But last week, I received my first 'hate' mail. I say hate because it was language I would never use with another. It was negative, hurtful, and so very incompassionate. Now to be clear, it was not directed at me by name. It was directed at Brookings PRIDE, the organization I founded, whose mission is to build, protect, and serve the Brookings, SD area LGBTQ+ community by advocating for diversity & inclusion, providing training, and producing educational programming for community members of all ages.
This is near and dear to my heart. I knew my sexuality was on a spectrum at a young age. I know the psychological effects of bullying. I know how hard life is without people being nasty to 'be nasty' and I don't want that for my children or anyone else's children.
Being Bisexual isn't some glitzy avenue to stroll. Yes, I got to live a life under the radar. I didn't have to come out and no one who didn't personally know me would ever have known. But, being bisexual can give you a feeling that you don't fit in anywhere. You aren't straight enough for some straight people and you aren't gay enough for some gay people. You get shunned from both sides at times. Even when I was dating/living with a woman, I was constantly questioned about why I wasn't 'just a lesbian.' When I told potential male partners I was bisexual, I was automatically a fetish or fantasy. I still am told by men about how my husband 'is so lucky' with other lewd comments and questions thrown in for fun.
To me, I'm just me - A hard-working woman who wants equal rights for every human. I want equal pay for equal work and I want it for my daughter too. I want equal rights for all, regardless of gender, sexuality, or religious beliefs because I love my children and don't know what paths they will choose in life.
I think back on my bullying and know I had it easy. I had a loving mother who was stronger than anyone I knew. I know what I had endured before that time and what I have encountered since. Knowing not all kids have loving parents, safe homes, food to eat, trusted individuals to be themselves around hurts my heart. Knowing how those lacks can easily poison their mental state and their own hearts makes me want to weep. Knowing that there are people who could do better and choose not to makes me so angry. So, regardless of someone hating me or the work I am passionate about, I will continue to stand up for LOVE.
Love wins! Thank you.
Advocate of Adventure