Friday, March 31, 2023
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Thanks To My Queerness, I Am…

that hadn’t been outside for a while. When I returned from school, my mom was sitting at the kitchen counter. She pulled out a folded piece of paper from her pocket and set it on the table. I have fallen and broken my wrist and had tires blow out on the highway. And almost drowned at Ormond beach. But all those experiences are more peaceful than the panic and fear that I felt that day.

My expectations of me coming out were not met by the reality of my circumstances. It didn’t go as I expected and it certainly didn’t give me the warm embrace that I hoped for. At that point in my life, I did not have the emotional intelligence, vocabulary, or life experience to tell my mom that there was nothing wrong with me. I understand now it’s because I shouldn’t have to tell my mom or anyone else that there wasn’t anything wrong with me. Nobody should have to.

“I thought that I was a normal child.”


I believed I was a normal child up until that afternoon. I used to go to the pond to help the ducks and try to teach my father the rules of Yu-Gi-Oh ( failedly, I’ll add), as well as watching Totally Spies whenever it was showing. When the folded paper touched the table, I realized that not everyone believed people like me were normal. In my teenage years, I felt a lot of shame and pain around my identity. For a long time I did not have anyone who understood me or could relate to my feelings. My identity, which I tried to ignore, became a burden on my shoulders from those who don’t mind their own business and allow people to be themselves. I’m proud to say that ten years later I can live my life uninhibited, free and authentically. However, I would be lying if it didn’t bother me to mention that I still feel the pain and shame of my childhood.

It is difficult to be queer. As I become more myself, I am able to remember my negative feelings and learn from them. I also appreciate the blessings they have given me.

Orlando Pride 2018: Gio (center left), and his friends


Being queer has been an incredible source of strength and joy for me. It’s given me so many opportunities that I never thought possible. My queerness has allowed me to:

  • Beautiful community of queer friends, loved ones, and people who love me unconditionally ( I love you all 3).
  • I have a unique sense of resilience which has allowed me to stand strong in my identity, and my values
  • I have a level of self-introspection that can be really frustrating at times, but it has helped me get to know myself better every day.
  • A perfect taste in music and a connection with female pop singers that can only be understood by a gay person
  • True authenticity is something that hateful people will never have, and I feel sorry for them.

Pride is more than rainbow flags or corporate emails yelling, “Hi Gay, Happy Pride month!” Pride Month celebrates the triumphs over adversity that we all have to overcome. Pride Month is a time to recognize the courageous queer trailblazers who gave up so much and sometimes everything to advance our rights here in the United States and around the world. Pride Month reminds us to support and care for one another, even though there are many who face injustice and disproportionate discrimination, particularly Black trans women, the most marginalized in our community. Pride month is our collective solidarity in making this world a better place.

Everyone, Happy Pride Month! Here’s to being their true selves every day!

“Being queer has been an incredible source of strength for my soul.”


Giovanny Garzon

Giovanny Garzon (he/they), is a University of Central first-gen, immigrant and queer 2021 graduate.

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