Learn to Live, Learn to Love

I never wanted to love someone like me.
Not “someone like me” as in the same personality or anything.
But by gender.
Being gay is hard. You see all the horrible things about the LGBT community, or how we’re easily offended, or “damn millennials choosing their sexualities”, or how people hate us.
People never hear about how much we hate ourselves.
I was an 8 year old when I thought girls were pretty. Not “prettier than me”, but “wow she’s really pretty, I wish I could be near her and hold her hand”, kind of pretty.
I was 9 when people told me I couldn’t like another girl. That I was not supposed to be with anyone who had the same gender and genitals as me. It was wrong;


I was wrong.


I was an awkward 11 year old when I heard about a teenager from my home country come out as gay, who was a public celebrity, and therefore shunned. Kicked out of her home, her life, her career, just for dating a girl. My mom swore and shouted, how she was a shame to our heritage and that I should never be like that. A lesbian. A tomboy. An idiot. A shame.
I was an angry and distraught 12 year old when I caught myself looking at the popular girls in school in the locker room, and not sure on what to do. I hated myself. “What kind of Catholic would stare at someone of the same gender?” “You’re disgusting.” I was uncomfortable with my own body at a point. I was uncomfortable with girls and myself because I was covered in self-loathing.
Someone like me, who wasn’t good enough because of my weight, and was supposed to be religious, was staring at people of the same sex.
Hating yourself leaves so many scars.
Not just physical, but also emotional and mental.
When people convince you to hate yourself though, that leaves a set of broken veins and thoughts.
They plunge deep in your bones, and they never really leave. You would permanently have the mindset of not being good enough, even when you think you are worth peoples’ time and effort.
You would convince yourself you’re meant to be alone because if everyone shamed you, including your relatives and the “friends” you had, then you’re not supposed to be with anyone at all.
The first time I “loved” a girl, she had broken me. Left me scared of dating people like her, because she ripped my confidence to shreds. I tore myself apart.
The second time, I didn’t even love her. I hurt, I drank, I lied. I convinced myself I’m just too damn wrong for anyone.


However.


The third time I loved a girl, I wasn’t able to think. 
I didn’t think of how much I hated myself. I didn’t think of how much I was wrong.
I thought of her smile. The way her eyebrows furrowed when she was concerned. I thought of how amazing she looked in jeans and a t shirt, her glasses plastered on her face. 
I thought of the way she held my hand tightly, as if she never wanted to let go.
I thought of how soft her lips felt against mine, and her hand on my hip.
I thought of how I felt in that moment, so happy, so content.
I felt a belonging. “Yeah. This is right,” I thought. “This is okay.”

I'm 16 now, and to this day, it’s still hard to try and accept my own sexuality.
It’s hard to not be able to talk about your most recent heartbreak, because you’re not out to your family and they can never know for you’d be nothing to them.
It’s hard not being able to tell your mother you’re in love with someone who cares about you, because she’d never let you see that person again and completely destroy you.
Your feelings of internal hatred for who you are linger. It carries on through the wind, and sometimes, it brings you so far down that you don’t want to get up or try.
But you need to surround yourself with love, in order to heal. We need to learn to build ourselves up, with rain, sun, or snow covering us. We grow like flowers and try to make the world better and prettier.
I’m not perfect. I’m still damaged, and I still feel wrong in my own body and in my own preferences.
But she loves me. My friends love me. My body is scarred and fragile, and it’s not in the best shape.
Yet, it’s come so far.
I’ve come so far.
I’m proud and I’m learning.
I’m living.
I’m loving.
Honestly, that’s all people need to do sometimes.
 






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