Lies that affect us and Truths we proclaim

Beautiful participants at the Mid-Atlantic LGBTQ+ Conference

This past weekend I gave the keynote address at the Mid-Atlantic LGBTQ+ Conference at Bloomsburg University. The title of my presentation was The Power of Words: Lies, Truth, and Liberated Community. In addition to sharing some of the wisdom of poets who inspired and aided me after I came out, I invited the audience to reflect on powerful words in their own lives. These included lies as well as truths.

Lies get so much of their power when they are unsaid, hidden in the folds of our inner life. Once brought into the light though they often shrivel up, lose so much of their power, and at times can suddenly look downright silly.

As people started filling in the hall and at the half way point during my talk, I invited audience members onto the stage. There I had two of my manual typewriters set up each with a sign in front of them. One said Lies and the other Truths. I asked them to consider the lies they have heard about themselves and about us as LGBTQ+ people. I asked them to think about the truths about themselves and us as LGBTQ+ that need to be shared. I invited them to type up these lies and truths–to manually punch out the words.

Here are Lies and Truths they shared. I also invite you to add your own lies and truths in the comment section.

Lies

You are not enough

It’s just a phase

A Royal Quiet DeLuxe and an Olivetti ready for participants to type their Lies and Truths

bisexuality does not exist

people of the lgbt community are just looking for attention

it is not possible to switch pronouns

there are only 2 genders

lesbians hate men

I’m not enough

we can’t exist as people first and lgbt individuals second

you only think this because you are adopted

you are too sensitive to be a guy

I don’t have short hair because I am a lesbian

pansexuals and bisexuals always want to have threesomes

bisexuals don’t exist

random guy at bar — “Oh, you’re a lesbian? What a waste.”

my sexual identity means I have to act a certain way, you could be gay but you don’t have to…

you can’t like boys and girls. You have to choose one or none

because I was born with female parts, therefore I must be a girl

I am not a true trans male if I refer to my assigned at birth genitals

bisexuals are unfaithful

I am not enough

kids can’t be trans because they just don’t know yet

I am not worthy of what I have

black people are all the same

bisexuals are just confused

you’ll get over it

you don’t know yourself yet

I’m not good enough for love and affection

I should not be proud of who I am

being queer is abnormal

no one will love you if you don’t make up your mind (on gender)

no one will love you if you don’t like sex

Audre Lorde’s words gave me life when I came out. The night before the conference, I typed up my notes on my Olivetti.

Truths

people can be religious and accepting at the same time

bisexuals are a valid part of the LGBTQIA community. It is not a phase.

my identity is not determined by my birth sex, and I can define my bisexuality however I chose

sexuality is fluid and natural

not all religious people have to be straight

we have always been here. we always will.

I have value; I have worth

Asexuality is real

there is no correct way to be lgbtq+

You belong here

you are precious, so precious

Your Creator loves you as you are

I’m happy with who I am

My voice is important

My life is worth living. I can be happy

I am still nonbinary even though I am feminine presenting. My gender identity is valid.

Bisexuality is not a phase

I am everything I am supposed to be

It is true that transgender lives will not be erased, rather we will continue to thrive.

40% of homeless youth are LGBTQ

I am what I believe I am

We are valid, we are all beautiful, we matter too

who we are is not a choice

we aren’t ashamed of who we are

I am nonbinary but use binary pronouns

people say they accept me, but I know that most do not accept me fully, and I’m okay with that.

Being gay is okay; love yourself

my level of being out and physical expression does not change my identity

someone cannot understand your identity, but still love and support you. My parents don’t always understand, but they are the ones who support me the most.

you are capable of loving and being loved.

 

 

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This post has 2 Comments

  1. Marci Zaccardi on November 16, 2018 at 11:00 pm Reply

    This is so powerful. I’m really glad you chose to share these responses with us. I’m a panromantic asexual nonbinary Christian person who presents as female, and I guess it’s nice to know that I’m not alone in my struggles. It’s also encouraging to see the affirmations regarding my many intersecting identities. Thank you for all your work with the LGBTQ+ community, especially as it connects to faith. Your work tends to be what I turn to when I have days of doubt about the validity of my identity. It’s nice to have a voice rising above the crowd of hate to gently spread the real truth of God’s love.

    • Peterson Toscano
      Peterson Toscano on November 17, 2018 at 2:14 pm Reply

      Thank you, Marci. It was especially powerful seeing people affirm themselves and assert themselves. Within LGBTQ+ communities, there is much we can do to better appreciate each other. Sharing our stories is an essential part of making this happen.

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