Sunday, 30 July 2017

Acceptance

Hello, my name is Georgia.

I'm sixteen-years-old, living in London, and I'm soon to start my A Level courses (*weeps*). I like binge-watching TV shows on Netflix, badly dancing around to the Hamilton soundtrack and drinking all the tea that I can. Oh, and I'm also gay. I hope you don't mind that.

I was thirteen-years-old when I suddenly developed this crush on a girl in my Year at school, and I was terrified. This was my first major crush, and it was on a girl. I was terrified. I didn't know what to do or who to speak to. Homophobia was a very big problem at my school, and in some cases, it still is. I knew someone who was badly bullied at my school for who they were, they were thrown down the stairs, spat at, verbally abused, etc, to the point that they had no option but to leave the school. Seeing this frightened me, I was already being bullied by a group of girls in my Year, and if I went to somebody about my thoughts and feelings I feared that my bullying would worsen. So for two years, I pretended to be someone I was not, and it made me miserable. I was desperate to fit in. In this space of time, I dated a couple of guys, not because I had a crush on them, but because I still feared what could happen to me if anyone found out that I liked girls. I know that sounds unfair and selfish, but I was suppressing these feelings because then I could be seen as "normal" in the eyes of my peers.

A year later or so, I decided to talk to one of my friends about this crush that I had. He replied saying: "Well, you can't be gay, you've never dated a girl in your life. You're being silly". He then later added: "you might be bisexual". After that, he walked away, and never really spoke to me again afterwards. I nearly cried. I thought that I could trust this person, that they would give me helpful advice, but instead, they came off rude and spaced themselves away from me. It took me several more months to come out to my best friend, who was actually happy about who I was. This gave me some confidence about being proud of my sexuality, and I slowly began to label myself as gay. It was during this period of time where I came out to my main friendship group. where I had found that most of my friends were in the Community themselves. Then I found Youtubes, Dodie Clark, Miles Mckenna and MacDoesIt. All three of these YouTubers are in the Community, Dodie is bisexual, Miles is trans* and Mac is gay. The best thing that I found about these people was that they open about their sexuality and they celebrated that. Seeing this made me so, so happy because it inspired me so much. These LGBT* YouTubers allowed me to accept who I was at a much quicker rate, their videos were so inspiring to watch, and their positive vibes were reflected onto me the more I watched them.

Image result for lgbtSo by late 2016, I had fully accepted the fact that I was gay, and that fear that consumed me and controlled me melted away. For the very first time, I embraced my sexuality with open arms. So in December 2016, I came out to the girls that I had grown up with, and that I was close to. They were overjoyed. But other people started to learn about my sexuality. some didn't care...and others were not happy, let's say. After Christmas break, I experienced my first bout of homophobia. I was getting changed for my PE lesson, where it was only me, a few of my mates and two girls who never really liked me. When my mates had left the changing room, these two girls came up to my face and started to say some horrible things. They went on to call me a "dirty f**king gay", and some worse things, and then they shoved me into the pegs. I left the changing room quite quickly, and I sat in the hall with my friends. A little bit later on, I had a basketball repeatedly thrown at my by a boy. When my friend sprung to my defence, the boy said that he was doing me a favour as he thought he could "beat the gay out of (me)". Needless to say, I was utterly shocked by this.

Around April time, I had to write a speech and present it to the front of my class so that I was allowed to take my English GCSE. It could be about any topic, so I decided to write about my experiences with homophobia. When it came to presenting this speech, I was nervous, but I knew that people needed to know the severity of homophobia. By the time I had finished the speech, I had people come up to me telling me they never knew that homophobia was that big of a problem. My English teacher told me that she was proud of that speech and that I should be proud too. And I was.

If I could go back in time and tell 'lil ol' self that I'm an idiot for hiding from my true self, I would. I was miserable for those years, and now I'm happy with who I am. I get homophobic comments directed towards me every now and again, but I've learnt to ignore them. It took me so long to accept who I was, and if anyone thinks that they can make me feel any different, they are wrong. No-one, and I mean no-one will ever make me feel bad about my sexuality. I'd like to live in a world where homophobia was a thing of the past, and that it doesn't matter how a person identifies, but at the moment, that future is just out of reach. There is no reason to hate someone based on how they identify because, after all, we are all made of the same flesh and blood.


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No judgment, no hate, because it is already tough enough being a girl.