Stories: Reflections on Identity

Dion

Sexuality is something I never really thought about before, but when I came to middle school my friends, teachers, and staff in general would judge you on the sexuality if you were gay, lesbian, homosexual, or transsexual. They would bully you because you were any one of those things. I knew that I liked girls, but even though I liked girls I thought that if I were gay they shouldn’t be judging at all. They used it as an insult.  I would be in a room with a lot of gays, and I felt comfortable. I try to be more comfortable around people no matter what their sexual orientation.

Ari

People always treat me differently because I’m smart. They often brush me off as just the “smart, over achiever”. On the other hand, people often try to take advantage of my diligence by being my partner in class or asking me to do their work. I wish I could be treated like a normal person rather than being ostracized for being smart and assertive. Being friends with just my teachers is nice, but I want friends my own age as well. I guess I’ll just be extra prepared for dealing with adults when I am one.

Kion

The first time I discovered myself mentally is when I moved to Boston. It’s like my eyes opened violently because in some way I knew subconsciously I was going to have a hard time fitting into that type of community.  I have a sibling so that made me feel more responsible to not only protect him but guide him in the right path in life in a way because we are not a solid color.  Some people at this time thought because we weren’t the same as everyone else that we were somehow different in a way people didn’t understand.  So we were cast to the side and bullied.  I felt like I needed to make friends so I could feel accepted in this community but I acted like the evil twin so to speak. I was basically titled the evil twin since birth so I took that as my title, but I am really a nice person, but some can’t see that if they judge before they actually meet me.

Ricky

I figured out I was fat when I took a picture on Connie’s phone.

I figured out I was tall when I got to high school.  Everyone in my freshman class was shorter than me

I figured out I was a male when I heard my voice and noticed I had male genitals.

I figured out I was straight when I got my first crush and girlfriend in the 5th grade.

I figured out I was black when my family had cookouts EVERY DAY in the summer.. They had no chill at all.

I figured out I was poor when I had to eat noodles and hot dogs & noodles every night.

Natty

I have always been told about the legacy of my family and how much I have to live up to.  My family has always been very prominent and integrated into Maine life and Maine careers, like fishing,  guiding, and so on.  When people find out I’m not like the rest of my family, and I’m not a hunter or mill worker, they find me odd.  When they realize I’m not athletic and masculine like my family members, they kind of treat me like the runt of the litter.

Meagan

I realized that part of my personality causes people to think a certain way about me when they first meet me. I work hard for my grades but I tend to give off that goodie two shoes idea, the idea that I’m all work, work, work, and more work. But If you got to know me,  you’d find I’m not the quiet study person I may seem to be sometimes. I’m really a just a clumsy crazy regular teen.

Jessica

They say that all girls can’t play basketball, and going into high school I’ve seen girls who play ball better then some boys.

Kim

I always knew I was different personality wise as well as physically. My first time coming to realization was when I was nine. I always loved to go shopping with my mom. My mistake was wearing a short-sleeved shirt out in public. While waiting in line I looked up and saw a woman staring at my arm. That’s when I finally knew I was different . My arm has a large birthmark, and I’m proud of it. It is still useful and makes me who I am.

Ana

I first realized my sexual orientation was different from others at the age of 15. When I came to my mother telling her I was interested and involved more with the same sex, she was shocked and thought it was just a phase. My mother thought it was the age of experimenting. I realized that I liked the same sex when I was 16-years-old. My mom started to support my interest when I was in my 16th year of age. Now I am 17-years-old, and my mom has accepted the fact that I am who I am, and she loves me no matter what and will support me through my decision. Even though this choice is really tough, not just for me, but for my family as well, they support me and they are there for me as well.-

Alivia

I first realized I was a little different than my classmates when I started handing papers with more doodles in the margin than work on the page. I have always been very creative and artistic. I feel like my creativity is part of my identity because it allows me to be who I am. I am able to write about all of my experiences good or bad in a way that perhaps people could not understand and I wouldn’t be willing to tell them. I realized this had become more than just a passion and more of who I am when I opened a file on my laptop labeled poetry and it had over 300 writing pieces in it. Not to mention dozens of journals that I have filled over the past years. Despite all those pieces of writing I rarely ever share any of it with my family or peers. I guess I write more for myself than for anyone else but it still makes up part of my identity and always will.

Logan

Physical: First found out what happened to my arm when I was born.

Paul

Adventure: Took a ride around Boston with mom and friend.

Will

I first became aware of my beliefs towards god when my great grandfather died of a series of misfortunes. He had struggled with cancer for several years, and as he recovered he had a stroke.  After recovering fully from his stroke he had a heart attack, followed by another stroke and to top things off his cancer came back.  He was a very religious man and made sure he and his family went to church every Sunday.  He was a great man that would do anything for anyone and he was like a second father to me.  After this, I had a hard time accepting any form of religion and took God as a hoax. That has been my belief since.

Randy

As a little kid I grew up in a predominantly white town. I knew somewhere in the back of my mind that my friends and I weren’t the same in the eyes of society because they were white and I am black, but I didn’t care. Although around other children the color of my skin wasn’t an issue, it was the parents that seemed to notice more that I wasn’t white like most of their children. I would sometimes visit friends’ houses after school to go and play but never would one of the white friends’ parents let their child come over to my house. Sometimes it felt isolating being one of few black kids in my class, but I realized that black is nothing but a shade and it doesn’t define who you are.

Paige

A bunch of people see Christians as Lord-shipping, gay hating, and hating anyone who doesn’t believe what we do. That’s not the case. The church I go to, we are open to others. Do you believe in God? That’s cool. You’re gay? Awesome. I don’t care. Neither should anyone else. I guess you would say I’m an open Christian, and that’s fine with me. I guess full out Christians would see me as a sinner. But I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and God… Love thy neighbor as thyself.

Sadie

People see gay people as not knowing what they want or maybe going against God, but I feel that as long as you are happy then no one else can tell you different.  I knew I first liked females when I started looking and getting engaged with them.  I felt an attraction to them, and I felt as though it wasn’t real because others were saying it wasn’t right when I was younger, but now that I am older I am way more open about who I am and what I am. I have no problem with what I like. I mean as long as you are happy with yourself, who else should judge?

Astrid

The first time I realized that I was pansexual I was 13. Even before I was 13, I noticed I liked both male and females, as if I was born with my sexuality. When I first came out, I was afraid. People would throw rocks at me, and throw bottles and glasses and tell me I was a discrimination. I walked around with teachers telling me not to label myself when I already knew what I was. But when I came out as pansexual, I was still made fun of. Even though people do not like the fact of having gay people around, I am still able to smile. Plus… I am able to tell them that there will be gay people in the world whether they like it or not.

Madison

The first time I realized that being a twin sometimes bothered me was when I was five years old. My mom had just introduced my sister and me to a new person, I don’t remember her name, but I do remember her comment “You must be just like your sister.” I remember asking her what she meant and she replied, “You have a identical twin you must be exactly alike.” Something about this comment bothered me because I was not just like my sister and we are very unlike to this day. I had been labeled, told that I had to fit some stereotype, that I had to be the same as another human being. But we are not the same; we are two completely different people. Don’t get me wrong I love my sister. I just don’t like being characterized as her. I am me. She is her. I don’t like the comments about how I must be just like my sister because I am not. People judge me before they know me because they think there are two of me and that they must be friends with both of us. This is not true at all. I just wish one person would get to know me for me without assuming that I must be just like my sister.