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Red. Orange. Yellow. Green. Blue. Indigo. Violet. Colors of the rainbow can symbolize a great deal of things: our promise from God, the ray of hope that shines through after a horrific storm, and the pride of a group of people who face a challenge with society each and every day of their life.
Seventh grade is never a fun place to be. Kids are mean. As for me, well--it didn’t help to be a freak.
Red. The color of anger. The color of a burning hatred within me towards myself. The discovery of myself caused a pain beyond most human comprehension. I don’t like to remember what I did to myself to make myself see red. I am gay. I know that about myself. I hated it. I hated myself for it. I hurt myself because of it. All I could see was red.
Once I realized that I am gay, one thing came to my mind. You can’t let anyone know about this, Alyx. You just can’t. But, secrets havn’t been good to me. Hiding is a hurtful thing. I was so hurt by it that I would hurt myself. Whatever I could do to give myself a reason for hurting so badly.
Orange. The color of flames. The color of me, so driven by the power of a fire that I stopped at nothing to give myself a reason to hate me. I had to cause myself to feel what I would feel nonetheless. The blade cutting my skin. My skin feeling inevitable pain. The pain giving me a reason to hurt so badly. To hate myself. To destroy everything in my path. Just like the orange flames.
Eighth grade year I decided to move to a new school. I didn’t make friends very quickly. I needed people to love me. To tell me that I would be okay.. So there came my eight-year-old sister—Lucy.
Yellow. The color of peace. The color of my sister. My sister has been there for me from the get-go. I never had to worry about whether I was going to be left alone by her. She never cared if I was different. It only added to her beauty. Lucy helped me—made me—see that yellow light at the end of the very black cave I was stuck in.
Every night I would tell Lucy about my day.
“—and I said, ‘Hi,’” I would rave, “and he was like, ‘Um…hi?’ and—oh! He’s so cute! But, he would never—”
“Well, sure he would! Why wouldn’t he?!” She was almost too reassuring.
“You see, Marcie asked him for me today if he is gay.”
“What’d he say?!”
“Aww,” she consoled, “It’ll be okay. You’ll find someone.”
“I just!—I wish that I could be normal, that's all.”
Green. The color of greed. The color of jealousy. I was—I still am—jealous of all of the guys who get to live this normal life. They get to walk around unharmed. Unafraid. They act like they own the world, and I have to struggle to maintain the small space I have in it. I want that security. I want that freedom. But it’ll never happen. I will live my life ridiculed. Hated. Every moment I will be green with envy. Envy of the easy life.
I moved back to my hometown after Christmas that year. I spent a lot of time at the high school taking advanced classes. It was great being there, except for one thing. Zeke. He doesn’t matter, I would tell myself, He’s too dumb to get out of high school. He would corner me in the bathroom, scream profanities down the hall. For what? To make more enemies? Whatever his reason was, it only helped me see one thing.
Blue. The color of the sky. Where things fly. Free from anything and anyone. Free to be themselves. I don’t have that. I have nothing but things to prove to try—in vain—to get that feeling. That freedom is all I ask for. Just one flight. All I want is to be free. Free from failure. Free from pain. Free from criticism. Just free in the blue of the sky.
In my music I was free. I took up the guitar, and I joined the high school band my Freshman year, but music can’t stop depression. My self-abuse was getting worse. I kept a journal of suicide notes, and I thought about how much easier death would be all the time. And then, out of the blue, came an unexpected support.
Indigo. The color of difference. The strangest color in the arrangement. The unexpected twist. Like my brother, Paul. When no one else—even my own mother—wanted to accept me, my brother was there telling them, “Let him be himself. What is it going to hurt?” I can’t find the words that my mouth searches for to thank him. He will always be special. Indigo.
Paul was the first person I told about being gay. That was before I realized how wrong people thought it was. To me, it’s just life. Lucy and Paul helped me see the single most important thing I could see.
Purple. The color of fulfillment. There must be a reason purple is my favorite color. It holds passion. Pride. I have almost a room full of purple at my house. So many special things. When I was young, I used “purple” as a replacement for “awesome.” Now, maturing a bit, I can see the more profound meanings of this color. Purple.
For me, the rainbow is more than a splash of color from Heaven to Earth. It’s not a stairway, and you’ll never find a pot of gold at the bottom. It reminds me that I am normal. And I am beautiful. I am a natural occurrence with so many amazing qualities. I am the rainbow.