Finding out you’re queer and trans later in life is so fucking weird, because… suddenly all those horrifying stories are yours. Your people were decimated by the church and police for ages, your people were put into concentration camps and burned to death during WWII, your people were dropping dead day after day during the AIDS outbreak, your people were literally illegal under the eyes of the law for the longest fucking time.
These stories, about WWII and the AIDS outbreak and so on, we learn about this in school, we see these stories as a far off reality, with a limited level of empathy. “I feel bad for them.” “It must’ve been horrifying for them.” Then suddenly you’re them. You’re trans, you’re queer, if you were alive during WWII you could’ve been stapled with a pink triangle and sent to starve or burn in a camp, if you were alive during the 80s you could’ve slowly withered away in unbearable pain in a hospital bed after losing all your friends, you could’ve been arrested for kissing your lover, could’ve been sent to a horrid mental institution for embracing your identity where they would torture you until there was nothing left.
It could’ve been you. It could’ve been me.
This is such a strong fucking thing to realize. As I grew and learned about all of those things I had no idea that it was my history as well, I had absolutely no clue that the things that made my stomach turn in history class we’re going to be my past, the past of my people, my brothers and sisters and siblings, dead, raped, tortured, burned, shot, murdered.
It’s such a horrifying and yet mesmerizing truth.
Now we shout to the world how fucking gay we are, now we wear rainbows like spoils of war, now we hold hands with our lovers and keep our heads up, now we flaunt our identities with Pride.
We’re still far off from ideal. There are still places in the world in which we can be killed, arrested, tortured, all of that legally, encouraged even. But we’re getting there.
I hope our past brothers, sisters and siblings are proud of us, because I know for a fact I’m proud of them.