Ever since I was little, I’ve had this feeling of not belonging, ostracizing myself from others. Sure, it might’ve been my social anxiety or main character syndrome, but I think it goes deeper than that. Being queer is a journey, a winding path that takes so many turns it sometimes feels like a chapter book that will never end. Even writing this, I’m not sure what path I want to go down, but I will give you an insight into my life.
I am a gay, white, transgender, fat human being. I grew up in a small town where life was simple. I never knew who I was there. My skin was never my own, the clothes I wore were there to hide my body, lock it away. I would convince myself to have crushes on the girls in my class because my best friend wanted to know who my crush was. I’ll never forget the wheel I made, every girl in my class had their name on it in a different color of the rainbow. Every time I was asked who my crush was my finger glided over the rainbow and flicked a small piece of paper cut to resemble an arrow. Whatever it landed on being the new love of my life. I never felt safe, I never felt free to be myself.
Moving away changed my life, I went to a place where people could be themselves, where I had the chance to see a real, breathing, and thriving queer couple walking the streets. Queer adults don’t realize the power they truly hold in existing. Their beautiful identities are a beacon for queer youth. As a depressed queer teenager, you never imagine yourself being 46 and working your nine-to-five. But being able to see queers existing past the age of 21 changed my life. It reminded me of the power and authenticity of the queer community.
I love being queer. I love being myself. My advocacy comes from my heart. I work with people because I love people. I want others to feel safe. I want others to know they are okay, that no matter what they have a hand supporting them, even if it costs a few one-liners delivered with impeccable timing. I have had the privilege to work with so many influential adult queer people, that I feel like I can have a future. Not everyone can have that. When I didn’t feel safe in the GSA at my school, I started my own group. Escape is always an option, it’s never cowardly to want more for yourself.
I don’t want this article to be only a narrative about my appreciation for queerness. No matter how much I do love the LGBTQIA+ community, we have issues. The most challenging part of coming out and living my life as a queer human is my size. I am a 270-pound, 5’11” AMAB human. I am intimidating, and being queer has been difficult with my size. Fatphobia is an issue across all groups, constantly encouraged to show less and hide more. Put our bodies away for the satisfaction of others.
I am someone who wants communities to be able to see their identity and themself in the person advocating for them. I want to advocate for people I can be in community with. Presenting feminine is difficult when you can’t be slender. Gender stereotypes are something I battle every day, and this has made my advocacy harder. Trying to fight yourself and oppression is an uphill battle. But there was a point where I gave up. I decided to love myself. To look in the mirror and say “You are enough.” And that is what my advocacy is.
I want you, the reader, to take something away from this article. That no matter where your journey is, it is only beginning. The story of my life isn’t a NYT bestseller—yet. My advocacy is about reverence, realizing that no matter what, we are just humans all trying to survive in a decaying world. Even if we fight, in the end, we love each other. Every human being has the most beautiful thing at their core. Humanity. That is what advocacy is, a fight to empower the core of every human being. That is my advocacy. That is my journey.