So I thought about it. The last time I stood out in a qualifying crowd? N-E-V-E-R. Never. But I’d like to. Most people think I’m a woodwork-person. A fader, a drifter. Someone who is too scared to speak up. But the fact is, I just need something to speak up about.
In a non-qualifying crowd, for example, my school, I stood out when I wore a GLSEN Day Of SIlence T-shirt I made myself and refused to speak for the day in support of LGBT rights. I wasn’t the only one who did so, but I believe I was the firmest believer. As I walked out of school that day, and past the buses, this kid who I had never met, yelled at me. He said, “Go home you lesbian! Go home!” He threw an eraser cap at me. I was shocked. “Go home you lez! Go! GLSEN stinks!” I whipped around to face him, “I’ll have you know that I’m completely straight. But I know people who aren’t and they suffer for it. That’s why I support this cause.” The boy was leaning out of the bus window. He yelled again, “Your a lez! Go home!” He threw another eraser cap at me. It hit me and bounced off, landing in the grass. Angered, I picked it up and threw it back. I was never good at softball. It hit the window. I picked it up and threw it again. It sailed threw the window, missing him completely. He laughed, “Lesbian! Lesbian! Go home!” “God your annoying.” I grumbled under my breath, I turned and walked away, my head high. Soon enough, another eraser pelted me. I picked it up again, and threw it. Because of my ultimate luck, it missed. And, the principal walked by. He smiled at me, “Good afternoon, Max.” I gulped. I figured I was going to get into trouble. I stood stock-still. The boy and his friend laughed. “You too Mr. Heiph.” And he passed by. I’d like to say, that at that moment, he HAD seen what had happened, and he realized the situation. But I’m not really sure, I’ll probably never know, but to me, it didn’t matter. I experienced something I thought I never would- a set-back. A wall meant to block me. And in that moment I did something I never thought I would, I walked straight through that wall. I didn’t go over it, I didn’t avoid it, I confronted it, bested it, survived it. And that moment will forever stick with me.
So, what walls did you walk through? And what walls did you climb over. What moments did you conquer, and which, did you avoid?