Archive for September, 2011

To My Beautiful young people-PLEASE READ

This post is dedicated to my family-Brian, Brittani and Destiny.  This blog is also  for my mommy Lynn, my woman, Ana, my besties Jess and Katie, and my long lost kid who I hope still has sense to read what I write-Leslie.  This post is for any man or woman who has fallen, who has been torn down, who has been hurt beyond belief.

Skies are crying
I am watching
Catching teardrops in my hands
Only silence as it’s ending, like we never had a chance
Do you have to, make me feel like there is nothing left of me?

[Chorus]
You can take everything I have
You can break everything I am
Like i’m made of glass
Like i’m made of paper
Go on and try to tear me down
I will be rising from the ground
Like a skyscraper!
Like a skyscraper!

[Demi Lovato]
As the smoke clears
I awaken, and untangle you from me
Would it make you, feel better to watch me while I bleed?
All my windows, still are broken
But I’m standing on my feet

[Chorus]
You can take everything I have
You can break everything I am
Demi Lovato Skyscraper lyrics found on http://www.directlyrics.com/demi-lovato-skyscraper-lyrics.html

Like I’m made of glass
Like I’m made of paper
Go on and try to tear me down
I will be rising from the ground
Like a skyscraper!
Like a skyscraper!

[Bridge]
Go run, run, run
I’m gonna stay right here
Watch you disappear, yeah
Go run, run, run
Yeah it’s a long way down
But I am closer to the clouds up here

[Demi Lovato]
You can take everything I have
You can break everything I am
Like I’m made of glass
Like I’m made of paper, Oh
Go on and try to tear me down
I will be rising from the ground

Like a skyscraper!
Like a skyscraper!

Like a skyscraper!
Like a skyscraper!

Pain is ridiculous.  When a heart hurts, it really hurts.  People judge based on so many things we can’t control.  As I am diving more into research, I learned about “positionality” from my class.    When we are who we are, there are parts of us that are identified that we cannot help.  I can’t help who I am.  I am a multiracial obese lesbian woman.  This may seem like nothing to some people, but those factors shape what I choose in my life.  I can choose to get married, but my identity doesn’t allow me to do so.  I have applied for a principal job, but my gender didn’t allow me to do so.  These are just small examples of me.  Who are you?  What are biases against you because of your positionality?  You can’t hep who you are, but you need to be the best with what was created for you.  Look at every aspect of your life and think of how you can use your examples and your life to stand higher than you were yesterday.  Use your strength to help others see that even when people try to bring you down, you will still stand.  Be a skyscraper in the midst of the negative actions and words.  I love all of you and I am proud of you.

An Exhilarating Experience and Life-Changing Event

So, this weekend, I embarked on a scary yet exciting journey for myself.  As I am continuing on with my education, I am looking toward my future and what I represent.  When I create my dissertation, I want to give back a part of me.  I want to explore part of my identity and the issues that come with who I am and share it with others.  At this point, I have decided to dive into GLBT studies.  Some of my great friends have already assisted me thus far, and hopefully will continue to do so as I continue on my educational journey.

I say all of that to share my weekend.  I volunteered to attend a diversity retreat that is sponsored by Diversity Advocacy at Illinois State University.  At first, I was really excited because I was hoping to meet more GLBT students and maybe get insight for my paper.  Then we had the orientation.  Immediately I began to change my mind.  There were a bunch of young kids who seemed to know each other and were actually pretty loud when I entered the room.  Immediately I thought of my kids in DC, and said to myself, “hell no, I don’t want to spend the night with a bunch of my students.”  But Ashley continued to reach out to me.  I then felt obligated.  Like maybe I have a purpose at the retreat to help them learn about me.  So I committed to going.

So, this weekend, I met some of the most wonderful people that I may ever cross paths with in my life.  They were mature, insightful, articulate, honest, and vulnerable, just like me.  We all laughed, cried, thought, shared, debated, laughed, and cried some more.  Lives were changed this weekend.  Eyes were opened.  We learned about sexual identities, gender identities, racial identities, and socio-economic identities.  So many activities stand out in my mind: The advantage/disadvantage line, the “life” game, speakers who shared personal moments of their lives, and so much more.

But the best part is that we made mail boxes.  We were able to write small notes to each other throughout the two days to encourage each other or say something nice to that person.  Before we read these note, I was already very touched, because some of the students said that the part they will remember is me and Ana.  They said that they see homosexuality in a different light.  Many said that they will help others who may be struggling, and they will not judge them anymore.  This was all because we went to this retreat. We spoke, and we were living examples of a homosexual relationship.

When I looked in my mailbox and read so many notes, I balled.  “You are my hero.” “Strength is the only word I have for you.” “When I got to live in your shoes during the activities, I see how hard it is for you.  I am sorry that you go through that, and you are strong.”  “Thank you for sharing.” “Thank you for trusting us and teaching us.”

All we did was attend the retreat and participate like everyone else.  I never expected that kind of result, but I am so happy that it ended that way.  I have never been more proud to be me…