What I love about being queer is the journey it has led me on to love myself and all the amazing qpocs+a (queer people of colour and/or allies) who are embedded in that journey.
In this life, the negative words that have been put on me are like a broken record on repeat. They sound like this: worthless, stupid, sissy, faggot, skinny, ugly, banana, too dark, chink, good at nothing but math, nonsexual, pervert, fragile and weak.
But for every dehumanizing act done and word said to me, every horrible image I saw growing up, or lack of image, and all that I internalized, there was a qpoc+a who said something like: you are beautiful, your body is amazing, you are so strong, powerful, intelligent, lovable. A qpoc+a who loved me, helped me, and guided me to question what thoughts were put on to me versus what thoughts were mine and what I truly believe.
-Sze-Yang Ade-Lam, Toronto, ON