You Are Afraid, And I Understand

I had let it go for years, but the onslaught of deaths around me finally being publicized made me speak up to you, my friend. I know you will take your time reading this, but understand that this isn’t a message that comes from a place of bitterness and malice. I know that you are afraid, and I understand.

I was fearful too, but having fear doesn’t justify anything. Fear is just a lack of knowledge. The second you understand something is the second you stop fearing it. Through understanding, you find room to grow and begin to share love and kindness.

Once upon a time, before I knew what bisexuality was, I struggled with the thought of having to choose whether or not I would live my life as a lesbian or fake only like guys. It was silly. I had heard of the sexual orientation in high school, but I didn’t really believe it existed until I was forced to open up and discover more about myself in college.

I dove deep into the queer community, educated myself, and have since dedicated a lot of my time and experiences with writing towards activism. I looked at every side, spoke to other people with varying backgrounds, and then came to a more compassionate conclusion. It doesn’t change the fact that I was a complete ass in high school and that I was once very ignorant, but I can do my part now to help facilitate knowledge and introduce others to concepts that are new to them.

The only thing I ask of you now, friend as many others begin to open their eyes to what was always happening around them, is to also open yourself up, think deeply, and educate yourself on the issues that are affecting me, your friend. I ask you to do the same thing I did in college. Visit a resource center (online, because we’re still in a pandemic), and if you can’t find the answers, I invite you to ask me questions.

I promise to do my best to answer your questions calmly and put aside my feelings of anger, sadness, and exhaustion for having to deal with these issues my entire life. I also ask that you be patient with me as I try to help, but know that for years I bit my tongue to spare your feelings as other family and friends lay bleeding and suffocating in the streets.

I don’t want to keep putting flowers on graves of people I could have saved. I apologize to the souls I could have done something about, but I will take the time now to do my best to save others. I’ve been to too many funerals, memorials, and wakes. I know there will be more because of the Coronavirus, but I don’t want to have to read another obituary of a friend who lost their life before they were 30 when it was preventable.

Dear friend, I love you and hope that if you love me too that you will do a little research on your own. Don’t let the time come when you’re stuck on the other side of life, setting flowers on my own grave.

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