Humans of our Community is a project focusing on highlighting diverse members of our community and their stories. These stories are raw, real and inspiring. We hope you find them as beautiful to read as we do.
CONTENT WARNING: Some stories contain discussions around suicide, mental illness, dysphoria and discrimination.
Interviews conducted by James Fowler, Volunteer of Open Doors Youth Service.
Huge thank you to all the generous members of our community who have been vulnerable and empowering in sharing their journeys with us.
“Don’t be afraid to speak up. I tried to hide it for a long time, and I regret doing that. If I had known what it was and had the resources to educate myself and others, I would have. It was just so different when I was young. Stop thinking that you think you have to hide a part of yourself. You’re never going to be your true self and happy with yourself if you’re hiding a part of you.”
“I would love to take my younger self aside and reassure them that YOU are OK, and it is all going to be OK. You’re not these horrible things that the voices in your head are telling you. Sure, I may be statistically uncommon, but now I see there is something special about that.”
“…but one thing I would’ve loved was to feel like my parents wanted to have more curious, happier conversations with me about what queerness meant to me so that I felt affirmed rather than just tolerated, and so that maybe I’d had better tools for dealing with biphobia at school, with peers, and with older peers as well. Ultimately, when kids open a conversation with you, ask questions and listen.”
“…I met a young person who was assigned female at birth in an openly queerphobic, conservative family. This young person came out to me. When they shared their identity with me, I thanked them for doing so, accepted them and asked what I could do to help explore that with them. They burst into tears. They told me they had never had an adult in their life accept them for who they are. I got chills, and this drive to keep doing advocacy. The process of sitting, listening, and accepting someone for who they are, makes a huge difference to people. It is the difference between someone feeling loved and safe and feeling alone and rejected.”