Enjoy this special guest post by Roddy Biggs.
Dear People Who Have Hurt Me Over the Years,
I’m still here and yes, I’m still queer. While your constant bullying hurt me both mentally and physically, it did not change my sexual orientation. It did not prevent me from dating guys, from loving the arts, or from finding the love of my life, who, in case I was not clear enough, is an amazing young man who I have fallen madly in love with and am glad I met.
Don’t get me wrong. Your hatred for the person I was then really hurt, and I often cried myself to sleep at night wondering how you could be so mean, why you hated my very existence so much, and why I even cared what you thought about me at the time. But then again, I was young, and your opinion of me mattered then, but not anymore. Your words of hate stuck to me; they stayed with me for years and caused me both mental and physical pain.
Over the years I have realized something. I wanted to tell you that I forgive you for all that you put me though, for the countless nights you made me cry, for making me afraid to go to school, for beating me up, for the years of mental abuse and the name-calling. I have realized that while you were hurting me, you might have been hurting as well, and like I did, you might have needed someone to tell you things are going to be okay, that you don’t need to worry anymore. And you might have needed someone to be your friend.
What I am saying might seem weird, but because of the pain you caused me, I have become a much stronger young-adult full of dreams, passions, and resiliency in times of oppression. I have not only become more aware of who I am as a person, but have also found my voice for advocacy and now work to use my voice, my story, and the pain that you once caused me to advocate for all those who are hurting. I have become a decisive voice in the river of opposition and have added my voice to the ever-growing ocean of love that our nation and our world needs to thrive.
So yes, while at the time what you said and what you did to me hurt me, brought me down, and might have temporarily made me feel defeated, I have risen above your hate and your ignorance, and I have become a stronger, better, and more outspoken person because of it all.
So let me say again, that I forgive you for what you did, and also thank you for helping me become the person who I am today. I hope that you have found peace in your own life, that you to have forgiven yourself for the pain you caused me and others over the years, I hope that you are thriving in life now as I am.
With love and kindness,
Roddy Biggs (He/They) is an East Tennessee native and a student at Middle Tennessee State University working on a Bachelors degree before heading off to Seminary to pursue Unitarian Universalist ministry. Roddy is a very social justice driven person, and it’s shown by their work with groups like the Human Rights Campaign, GLSEN, and many more. They are currently an attending-member of the First Unitarian Universalist of Nashville, where he is a worship associate, a lay leader, and where they serve as co-chair for the Social Justice Committee. You can connect with Roddy on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.