Saturday, June 1, 2013
I started to journal as a super-senior in Massachusetts. This is what I wrote.
I asked myself what I am doing at Andover. It is hard to define my time at Phillips Academy. There are many places I have found myself and then there are places at Andover where I felt like giving up.
I guess I will tell you my story of how I knew I was gay. The first time I knew I was guy was somewhere around elementary school. Crazy right? Who in their right mind would already figure out their sexual identity when puberty has not even begun. But before I realized I was gay, I experienced bullying.
I will always remember this experience because it was the first time that I actually felt like I did not belong. In the second grade, this little boy called me a “fag.” I had no idea what the word meant at the time, but by the tone of his voice, I knew it was not something good. Then I asked a couple of some female friends I had about what “fag” meant. They said that, “Oh, [insert name here] watched ‘Love and Basketball.’ I think that’s where he learned it from.” Clearly, none of knew what it meant and the implications of using such language as that.
I told someone I am gay in the 7th grade. Now, this was pivotal because they accepted me for who I am. However, I have not been in touch with this person. In fact, I have not been in touch with people that I grew up with. It is quite sad now that I think about it. I am going through this period of my life where things are changing. Sounds tacky but I guess I am changing. I used to be sad all the time. I used to think that I had all the problems of the world and that I was someone special who only experienced the things I was experiencing.
If I could give you a piece of advice, what would that be? Hmmm. Let me think. I am not entirely sure. I just want to meet the goal of writing seven hundred and fifty words so that I do not have to listen to country. It is working so far. However, I know I should really get working on my independent biology project. I am such a procrastinator. I should really address that. I do not know why I am like that. I know I cannot make excuses about my behavior but it is all that I have right now.
What does it mean to identify as LGBTQ? Hmmm. This is an interesting question. I knew I was different. Different not because of my sexual orientation, but because there are other things that define my identity or are part of the spectrum of identities I am. At one of the F=E forms, they had an exercise where everyone wrote on a card the identities they are part of. I will list what I put on my card: Native American, ,male, homosexual, middle class, grew up on a reservation, went to a public school, post-graduate, survivor. Then one girl that I deeply respect made a comment about how I should write a book because I am so different and that it was interesting to have the life that I have. The other girls in my group identified with being: straight, heterosexual, female, feminist, etc.
I guess you have to ask what do all these identities mean? For me, being a male, homosexual Native American is not the norm around this part of the country. My point is that identifying with others is not always simple and easy. I learned this when I first came to Andover. I am unsure if there were other Native American kids at this school. Which also leads to my next point, if you can, find your voice while at Andover. It will help you tremendously here and in the future. I can say that I while I have not found my voice at Andover, I am developing it. Andover teaches you many things: lots of good things, lots of bad things. One that encompasses both is that you learn so many new things. It is a good and back thing because a new type of understanding is developed. I know this is true for me. I use to hate being Native American and blamed my Native American identity on all the things that happened to me in my past. However, I am slowly coming to terms with my identity as an indigenous person.
Maybe things will get easier, maybe they won’t.