When I was 4 years old, I was forced to drink beer.
When I was 5 years old I was forced to give head to my cousin.
When I was 6 years old I was forced to give head to my cousin’s friend’s little brother, in a park, while my cousin and their friends watched us.
When I was 7 years old my mom beat me for getting caught naked with one of my school friends.
When I was 8 years old my mom divorced my dad.
When I was 9 years old I never did my homework because I was trying to read books or play video games to ignore my mom’s partying and fighting with her boyfriends.
When I was 10 years old I had to choose between my parents and chose my mom because if my dad found out I liked boys I knew he would hate me.
When I was 11 years old I was suspended from school for telling my friends at catholic school that I was gay.
When I was 12 years old I was told by my uncle that I didn’t matter because I would die before him from HIV/AIDS and I also attempted suicide for the first time.
When I was 13 years old I was forced to live with my father after he found out I wasn’t staying with my mother anymore.
When I was 14 years old my father told me I was “going through a phase” and that I wasn’t gay and that he wasn’t going to have a gay son.
When I was 15 years old I had sex for the first time and a rich woman gave me free clothes, iPods, food and a place to stay sometimes in exchange for me telling her all of the details of my sexual encounters.
When I was 16 years old I told my father I was never going back home.
When I was 17 years old I had to sleep on a crammed couch in a one person apartment with both of my parents after I realized the woman I was staying with was abusing me and my boyfriends.
When I was 18 years old I couch surfed, charged my phone and changed at Starbucks in order to go to work every day to save up money for school while desperately trying to keep my then boyfriend from committing suicide.
When I was 19 years old I was claimed as a dependent by my father even though he didn’t give me any money towards school at all, and I also lived without health insurance.
Now I’m 20 years old and I think about suicide often (but no attempts), I might not be able to afford school this fall because my father claimed me and FAFSA deemed me in eligible for a pell grant, I’m working full time and going to school full time, I have an incredibly sweet boyfriend and I’m $18,000 in debt with no real idea of my future other than hoping to god I don’t get sick and can pay rent on time.
I realize I have cis/white privelege. I am also incredibly thankful for the amazing people I have met that support me and the opportunities I’ve had this past year.
…but some nights it’s just heavy. and I don’t understand why I’ve had to face the challenges and shitty situations I’ve been in, but I keep movin along because idk what else to do