Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
I am queer. Or gay, or a lesbian — whatever word works best for you, use it. One thing I have come to realize is that love and sexuality are way too complex to fit in a word or even a Facebook note.
If you know me at all, you know that I am a loving person. I love my friends, no matter how far apart we may be, and I love my family, and I love people that I have never even met. And now, I love my girlfriend too.
Love is a tricky word, because we use it for a new pair of shoes and for the person we want to spend the rest of our lives with. In the romantic sense, it is hard to define, because you can only truly know what it means once you have felt it. And after feeling love in so many ways, I need to share it with the world.
I need to share love because there is too much hate in this world, and too many people are crying themselves to sleep at night or even taking their own lives because of it. My goal in writing this note is to spread love for queers. Because if you love me as much as I love you, then you love a queer. If by reading this note your love for me is diminished because I am not straight, then all I can do is pray that you someday understand how to fully love every person in your life, because the world will be a better place for it and you will be happier for it.
If you love me but hate my sexuality (i.e. “love the sinner, hate the sin”), then your love for me is diminished, because you cannot separate my sexuality from me. That is not to say that I am defined by my sexuality, but rather that love is such an important part of who I am. And if you hate the fact that I love a woman who makes me happier than I have ever been before, then you do not truly value my happiness and your love for me is diminished.
If you don’t understand it yet, that’s okay. If you are struggling, that’s okay. I didn’t understand, and I have definitely struggled. All I ask is that you try. For me and for all of the other beautiful people like me who have seen more than their fair share of hate in this world and who just want to love.
Some of you reading this are queer, some of you have been allies for a long time, and some of you have just never had to deal with something like this before. Some of you are proud, some are worried, some are hurt, and some are confused. And that’s okay. I’ve been all those places before. If you have questions about anything that you don’t understand or don’t feel right about, please send me a message. About anything. Literally. This offer stands from now until I die, because I remember being too afraid to ask and remaining ignorant as a result. And while some say ignorance is bliss, I believe that understanding is ten times greater, and ten times more likely to produce love instead of hate.
Send me a message, even if you are reading this and we haven’t spoken in years or you’re not sure if you know me well enough. You read this note, which means you care, and that’s all that matters.
Ultimately, you need to know that I am incredibly happy and that love is a beautiful thing and that it gets better. That’s all.