Who am I?
My name is Sarah Hathaway Shipley. I am 21 years old. I am 5 feet 2(ish) inches tall. Blue eyed. Blonde hair. I have one brother and one sister. I have lived in 3 houses all in one city. My mother, father, brother, sister and myself were all born in the same hospital. I am a history major. I want to teach. I want to work with people who are pushed aside. I am dyslexic. I think I write horribly. I believe in God. I am a Christian. I am a hopeless romantic. I love spoiling the people I love. I like how when I play music I am able to make people feel the same thing I am feeling at the same moment I am feeling it. I find peace in sunsets and inspiration in sunrises. I have traveled to Europe, Asia, and Africa. But there is something that I tend to hide. Something I don't talk about much But we are going to talk about it now.
Growing up I always thought it was wrong. In middle school I would lay in bed at night and tell myself, "No you can't feel this way. It will pass. Don't worry. You can't be a freak." I would cry. I would scream into pillows. I wanted to be "normal".
What is "normal"?
When it comes down to it we are all here for a short period of time. The world has been here for millions of years. And one human is here for 80. In that short span of the Earth's life cycle is our moment to leave our mark. I want to help people. I want to travel. I want to Change The World; as cliche and nieve as that sounds. We are a drop in the bucket of time. And for the sake of the people who come after us we NOW need to be strong. We need to do what we are afraid of. We need to build a community. We need trust, strength, and determination. But the only way to build a community is to admit who you are completely and totally.
To some I might not be "normal". I might be the devil. I might be a godless, terrifying person.
But I know what it feels like to be terrified. I know what it feels like to not feel safe when you walk to your car at night in a parking lot. I know what it feels like to have people you have never met come onto you in public places. I know what it feels like to believe that you don't have any control over your life. I know what it feels like to think God has lost you. I know what it feels like to be scared. I know what it feels like to not be able to sleep because of the nightmares and paranoia. I know. We all know.
But I also know strength. I know courage. I know power. I know that now I have control. I know that I am loved. And I know that anything I am put up against I can take.
And I know what it feels like to know that God has found me; or I have found God. God to me is more like my Grandmother than anyone else. Granny and I talk often. My Granny God has helped me through anything. And I know that no matter what She will always love me. Growing up every night before bed the five of us; Mom, Dad, Brother, Sister, and I, would hold hands and say nighttime prayers. At the end we would always say, in unison, "And God bless every body else in the Whole Wide World Amen!" Then we would go to bed.
And I think we are all blessed.... Because we are all here. We have a short span of time here. Lets make the most of it. And in that time we have to be true to ourselves and the people around us. And that is why to my list of things I am I am going to add; I am queer. I have fallen in love. I have felt heart break. I am still in love.
I read somewhere once, "We should never regret loving. We should regret holding back." So today I stop holding back. I'm coming out of my virtual closet. I have dated 3 women. I have known I liked women since I was 12 years old. I am happy with loving women.
I once held my lover's hand so tight knowing that that would probably be the end. I remember the look in my lover's eyes as I left. I still have the final txts we exchanged. But no matter how hard it got. We had friendship. And if anything being in relationships that society deems taboo has taught me that friendship is always more important that sex. You can conquer any obstacle that you face if you have people to back you up. Sex brings two people together. It doesn't build a coalition. Being queer means more than who I have sex with. It's a community. And a community supports each other. No matter what.
If you are reading this you are loved. You have a community. You have a place.
In the words of Kate Bornstein, live how you want. love who you want. just don't be mean to people. that is the only rule.