phreddd: (Default)
I needed to wear purple polar-fleece socks yesterday to remember some of this...

I know there's still a heavy amount of rage in me over my school years. In my case I seemed to catch hell before I even knew I was gay, with name-calling and ostracism that carried from the second or third grade, turning more decidedly hostile once I got to high school (and violent on several occasions, including getting beaten up pretty badly by a mob of neighborhood kids in front of my mother's apartment building when I was 14, the event that made moving back in with my dad - his heavy drinking and all - seem not so upsetting six months later). Add clearly not being "Black enough" for even the smart kids in most of the inner-city schools I attended - shitty at athletics, not the greatest dresser, too light-skinned, too flighty to the possible point of ADHD - on top of being queer, and you get not many, or at least not enough in my case, opportunities to hear that I was sufficient as I was, and a lot of opportunities for kids who didn't know me well at all to let me know where they thought I fell short of their standards, or - crueler still in my opinion - how they'd treat me better if I was only black OR gay, and not both (I remember a couple of black classmates telling me "If you were white, it'd be different" when I confronted them after hurling eggs at me while I was jogging on the indoor track at my high school.)

It was also possible to end up more than a little resistant to believing it when people (like an older cousin who was the first college graduate on my father's side of the family, and a schoolteacher - I hated her when I was a child, but she busted ass on my behalf at times!) actually DO let you know that you are quite capable of doing awesome things in life.

Fortunately for me, late in high school I started associating with people who saw that there isn't simply one path toward excellence and joy in life... and I've kept finding those people throughout the years since, and doing those small and large things to be as worthy as I could be of their trust and friendship (and some love, too).

I have no idea if any of this makes sense - it's just how I feel, and what I know.
phreddd: (bright)
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The sounding board and inspiration she still is to this day, as well as the stark contrast she always was to my father (and so many other people with preconceived notions about me in my life)

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phreddd

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