Our weekly theatre for social change group, interACTionz, is making a big difference and one of our Zebra Coalition® youth shares what this group means to them.
Where do you feel safe and accepted as your genuine self?
I grew up “in the closet”, secretly struggling with my sexual identity. I didn’t know where I fit in. Where was it ok to be different? As a member of the LGBT community, I can’t name many places I’ve ever felt safe at that were open and accepting to people like me. School was scary; I didn’t wanna be ostracized because of my sexuality so I never told anyone. I wasted my high school years doing drugs and skipping school just to fit in because it was easier than coming out.
Last October, I finally came out to everyone, it went fairly well although I no longer live at home. I moved to Orlando this year and discovered a world I’ve never known. I found hope and acceptance at the Zebra Coalition and have participated in the interACTionz group there for almost 6 months. As long as I’ve lived I never dreamed there was a place like this where all I have to be is me.
It doesn’t matter if you are black, white, gay, straight, anything in between, or none of the above. It doesn’t matter. I’m accepted as ME and here being different is just normal. It’s great to have a place like this where people get together and just have fun. We don’t have to worry about being picked or judged.
I’ve learned to be more comfortable with myself socially since attending interACTionz and I know I’m not alone in the world. I wish everyone had a chance to go to interACTionz and experience this firsthand. I think my life would have been a lot better if instead of being in the closet.. I was at interACTionz.