Once upon a time, I was a little girl. My parents loved me, my family loved, my dog loved me. My class mates did not love me as much. I was an outsider. I had darker skin. A label. A dark label.
“So are you black or white?”, a best friend asked me one day in kindergarten. “I’m brown, like a mix,” I tell him. “You can’t be both. You can either be black or white” he said to me. I did not know what to say, so I cried.
Fast forward to middle school, and I had just come out to one of my friends. “I’m bisexual,” I tell her. “You can either like girls or guys. You can’t like both,” she said to me. I did not know what to say, so I cried.
Fast forward to high school, and I am walking into the cafeteria to eat lunch. My friends of color are at one table, my mostly white friends at another. I don’t know who to sit with. I don’t know what side to choose. I did not know what to do, so I sat alone.
Fast forward to college, and I am the first Puerto Rican Jew people have met. I am different. Someone says to me “Wow, I didn’t know that people like you even existed.” I did not know what to say, so I balled my fists and laughed it off.
Fast forward to graduate school, and I come out again as queer. Someone says to me “Doesn’t that just mean you’re gay?” But now I am grown. This time I don’t cry. This time I don’t walk away. This time, I say:
Stop putting me into boxes. Stop categorizing me. Stop your binary thinking before it even starts. I am different, I am changing, and that’s okay.