Image description: a drawing of a semi colon surrounded by a blue sky
I went home and I found the information on a website called Project Semi Colon. I am someone easily captivated by symbols. I love the power of symbols and I believe that symbols can create movements and topple dictators. This symbol, grabbed me, it took hold of my heart. Because I understood it.
I sat at my computer looking at pictures of people with semi colon tattoos, which are growing in popularity. I could have one. I could wear one. One day I might. I remember the dark teen aged years, growing into adulthood and full awareness that I carried a secret, horrible secret, a secret that if discovered would have me killed, if not by my peers, by my family, if not by them, by my own hand. I was terrified. Through school learning came hard because I lived with fear. Fear of exposure.
There were many moments. But the most vivid is being down by the river with a heavy rock in my hand. I sat there trying to figure how to knock myself out and fall in the river afterwards. Luckily, and thank God, I have a sense of humour, because the ridiculous pictures that formed in my head lead me to laugh out loud, I had devised perhaps the worst method of suicide that a klutz could try. There were other moments. With pills in hand. With a speeding car and an approaching tree. But at every one of those moments, I decided not to end the sentence. I decided that my story was not yet fully told.
I could not imagine a future at all, let alone the future that I have. I could not imagine being loved. I could not imagine doing work that was fulfilling and rewarding. I could not imagine going to work and being respected. I could not imagine the world getting any better.
But it did.
In a small way, it did.
I still live in a world where my weight and my disability and my sexuality make me a target for bullies and bigots and brutalizers. I still live in a world where people feel free to diminish me and denigrate me. I still live in that world. But I live in the world differently. I have resources. I have tools. I have strategies for living. I know how to be in a world which would have me ‘not to be.’
I am loved, yes,
But, I am stronger too.
I am resourceful.
And because of that lovely, lovey ‘;’ the story goes on.