There are things that come with being gay that many people, even ourselves don't realise.
We grow up raising each other, we take in our friends who have been kicked out of home whilst being called a dyke or faggot by the ones who are supposed to love us 'no matter what' - our family.
Our friends have cried their eyes out and left our shoulders wet after being found with their same sex partner. They've sobbed into you about never feeling so alone, whispering "how can I ever do this" and we've shared their pain.
Many of us have lost friends to suicide, death was a better option than continuing on in a world they felt didn't support them.
We've bandaged the wrists of our friends, lovers, we've hidden bottles of pills and called support lines. We've housed the gay kid down the street who lands on our doorstep with a black eye because "dad doesn't like faggots"
We've been sacked from jobs
Denied rental housing
Kicked out of clubs
Bashed on the streets
Bullied in workplaces
and smirked upon regularly
We 'come out' Every. Single. Day and even though on some days the last thing we want to tell that blonde bouncy hairdresser as she massages our scalp, that we are a big homo, we do.. Because to not 'Come out' feels like a crime against our people.
It feels like an injustice to those who haven't found their voice yet.
We 'come out' because we hope, again, that maybe, hopefully, next time this person won't assume that everyone is straight. That maybe, hopefully, they ask the next person if they have a boyfriend OR girlfriend and that the next person would in turn be amazed at how open this world is becoming and feel accepted.
We watch our basic rights being talked about, decisions taken from us, options robbed from us, our lives be hated, our genetics ridiculed and our families hurt by others words.
We are called unnatural, told we have an agenda, that "marrying animals will be next". How can they be so cruel?
We watch our back every single day. We hope, today, that people will accept us.
Before every gesture of love, a kiss on the cheek, an arm around her waist, we scan the streets, we scan the cafe and within seconds we sum up whether it is safe. We do this so automatically we aren't even aware we do it.
We hope our children don't get bullied for having gay mums. We see hate campaigns targeting our whole being, who we inherently are within our cells. Being LGBTIQ is something we do not choose.
We nod and smile as people reassure us "it will happen, chin up".
As a strong, openly gay woman my eyes are sore from the comments I read, my heart hurts from the attacks on my soul this last week especially, but hear this.....
hear me now.....
We are strong, so fiercely strong, we are resilient, we have fought harder as a community and we have supported each other through tougher times. We are a force, we are a family, we are WORTHY and we are LOVED.
We need each other now and we need to rise up for those voiceless, we need to attend rallies, to post and share the marriage equality message. We need to stick together!
To our straight friends, THANK YOU for backing us, thank you for speaking up in your circles, for showing hate and bigotry is not welcome in your world. Thank you for joining our voice.
My friends, we've got this.
#support #sticktogether #share #love
Ps: This is ok to be shared and can be from my personal wall. Happy for you to share :)
You can find Kate and her wonderful, inspiring Facebook group by clicking the link/image belowKaren Offord › Blog 2017 › Equality