A Letter of Acceptance

Dear Yuri, dear God, dear family, friends, neighbours, dear all those who are privileged to be themselves,

I wish I could be myself.
Being able to go to sleep without a heavy heart without the fear of redemption and without feeling as if I am an abomination.

God you taught me that you love us all.
My family, you taught me to ‘be myself’ and that we ‘are all equal’. What has changed?

May I please ask why now my sexuality or religion or skin colour seems to define my self-worth?
Why I have to clench my jaw, fight back tears and force myself to put a smile on my face. Even though, inside my heart is shattered into a million and one pieces.
Why when it comes to marrying a man, everyone is supportive and claims to have my back. But if I mention a woman, ‘no one will want to sit next to you’ is what I’m told?
Yes, Islamophobia, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia…are heavy words but they are even heavier for those at the receiving end.
Are we not all human? Do we not all deserve the same respect?

Why is that despite having everyone I feel like I have no one?
Why is that all my life I was told ‘you can talk to us’ but when it comes to relationships – no one wants to listen.

I hope my message gets to you all.
I am ME, I have not changed. I am still the same person you have loved for 19 years now.
Who I feel attracted to, the colour of my skin, does not change my character.
I promise you, I’m still the same person.
The only difference is that now I’m a person who goes to sleep every night hoping to ‘change’ to prevent any dispute.
A person who is just yearning to be loved.
A person who wishes she can turn back time where she didn’t know what being gay was.
Back to a time where an innocent toddler is just beginning to learn how walk and having no clue that she is growing up in a world where love can coexist with hate.

All I ask for is peace in the war zone where my heart resides.
All I ask for is acceptance. Not just for me, but for everyone who feel like they can’t be who they are.

Alisha, Walsall, England

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