You're different. Everyone's made it clear to you all your life. Strangers, teachers, peers, and for many, even parents. You've suffered. No one understands. But you're still alive, you've made it through even the worst of times.
And just when you're starting to feel a little stronger about yourself...just when you're thinking, "hey, I'm going to step out into this world tomorrow and be proud of who I am!" Just when you're feeling it...someone kicks you from behind yet again. But you have to stand back up...yet again. That's what you have to learn from Constance's story.
I'm unsurprised but still disgusted to find out what happened recently to Constance McMillen - the lesbian teen whose school cancelled prom so that she wouldn't go.
The parents who had been organizing a private prom, the one she was supposedly invited to, tricked her into going to the wrong location. YEP, they sent her to some "fake prom" along with 7 other kids (2 of which have disabilities). So there you go, that's high school for you.
This is the stuff of MEAN GIRLS. This is the stuff of nightmares a-la showing up to school naked. This is the kind of stuff unpopular kids go through. This feels so personal. I may not be lesbian, I may not have gone on a public mission to challenge my school's discriminatory actions, but I was an outcast. But not to this extreme. Many of us have had moments like this, but not in such a massive and public way. Imagine, your whole school turns its back on you. How is that? Not one person informed Constance or the other 7 people that they were being sent to a fake prom.
Yet if you read this short article, you'll see that Constance said they all had a blast - all 7 of them. They did so because that's what the outcasts do. The popular thing dies after high school, and then the outcasts move on to do great things. Some popular kids make it too, but from my experience, the ones who really made me suffer didn't go too far.
Some people just don't get the pride. The pride that comes with years of experience as a person of DIFFERENCE. But those who are different get it. No matter what marks you as different, and no matter what extreme of different you are, if you're different you get it. There will be a point when you must decide - I will no longer give in. I am not a mat.
You have to get up every time, and you have to stand proud. Be DIFFERENT! Be BLACK, be LESBIAN, be WOMAN, Be ASIAN, be LATINO, be WHO EVER YOU ARE. And be it proud! Don't you let others beat you up literally or figuratively. Don't let others beat the YOU out of you. Don't give in.
I'm so touched, so incredibly touched, by this infuriating yet uplifting story of DIFFERENCE.
STAND BACK UP EVERY TIME!
- ► 2008 (37)