#racism #sexuality #suicideawareness #spirituality
As a Black child growing up in Galesburg, Illinois I realized that my identity separated me from the rest of my community. At 11 years old, some of my friend’s parents would not allow them to hang out with me, as I was perceived as a threat just because of the color of my skin. My friends would tell their parents it’s okay and don’t worry as Joshua is, “the whitest black person you’ll ever meet” and “he is a white man trapped in a black man’s body.” I eventually internalized that language and found myself even using these same phrases.
This wasn’t the only identity that separated me. At the age of 7, I realized I was gay. I remember having these feelings but I didn’t have the language to express them. So I asked my dad,“ what is it called when you think a boy is cute?” and he replied, “only boys can think girls are cute and girls can think boys are cute.” So in that moment, I thought there was something fundamentally wrong with me. I was so confused and decided I needed to keep these feelings a secret.