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I looked down for many, many years, and I can still accidentally resort to it as my default if I’m not conscious of how I’m feeling about myself. For me, it is fear. I’m deeply afraid of people, even though in circumstances in which I feel safe, I can be friendly and outgoing. I was systematically bullied in grade school (unsure if it was because they understood that I was queer or they just knew I was different somehow), and later, as a young woman, gobbled up and spit out repeatedly by men as I tried to figure out who I was while simultaneously negating my queerness. (I’m bi.) Most of my life I have struggled between being myself, the subject, and perceiving myself as others’ object. Thank you for expressing it in this way, it is a new lens in which to try and understand some of the seemingly inexplicable things I have done to try and eradicate who I am.

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