Dear High Schooler,
All my life I have felt like an outsider. Too weird for normal people, and too normal for the weird people. I've always been on the outside looking in.
Being socially awkward and having social anxiety never really helped, either.
I always feel like I'm being judged or watched even when I'm not. I have to remind myself to breathe, have to tell myself that not everyone hates me, convince myself to calm down and that everything will be okay.
So you probably thought nothing of it a couple of days ago when we had that interaction. When you said: "Hey queer girl, do you have the time?" But your words wounded me, they made me angry, they made me sad. I didn't know why a perfect stranger was being cruel to me. Why you had to make a joke at my expense was unknown to me?
I was in elementary, high school, and college all over again with those bullies that just had to make jabs just to see whether or not I would cry.
I know my response caught you off guard, but I am glad that I never let you have the satisfaction of knowing that you had gotten to me. When I said, "I don't have the time," I wasn't joking. I meant every syllable of that five word sentence.
I don't have time for bigotry, discrimination, hatred, or childish games.
I was the only person on the sidewalk across the street from you, if you had really wanted or needed a favor you didn't need to be so ignorant. You could have addressed me with respect and not condescention.
But I will proudly keep wearing my rainbow beanie. I will not be ashamed of who I am. I'm not going to hide who I am. I won't hide in a closet because it's more convenient for people who don't want to deal with me or who I am or my complex feelings for other human beings being different than the view of the world they were taught was wrong or right.
I am pan, I am not inferior.
My whole life I have carefully swam in the shallows, afraid of rejection or someone hating me because of who I am. No longer do I fear losing people I love because if they truly matter then they won't mind. They'll understand that while I may be different to them, that doesn't make me beneath or above them in any capacity just a different color in a world full of vibrant hues.
It is time to swim in deeper waters, I am a mermaid; after all.
There are many flavors in this world, it is a pity that you chose to be bitter.