Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Back To School: A Letter from a High School Freshman

Imagine growing up, being told that your family was not real. Imagine being a four year old girl in preschool, not being invited to your best friend’s birthday party because of your family. Imagine never being comfortable in your own skin. Imagine going on a cruise, just for families like yours. Imagine learning that your family was perfect the way it is, imagine feeling so comfortable it made you cry tears of joy. Imagine making the best friends you’ve ever had, all with the same family as yours, made in different ways. Imagine having to leave, go home, leaving your friends and your sanity behind. Imagine having to watch the pain in your parents' faces as they adjusted back to reality. Imagine what an unstable teenager would do in this position. Imagine turning this into your motivation, deciding that you were put in this planet to change it. Imagine, your dream, stop discrimination against my family, let my parents get married everywhere in this country and maybe even the world. Imagine being so determined, nothing will ever get in your way. Well your imagination is my reality.

My name is Amanda and I am an incoming freshman in a tiny high school in a tiny town in Massachusetts. I have two moms and a little sister. I was born through donor insemination, me and my sister are full siblings. I was raised by the most loving parents in the world, but the world doesn’t see us that way. I was extremely resentful of my parents for bringing me into this world without a father until last summer. Last summer I went on a cruise to Alaska on an R Family cruise, just for families like mine. I learned that my family was beautiful the way it is. Something in me clicked, I discovered that I wanted to change this country, make it so that my family can get married everywhere, and I will.

Tomorrow is my first day of high school, and I am beyond excited. I make my family very known in my town, that is, pretty much every student in the high school knows about my family, or will know. I don’t hide it because I would rather have people know and judge me for who I am, then not know and judge me for who I’m not. If people don’t like it, then they can go away. I only surround myself with people that accept and support me. They know not to use homophobic words around me because I get extremely mad. My friends have literally trained themselves not to say words like “gay” or “fag” around me. And anyone who says those words around me and will not stop, or does not understand the offense in saying them is not welcome around me. My new school doesn’t have a GSA (gay straight alliance). Which is extremely irritating because my school needs one. I live in a very white, conservative town. However people are mostly accepting and friendly here, they do not understand where members of the LGBTQ community are coming from. And I am going to make that happen. Maybe not in my freshman year, but I will start a GSA in this school sometime during my high school career. For now, I will continue being a very spontaneous activist and representing my family in the most positive way possible. My family comes first to me, this year will mark the start of change in this town. This year people will stop talking and start listening. This year, in this high school, homophobia ends.



Charlotte said...

Good for you, Amanda, and all the best good fortune there is!!!!! I hope it goes well.

Jan said...

Amanda--I think it's so great that the R Family Cruise was a positive experience for you. My partner and I took one of those cruises in 2007 and loved it! I am also in Massachusetts and my book The Side Door (featured on this blog August 17, 2010) tells the story of a first year high school student's activism toward getting a club in her school...check it out. She might be inspiration for you!

ivanova said...

Good work, Amanda!

sunshine's grandaughter said...

Congrats to you. This is a great post that I hope the world gets to see it.

Anonymous said...

you go girl! :)