"Classic Rock Queer," Anonymous
I first discovered I was part of the LBGTQ+ community in October 2015 and told three of my closest friends who I knew I could trust with the secret that I was bisexual. Eventually, I started telling other friends and some of my family, getting reactions that occasionally surprised me.
On National Coming Out Day 2016, I posted a picture of the bisexual pride flag on Instagram and people I knew were supportive and said that they would still love me no matter what. These people are friends, family, classmates and I still talk to them, even though some are far away and we don't see each other often, if at all. I know that if I ever need someone to talk to on a bad day, I can always text one of my friends. I love them and I also love myself for who I was, who I am, and who I will be in the future.
For me, being part of the LBGTQ+ community in the United States gives me the freedom that members of this community who live in other countries might not have, such as the freedom to marry whoever I want. I also have friends who are part of the LBGTQ+ community and I'm glad that these people are part of my life because I can talk to them about anything if I'm having a good day or a bad one. We laugh together, we cry together and have become a family. When I think of the family I made, all the memories we have makes me smile and I'm extremely proud that I have an amazing support system made up of incredible friends and family who make me feel like I can be myself.
I'm proud to be a bisexual person living in New Jersey and I have friends and family who love me and care about my feelings and well-being. These people inspire me and help me become the best person that I can. They also help me believe that I can set out to do whatever I want and achieve my dreams. If I didn't have this support system, I don't know what I'd be doing or where I'd be.
One thing I do that makes me feel a lot better on my bad days is play the guitar my grandmother got me for my 15th birthday. When I pick up my Fender Stratocaster that I named White Lightning, after Def Leppard guitarist Steve Clark, I feel like I can do anything and I'll play songs by my favorite classic rock artists, like Def Leppard, Bryan Adams, Bon Jovi, KISS, Bruce Springsteen, Mötley Crüe, AC/DC, Journey and many others. These bands inspire me to write my own songs and start a band one day with friends who are also musicians.
When I'm not practicing my favorite classic rock songs or writing one of my own, I'll write stories, read books, draw or watch my favorite WWE superstars' matches on YouTube. Playing guitar, writing stories, reading, drawing and watching/talking about WWE are all things that make me feel better when I'm down.
About the art:
I met this wonderful human after giving a talk on their campus a few months ago, and they were just wonderful. I was very thankful to have them reach out to share their story. This piece was important to them - using the bisexual flag and this quote was essential - so I made it happen for them!