Tyler, Edmonton, Kentucky
Queer kind of just means I can do whatever I want. If I want to be butch one day I can butch it up. If I want to be femme I can. It contains no boundaries.
It’s a word that means freedom. You can do whatever you want
I kind of grew up in a bubble. I didn’t have to come out, I wasn’t the first person to do it in my family either. It was always understood that I was gay. All my friends were older and I was around people that made it OK for me.
I had an ideal group around me and I never felt out of place or unwanted. It could feel a little alienated in my hometown because of being the only one open about being gay.
A major issue right now with the current political environment, young people and kids see this administration and what is said about Queer culture and its detrimental to them. They’re just bombarded with negativity on who they are. If kids are thinking that something is wrong with them, I hope they realize that NOTHING is wrong about them. Some of the stories we see in the media right now could be hard for a young Queer person to interpret.
My identity used to run how I carry myself.
I thought, “Oh I’m gay. I have to be a twink. I have to be skinny.”
I felt that I had to fit specific stereotypes. As I’ve gotten older everything is more authentic. I know myself now more than I ever had. I do what I want when I want and I don’t ever think about how that fits into my identity.
The “mainstream” Queer community is not a part of our community that I choose to partake in. I don’t like how vapid it is. I feel like that side of the community tends to be very egotistical and self-centered. I love being around people who are genuinely weird without trying to be. I always feel more at home at alternative Queer spaces.
I am the happiest when I’m out of my comfort zone. I like the unknown of it. For me if something scares me, I’m going to do it and it’s never as scary as we make it out to be in our heads. I’m really happy when I’m by myself too. I love being social, but I am a loner. I love traveling alone, eating dinner alone, etc.
If something will make you happy and it doesn’t physically hurt people do it, because life is short, and you can’t live for others. As long as it’s authentic for you, people will respect you more because you’re living your truth as opposed to hiding.