Bullying was a part of my entire childhood. From Head Start until I entered high school I was subjected to bullying (even during summer break). I have been told I think I’m a boy, dyke,  and bull dagger all before I came out or even realized that I was a lesbian. I have been attracted to women all my life. I have never had an intimate attraction to men, nor have I ever had any feminine qualities. I am blessed to have a very supportive and open-minded family so I found nothing wrong with this until my peers started to notice my masculine behavior. I started to fake the feminine traits but then it was questioned when I didn’t have crushes on boys or boyfriends.

From the age of 8 until 13 years old I tried my best to blend in with the other girls my age but it never worked. Guys bullied me because I would act like a boy and didn’t want to be their girlfriend. Girls bullied me because they didn’t want to be labeled “dyke” like me or they were mad the guys liked me. The bullying reached a head when I turned 13. I was in 8th grade and finally became comfortable with myself enough to face the truth…I am a Lesbian. I didn’t really hang with anybody in my school, so when I came out I just switched my change of dress completely and embraced my swag. It didn’t go unnoticed; I started to get into a lot of verbal altercations with guys in my class. One guy in particular gave me constant grief. I would ignore it and just became isolated to the point that I started to not go to school at all to avoid it.

When it got that bad I thought to myself, this has been going on long enough, I’m not that person I was when I was younger, I’ve never been scared so why am I running? I started going back to school with my head held high. Three days after my return he said to me, “You must want to be a man because every day you look more and more like one”. The class laughed. Finally I fought back; I said “Don’t be mad at me because I will always be more man than you”. He stood up and so did I. When he walked into my face I looked him dead in the eyes and said “Oh you must want me to prove it”. He stopped and thought twice about his next move. Now I do not condone violence, luckily it didn’t go that way, but just the simple task of showing I’m not weak or a victim stopped the bullying. After that event I never dealt with bullying at school again. I began to carry myself with a higher regard than before. By becoming happy with myself and confident with who I was I no longer carried the energy of being weak or a victim.

I started to stand up for other people I saw being bullied. This is something I wished someone would have done for me growing up. Becoming comfortable with sexuality and personality caused all insecurities to go away. When someone attempted to bully me I stood up to them upfront and it never happened again. I refused to try to blend in with the crowd anymore. I continue to walk my own path, the one chosen for me. I will stand up for me, because I am worth it, because I LOVE me, and you fight for who you love.