Just Be This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


Tolerance.Preference. I am so sick of those words.

Why should people have to betolerated? Tolerance should apply to annoying habits, like hearing the tapping ofa pencil or cracking knuckles. People shouldn't have to be tolerated because ofwho they are. People shouldn't have to be put up with because of whom they wishto spend their time with.

I believe a person's sexuality is not apreference. It is not a choice or a decision. It is simply the way a person isborn. Period. Some are born straight, some are born gay, and some are born lovingeveryone. There is no choice in the matter. One can, however, decide whether ornot to live out who he or she is. Living a lie for a lifetime is not good foranyone.

I am proud of who I am. I am a teenager, and I am a lesbian. Ihaven't told my family yet because I am afraid of what they'll say. It's a reallysad world where a daughter has to be afraid of being herself in front of herparents, but it is the world I live in.

It's a really sad world because Ihave to, essentially, move across an ocean to the Netherlands just to get marriedif I ever find a woman I wish to spend the rest of my life with. There areactually laws prohibiting homosexual marriages in the United States. In the landof freedom and opportunity, I am denied the right to love and marry as I seefit.

It's a really sad world where there are people in my generationtelling me that I am wrong, that I can always go back to being straight, that Iam disgusting.

Whether they're influenced by parents, religion, or otherpeers, I find it extremely disappointing that individuals in our nation,especially younger ones like me, can be so closed-minded and prejudiced.

My parents are the type of people who claim to be accepting of all, butreally aren't. They are prejudiced against everyone - black people, MiddleEastern people, Asian people, people who talk with an accent, homosexuals - inshort, everyone who isn't like them. I have learned to tune them out and ignorethe cruel things that come out of their mouths. I also, however, walk down thehalls at school and hear my peers speaking like my parents do. This is my plea:Stop. It hurts.

Another gripe I have is the misuse of the word gay:"I hate chemistry class; it's so gay." I hear things like that all thetime from the kid who sits behind me in history, people in the hallway, even myown friends. It's so incredibly rude and only makes gay and lesbian peopleretreat further into their hole, if they have one.

I am lucky, however.Even with the unhelpful parents, cruel classmates, and the religious people whoenjoy preaching to me, I still have great friends. I know not everyone has thesupport they need, though, so please - make it easier for them. Don't tolerate.Just be. That's all we're doing. Just being.



This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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