I identify as a trans-masculine person. I used to be really self conscious and I’d wear certain clothing to disguise how I look or wouldn’t go outside or hang out with certain people because I felt I had to fit in a certain way. I’m out of high school now, but a lot of times in school I’d have to talk a certain way, act a certain way, to be popular, or just to relate to them. I felt like I was just really pushing myself to be someone I wasn’t.
I used to go to school on 116th, where it’s a largely white community. Even the LGBT community there isn’t very open-minded. A lot of times they wouldn’t want to hang around me because of where I was from or my accent was 'too black.' I feel like a lot of times, my white allies don’t really understand the struggles that people of color go through. They feel like it’s okay to make certain jokes because they have a black token friend, a Spanish token friend, but really, it doesn’t give them the privilege to say certain words like, the N-word, for example. A lot of white people in my friend group were comfortable saying the N-word because they were friends with a black person. They thought that they got that pass, when really, it shouldn’t be like that at all.