October 21 is GLAAD’s annual Spirit Day, a day to uplift and help younger LGBTQ individuals who face disproportionate charges of bullying. This Spirit Day, Kaylyn Suji Ahn, who was featured in GLAAD’s 20 Under 20 list, displays in an op-ed on their expertise with being bullied for being queer, after which discovering self acceptance.
All the ladies perched on their prime bunks like hawks watching a mouse as I scurried across the cabin, desperately trying to find a mattress. All the highest bunks had been taken, which meant that one lady needed to let me sleep within the backside bunk — me, the lady everybody knew was gay.
I used to be on an annual Christian winter youth retreat, per week in a distant cabin filled with hour-long seminars and workforce constructing actions. I went to this retreat each single yr, together with each Sunday service, Friday service, summer time retreat, and mission journey. Regardless of the time I spent with the church, seemingly nobody ever got here to actually settle for my sexuality.
Again on the winter retreat, my burnt out camp counselor pleaded, “Guys, can somebody simply let her sleep within the backside bunk.”
Obtrusive seems to be dart throughout the room, seemingly exchanging the singular thought: Who was gonna let the homosexual lady sleep close to them?
“Um, you might keep right here, I suppose” a lady relents as she strikes her baggage. I stared on the floor, wishing I could possibly be anyone aside from the particular person I used to be. Wordlessly, I picked up my suitcase and shuffled in direction of the mattress. As I moved nearer, I might really feel them shift away from me.
Experiences like that made me desperately want I had been straight. I do know I am not alone: In response to Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System information from 2019, LGBTQ college students reported extra bullying than their straight friends. And, current information from The Trevor Project discovered that almost all of LGBTQ youth in faculties reported experiencing bullying.
Throughout that very same retreat, I went earlier than my pastor as somebody who wished to be saved. My camp counselor prayed for the Lord to deliver me salvation, and I stated my very own prayer:
My pastor says that, to be saved, I’ve to surrender all the things to you. And I do. Please, God. Please, repair me. God, I’m sorry. I don’t wish to be homosexual anymore. Please, God, if you happen to love me, make me straight once more. Make me good once more.
Make it cease. Make it cease. Make it cease.
However after I wakened the subsequent morning, I used to be nonetheless queer. Possibly God simply didn’t love me sufficient, I assumed. Possibly I simply needed to pray more durable. Possibly I’ll by no means be saved.
However away from church, I noticed my sexuality didn’t make me a sinner. I didn’t must push and pray it away, I wanted to just accept myself. That occurred after I met Hope.
https://www.teenvogue.com/story/i-was-bullied-at-church-camp-because-im-queer-heres-how-i-found-self-love | I Was Bullied at Church Camp As a result of I am Queer. Here is How I Discovered Self-Love