A global support network for the LGBTIQ+ community

June 8, 2017

Shanna

Dear grandma, As a child, I always admired the movement of butterflies, the way they'd float in and around so gracefully, so majestically and so blindly. I remember, of the few memories I have from early childhood, where my mother rented this tiny apartment for us both. Tiny but viable. And to the back of the house was a huge, green, downward-sloping hill full of lemon chiffon butterflies and I'd sit in its lushness with my grass-stained baby jean shorts and watch them perch on my bony chapped knee. Looking back I can remember, its innocence as it fluttered endlessly and rhythmically, much like the ones I feel now when I look at her. She's beauty at its most authentic. How she matches my fly. How could this be wrong? How could this not be true? To be honest, Zion asked me to write something, possibly months ago and as days ventured by, so I too, ventured for memories and words to describe my story. What would be the best way to convey my story? What would be the one thing to truly help me tell my story? I was lost, I was scared. To find ways to share with people something so deep and personal to me to ends others wouldn't even dream of imagining. How who I am had wrecked me, torn and tarnished my once spirited and fluttering wings. I grew and learnt that my pale yellow shaded butterflies weren't so innocent and thst they'd never flutter on the right frequency. I always cherished human connection and how naturally it came to me, much like breathing. I never thought once though how dangerous my spirituality and something that comes so naturally to me could be. How it would cause my pain, hatred, abuse, neglect and misuse and cost me love, respect and understanding. I don't think people can even imagine what comes along with truly accepting yourself and others like you. The depression, the self-inflicted wounds and thoughts of dying to seemingly make this world a better place, hating myself and others like me who love and admire just as innocently and naturally as I do and whose wings flutter just as easily. I'm glad Zion asked me to write this and I intentionally left out much personal details. What I want with this movement, is to humbly show people that we are not monsters, our PRIDE is not a backlash and we are in no way shape or form trying to create mischief. I commend the equalityja team, as I have stood in the back quietly and see them make great strides. It is encouraging and delighting to go from being scared of getting caught holding her hand in the cafeteria lines to billboards and marches screaming for what we have a right to. I think it's imperative that people get that pride and equality are not primarily about gay rights. It's for all rights. Women rights, children rights... human rights. This is something I always shied away from because not only am I a person of very little words, I don't engage in personal discussions. But I want people to read and if possible understand this is not something we chose, this is just who we are, for people like me to not be afraid to see themselves and accept themselves wholly and truly and remember that eventhough butterflies do all their growing in the caterpillar stage and an adult butterfly may not ever heal fully from a broken wing; it will, however, learn to survive. Don't be afraid to pick up broken pieces and fly again;

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