“If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl, but by all means keep moving.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
My dear queer children,
This is my last blog post for awhile. As I mentioned last week, I am taking on the force of the last couple weeks of classes and finals. I haven’t had a chance to sit down and reflect on the fact that an entire semester has already passed. As I have said many times over the last few weeks, please remember to take time for yourselves, my loves. As I was reminded these past few days, we only have so much time in our lives, and our time can even be cut short. We need to make the most of our time and be aware of what we are doing.
It can be easy to go on autopilot, especially when you face a lot of stress. I’m sure you all understand this. Balancing your academic work with extracurriculars, jobs, internships, social groups, and so many other obligations is inevitably stressful, and most likely overwhelming. On top of this, being LGBTQ+, especially a queer person of color, on a college campus can be taxing. It can all be a lot.
So, for my last post for this semester, I decided to share some final tips with you all. That is, until we meet again. So for now, here is what I want you to know.
1. You are your most important consideration. Yes, being involved on campus is good. Your academics and responsibilities are important. Work may be necessary for your survival in a world designed to oppress you. Your friends and family definitely matter. And I am not saying to abandon these at any inconvenience, because I know that is not realistic. However, please remember that your mental and physical well-being are contingent on you taking care of yourself and that you cannot perform your best in these areas if you are not well yourself. If you aren’t in a position where you can do so, and if you are able to, reach out to those you trust for support. If you feel lost and without resources, know that I will always be one for you. Just contact me and I will try to do what I can to help you.
And on that note of you being your most important consideration:
2. No person deserves anything from you. I’m giving this advice with more of a romantic and sexual emphasis, but this can be applied to other areas of your life. While you should carry out your responsibilities that you sign up for, you should not feel that you have to oblige anyone for a date or a hook up or whatever they want from you sexually or romantically. In my experience, men sometimes believe that they can ask anything they want from me just because I’m on a certain dating app or looking for a particular kind of experience. These men have often asked me for sexual favors in exchange for money. They have demanded nudes from me because they believe I owe them for their unsolicited pictures of their genitalia. They have attempted to dehumanize me in various ways, and it has taken a toll on my self-esteem. So, my loves, remember that no one deserves anything from you. You are the only person who can choose what to do with your time, energy, effort, and body.
3. Your identity is fluid. It’s important to consider that your identity is always in flux. What I mean by this is that you may identify as a gay, cisgendered man now, but later on you may discover that you are a genderqueer person who doesn’t quite understand their sexuality. Or you may remain a gay, cisgendered man, but you may also realize that you are religious/spiritual or that your ethnicity or race intersect with your sexuality. Other parts of your identity may become so salient to you later on that they end up informing or intersecting with your sexuality and/or gender identity. No matter how you identify or what aspects of your identity are most important to you or how this all changes, who you are matters. Just keep an open mind when it comes to your identity. You never know what might happen!
4. Be brave. This is me telling you know to take that chance that you’ve always wanted to take. Unless it puts you in a compromising situation or threatens your well-being, take that chance. Text that person you have a crush on, dare to be great, and know that these risks will only make you stronger.
That’s all I have for you, for now. Just keep living your truth, and let the rest follow.
Until next time, my loves.
Your Gay Godparent,