who told you that it was wrong to love the skin that covers your bones. who told you it was wrong to love with a heart open, a mouth quick, hands strong, and feet steady? who told you that it was wrong to yearn for someone fill the cracks in you that the world so easily gave you—who told you it was even worse to seal your own cracks and heal your own bruises? who told you that your love was wrong, that people can’t love each other both regardless and because of their twisted hearts and battered minds?
who told you that fighting yourself for your existence not normal? who told you that the only battles worth fighting are the ones we witness? who told you that people are the worse demons? who told you that only those who are weak feel broken? who told you that every hurt has a reason for its existence? who told you that your pain doesn’t matter because others have it worse? who told you that strength comes only from power? who told you that sometimes bravery is not just breathing?
who told you that you must stand in the face of our love fists raised and knees locked? who told you that love pities the weak and flees from the strong? who told you that to love your feet must be weary and hands bruised? who told you that love exists in a vacuum? who told you that you must love someone romantically for it to be true? who told you that the truest form of love exists only in sex? who told you I cannot love from the marrows of my bones and you be worthy of it?
who told us that we must sit—eyes forward and mouths shut? who told us that we must take beatings and make no sounds? who told us that our voices waver in the face of truth? who told us that our fight was over before it began? who told us that our legs were too weak for us to stand on? who told us that we are indecisive, shallow, vain creatures? who told us that our hearts had to harden, that our ears had to close, and that our eyes had to shut? who told us were powerless?
myself and my peers,
you will live. you are not weak. you are not useless. you are not voiceless. you will not stop here. you will pass the age of __. you will not run that blade across your skin. you will eat. you will sleep. you will not just survive. you will live. you will speak. you will sing in that off-key, nails-scratching voice of yours. you will not allow anyone to silence you. you will live. you will love. you will speak. you will live.
we will not quietly sit. we will not idly listen. we will not brokenly love. we will raise our voices. we will let the world hear us. we will cry where you will notice. we will not hide behind brick walls or computer screens. we will not stop until you hear us. we will not stop until the foundations of oppression and injustice are erased. we will not forget our history. we will not pause our present. we will not stop living for the future.
we will not be silent.