Yesterday’s walk to work started off innocent and uneventful, as usual. Lost in my own little world I walked down the bitterly cold sidewalks to get to my destination. Not even minutes in I was spotted by a couple of girls walking home from school.
The one yelled at me, “Hey, queer girl, do you have the time?”
I didn’t realize she was calling me queer right then and there. I misheard and thought she was saying weird. But I responded with, “I don’t have the time,” and kept walking.
I have never understood the need for other strangers to tear down others. It just baffled me why this girl had to shout at me in the first place.
When I was recounting the tale to a coworker and friend, it was then that I realized she was calling me “queer” because I was wearing my rainbow beanie. I’m not straight but even if I were, how would you know I wasn’t just an ally or someone who liked rainbows? It kind-of rattled me for a few moments before I decided I didn’t care.
I think my friend was angrier about the slur than I was.
Because I have only ever used “queer” in referencing someone or something that was strange/abnormal/weird. It wasn’t a word I felt comfortable using in reference to an actual living person until now.
I will wear the term queer as my badge of honor. Yes, I’m queer and I’m here. I’m not ashamed of who I am because I am secure enough in myself to know that I have a good heart and good intentions, and I am more than my mere sexuality. There will always be people who don’t comprehend, and I get that, but I hate having to deal with it.
I don’t have time for bigotry, hatred, or childish games. If you feel so horrible about yourself that only putting down others makes you feel better, then maybe you should look yourself in the eye when you gaze in the mirror and ask yourself why? It is not a crime nor a sin for people to exist exactly as they are.
I won’t be bullied or talked into being ashamed of who I am. I spent years hating myself because what other people thought of me before I realized that they were just jealous of my voice, my strength, my magic, and my power. I won’t let anyone take that from me again.
I will wear my crown with pride, and love myself for the queen I am.