You're right of course.
I just live by hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.
I can't just acknowledge the way things are and leave it at that. I NEED to feel anger - righteous anger - at the persecution of my sexual minority and I NEED to live my life in as much freedom as possible given the circumstances.
In the words of my brave girl:
"If you know you're right, why should it matter what everyone else thinks?"
It is my choice to live with an open heart, to let girls in, and to challenge the power structures that hold me down.
I would sooner die than change my ways at this point.
And in living and suffering in such a way, I am also exposing to anyone watching the injustices done unto minor-attracted people as well as unto young people - especially girls.
The suffering only makes me stronger in the end. It is more fuel.
If I must cry in my sleep when I dream of what was lost as a testament to the truth in my heart, so be it. If it is still not enough, so be it.
Whatever it takes.
And someone will watch.
Thank you for your reassurance and faith in my character.
Sometimes when enough people call you a monster or treat you like one - especially those you believed were close to you - their cruel words and hurtful actions can start to echo inside your skull. When you can't escape, that's when you start feeling you want to put an end to it all.
A four-year-old little girl beams at me as I interpret her artwork with intent and care.
My very soul smiles back at her.
In a joyous moment of unbridled enthusiasm, the little girl runs into the other room to show the grownups what she's created, but is greeted by fake voices faking interest and praise and "settle down".
She returns with a long face.
"So," I say, "what do you want to draw next?"
She beams at me again and crawls up onto the chair.
I watch her work patiently in honest fascination and appreciation.
She rests her head on my arm and looks up at me and giggles.
"I'm close to youuu!" she sings.
I'm not so hated. Not by anyone who matters, that is.
Heartbroken, but not hopeless.