By AURORA STEINMAN, Staff Writer
Editor’s Note: The author’s name has been changed to protect their identity.
After many beatings for being different, perhaps I should understand how it works by now. Something inside me tells me otherwise.
I’m 16 years old and am a junior at a high school which will remain nameless for now. I live in a city that is both secular and religious to a ridiculous degree if you’re in the right neighborhood. Turns out, I’m in the wrong neighborhood, hence my bruises and loss of blood today. Wasn’t just today when it happened either.
I’m a girl who likes other girls. Which means I don’t like guys like that. Never have, I was born this way. I like guys as family members, friends, and all the rest, but just not in any intimate, physical way. It’s because of this that I catch hell for being different. Me and the few others girls who are out at my school.
Sometimes I feel really lonely. Kind of like right now, while I hurt from the bruises and cuts I’ve received for doing absolutely nothing wrong. There’s the whole bullying thing that schools and parents are trying to quell it all from happening, but I’m beginning to understand that the zeal that carries certain people to breathe oxygen in this world can’t be quelled.
I just want to get out of high school and go further to a good college where diversity in people’s sexuality isn’t so much frowned upon. I’m not the smartest person in the world, so I hope I can really focus on getting grades adequate enough to get some kind of scholarship to more liberally-oriented atmosphere where I won’t have to deal with people of such small-mindedness, if that’s a word.
It’s the religiosity of those that beat me earlier this week, and have beaten me in the past. I’ll refrain from using the words they threw at me between punches and kicks, because we all know what they are at this point. All because of what a book says, and cherry-picked at that. I’ve studied up on it since I came out, figured it may help make all this make sense. No sense yet. Maybe one day.
I don’t have the answers that they’re looking for, I’m just a target for their misguided hatred. I’ve refused to convert to their religion from mine, and that is this conservative version of Christianity which I’ll not specify, but they’re nuttier than squirrel turds. Then they started hating. But who are they? They are zealots. I looked up the word, and that’s what they are. They believe what they are doing is Biblically justified, Word of God and all that.
I’m happy to have this medium to share, I think it helps a little. While I’m only one person, the violence doesn’t just happen to me. Guys like Matthew Shepard shouldn’t have to deal with this. God, what happened to him is the height of ugly human nature. Maybe justice will eventually come, and it should. Until it does, I’m okay with being a gay Jewish girl in the American Southwest, even if it doesn’t fit the screwed up mold of what others want me to be. I’m who I am, and I refuse to be anyone different.
And that’s my giving a damn.
Aurora lives in the American Southwest with her parents and two younger brothers and maintains a 3.2 GPA at her high school with a powerful love of linguistics and the dramatic arts.