simply not true. Words can hurt so much more than a stick or a stone. Words can scratch, beat, and kick at the very fabric of one's identity--and it is here where we find ourselves now. Words may be the "sticks and stones", but it is ignorance that is the true culprit. It is ignorance that drives people, young and old, to do and say things to and about people that cause irreconcilable damage.
It is because of these words and actions powered by ignorance that we find our country reeling from the devastation felt by so many families and friends, reeling because of the recent LGBTQ youth who were harassed, bullied, and ridiculed--to death. I am sad because it, as it always does, took human lives for people to take notice. I am sad because those we have lost in this particular struggle may not ever be aware of the impact they've had on my life, on countless lives. I am sad because I know we are nowhere close to the end of this fight...but I have more hope than I've ever had in my life. I have hope because I feel a change in the wind, and because I know that even though it's not always great, it gets better.
I write this for Asher Brown, Seth Walsh, Raymond Chase, Billy Lucas, Justin Aaberg, Tyler Clementi, and countless others before them.
I write this for you, and I write this for me.