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SPOTLIGHT: mindy raf

She / Her / Hers

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Community means people who support you and don’t benefit from or want to benefit from erasing you. Community means a fluid collective consciousness that still celebrates individuality. Community means exchanging empathy, embracing cognitive dissonance, and creating space to intersect differences with kindness. And sometimes community is as simple and magical as walking into a crowded room and knowing that you’re safe and loved

If you’re struggling with your gender or sexual identity, congratulations!, you’re alive and exactly where you need to be right now. There is no deadline for defining yourself or knowing your words. You’re allowed to take your time, to change your mind; to be loud and clear, or soft and foggy. There’s no wrong way or one way to be human and be you. 

We can’t change other people’s thoughts, but we can strengthen the positivity of our own. If your circumstances are such that you’re not free or safe to be you, try writing down or creating one sentence that’s true about you. Commit it to your memory on repeat until it’s internal narrative. Remind yourself that there are glorious, super queer, powerful, kind, deep pockets of people out there in the world who can’t wait to hear your sentence, and will love all the new ones to come. 

The pain you feel from bullying is real and worthy of your attention. You don’t have to be strong, ignore it, or pretend everything is fine. You are allowed to be sensitive. You are allowed to be angry. You are not the problem. There are people out there who love you and want to know what's going on. Your difficulty is temporary and is not a burden you need to carry alone. You are made of star stuff. You are a part of, and connected to, everything. You deserve to be treated with love, respect, and kindness.  

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