I heard a speech today that included the words in the title, but stated in a different order as soon as I heard them I thought "I am a mountain to be climbed". It is no easy task to come face to face with your very worst self, understand you gave up everything good to be that worst self, and still find the wherewithal to stand up and have the courage to change.
Having the courage to face your flaws is an accomplishment all on its own, but doing so when almost everyone tells you that you can't is something that takes serious lady balls. We do not have to lay down and let people walk all over us, as if we are less than. As if our sexuality or gender is something to be ashamed of. You know what, I have things to be ashamed of, to be regretful and sorry for, but they sure as hell ain't my gender or my sexuality. And to be honest, I'm not living in my past anymore either. Other people can stay back there and hate me, but they're gonna have to shout from the highest peaks to get my attention because I have grown well beyond that former person and I have a future to get with. Let them have my past, they can live there for all I care, I will gladly take my future.
That's what the LGBT community has taught me, even when the world is against you, you stand tall and forge forward. When you stumble and fall and it feels like your drowning, fight. Then keep going, make them tired and pissed off that you just won't quit. Be a mountain they are too weak to climb.
I could not be prouder of my community, your existence, perseverance, stamina, and grit has taught me a love and compassion that never existed in my family. Having a new family that is global, incredibly strong, and has thrust upwards into highest points of the worlds landscape has allowed me to set standards for myself I never thought possible.
"Be a mountain to be climbed rather than a speed bump to be driven over. Make them tired just looking at you." (Name withheld for privacy)
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Jeff (aka Ruthie) Utnage