A Little Bit of Reflection

Two images of a blonde person, on the left the person is younger with black lettering at the top that says “start of 2013”, the person in this image has long blonde hair, what is visible is falling just slightly over their face on the left side, and continues over their shoulders out of view, they have black boxy glasses on, and a slightly chubby face, they are white, and have a red tint to their skin, they are wearing a grey sweatshirt. In the second image the same person is seen with a caption of the bottom left that reads “End of 2016”, in this image they have short blond hair, with an undercut that is at least visible on the left side of their head, their face seems to have slimmed down a bit, and their lips are tinted red.

Tonight is the last night before I am officially finished with high school. It is a super weird feeling to know that when I go to school tomorrow it will be my last day in that building, in this school district, with my teachers, with my friends, and with my classmates.

I know that social media makes keeping in touch easier than ever, but that doesn’t change the fear of losing people now that we will all be going our separate ways.

But the fear isn’t the thing that has been on my mind most prominently today. I’ve actually been thinking about this time in the school year, six years ago. When I was in sixth grade, yes it was the transition into the crazy horribleness of middle school, but it was also the year that I came out for the first time.

Middle schoolers are harsh though, so, when I came out to some friends –prior to this I had come out to two people, my brother and my best friend- I had a small inkling in the back of my mind that it could go badly, and that a couple of my friends being religious could be problematic for me, but I didn’t really realize how it could affect me. After I told one of my friends, I was very quickly opened up to the reality that children are cruel, and even more horrible to people they have been taught are different and bad.

This was my first experience with being outed, because after I told one friend, it quickly was spread to a few of their friends, and then so on and so forth, until I had random people coming up to me and asking me if I was bisexual. The original friend that I had told had also told their mother, and then subsequently they wrote me a letter in which they expressed to be that I would be going to hell, and that they could not be my friend anymore.

Now while this experience was horrible and still makes me a little upset to think about (even with how much of it I have blocked out) it lead to some really good things. Being outed led to me being forced to really confront my identity, and I came to accept it and not care if my peers knew. In fact when we came back the next year I was more comfortable in my sexuality and would freely talk about it if asked about it. In that year I was able to make one of my best friends, who is still one of my best friends to this day.

The next year I was even more open with my identity, getting to the point of willingly volunteering the information with people I was acquaintances with. Then through high school I have made it to the point where I am comfortable with myself to the level where I could scream my identity from the roof tops, but I don’t need to. I am free with information about my identity, and don’t hide it from anyone (other than my grandparents, but only them).

In the last two years I have figured out my gender identity –nonbinary, and I use they/them/their pronouns- and I have figured out that I am not bisexual. I have realized that I am somewhere on the asexual spectrum, though I still identify as biromantic, essentially meaning that I could date, and love someone of two or more genders, I am not sexually attracted to anyone, though.

I look back on myself from six years ago, and I am so proud of where I am now verses where I am today. I have truly transformed through the years. So, leaving high school, I know, if nothing else, I have grown as a person into someone who is significantly more themself, and significantly happier.

Life gets hard. There are so many ups and downs, and sometimes they seem to come crashing down on top of each other, so that you barely know up from down anymore. But, when you get through it, you will be changed for having endured, and having had made it through, I hope for the better, but that is personal to each person.

I wanted to put something up for my last day of high school, so here it is. I will write probably about more informative stuff, though with some anecdotes, soon.

Thanks for reading,

Torey

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