By Meaghan Shaw
I have so many questions! What is it like for you in your generation? How have you found love and support? How have you seen things change from your generation? Have you even seen any change?
I’ve wondered about this ever since I came out as pansexual last year, my first year in college. I was taunted a few times by ignorant people who decided to mock my identity rather than take an opportunity to learn something new. But I know things were different for you. Tell me more. I want to know your stories. I want you to open up to me, if you want, and share some of the bad times with me.
I want to know the good times. I want to know how you were accepted, where you found love. How did your friends react? Your family? Have you found love? Are you in a place that accepts you? If not, how do you manage? What keeps you there? Are you happy anyway?
And for the younger generations, those born into a more accepting world: what are your lives like? Do you see as much hatred? Do you even talk about sexuality? Or is it just something that’s accepted and moved past? Are you finding more and more people who accept you for who you are? Or are people still caught up in the logistics of it all, the “How does that work” of it all? The “I don’t understand your lifestyle” of it all?
To future generations: I hope you don’t have to worry about all this. I hope it’s not a question necessary to ask. I hope you’re accepted as you are: a perfectly imperfect human being, flaws and all. I hope you, my future children, find happiness. I hope you are accepted for who you are. I hope all of this hatred that stems from ignorance is remedied. I hope you can be free to be who you are, free to express yourself.
I hope I have the courage to continue to just be myself in this world, following my own winding, twisting path wherever it may lead me. And I hope I’ll find love and acceptance along the way.
Meaghan Shaw is a student at Southern Methodist University studying Environmental Science. She has found an accepting community at her school, and thanks her friends and family for being as supportive of her as they are.