My problem began when I came to Hostos as a 6th grader I didn’t change but the kids around me changed; they weren’t the same as at my other school. They treated me as if I was a walking disease. I constantly turned my head to see kids laughing and pointing at me. They talked low, like it was an international secret, but made it obvious that they were talking about me. I taught myself how to walk with my head down without bumping into anything, just so I didn’t see them looking at me in disgust. I took the bus to school every day and I remember one particular day like it was yesterday. I got off the bus and a boy from my class walked ahead of me, my heart was racing because he was someone who made fun of me but I relaxed because he was ahead of me. That small span of relief was short lived; he turned his head, saw me, and smiled ear to ear. He asked me a question I’ll never forget, “Are you a boy or a girl?” He laughed while I put my head down and walked to class
He wasn’t the only one who said harsh words to me; the girls were just as viscous. They asked me if my mother cared about me and if I wished I was a boy. I didn’t understand I loved sports and I was comfortable in boys clothes, but everyone hated me or said I wasn’t suppose to be the way I was ,that I was wrong and I needed to change. By the time high school at Hostos I had completely. Dropped all my sports and I threw away all my boys clothes. I got a whole new look; I cut my hair and changed my clothes . I looked like the girl my classmates said I should be. They seemed to like me and I had closer friends, but I hated the person I turned into. I hated every dress I wore and every day I got woke up. There was a smile on my face but in the pit of my stomach I felt twisted and I wanted to throw up just looking in the mirror.
In middle school they always said I was gay asking me if I liked girls. I always pretended not to know what they were talking about, but I was gay. In high school I explored the gay in me and loved it; it made me happy that I told my family I was welcomed with open arms. I was so excited to be who I was that the 1st week of my junior year I had boy clothes on again. I even got braids and I didn’t care what they said because, finally, I was Ashley, not imitation. They still talked behind my back, but now I don’t care. Finally I walk with my head held high.