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I choose to be a martyr.
Identifying and immersing myself in bastions of stereotyping, anger towards, and fear of those who identify as LGBTQ individuals is something that I once avoided. Now, I find that through participating in these social forums, every word, gesture, laugh, feeling of empathy that is shared between all of us leads to a deeper understanding of each other.
Vulnerability without guaranteed reward is frightening. But who begins to be vulnerable? Who begins the process of destroying the barrier of certainty that one may have built around oneself? In my personal struggle to make others understand how I, as a gay individual, may share similar feelings about love and life as they do, I open myself up to the possibilities of ridicule, and taunts that my idealistic notions have failed–that I have taken on more suffering for nothing.
And yet, my barrier is still gone. My soul finds the urge to create and find kindred spirits; that is, those without the mask that shields their vulnerability. That shields recognition of others that, though they may seem different, share a common humanity and, many times, common experience.
Through acknowledging the plight of others and helping those in pain, it may be harder for them to dehumanize me, to not place my entire being into context. If only positively affecting one, two, or three people that may have placed me into a box upon sight, I feel honored to have contributed that much to the alleviation of homophobia in our world.
– Grant H.