This is pretty much what my Essay for ClexaCon Scholarship is.. I just want to share this with you guys and want you to know how much going to this Convention would be really a Dream come true for me..
Head's up, this is quite long a bit of read so please bear with me!
See link for samples of the rewards! https://criselaine.deviantart.com/gallery/
They say that the opposite of Love is not Hate - it is Apathy. LGBT people here in the Philippines is mostly tolerated, never openly accepted. We are always made fun of, always being condescended and never truly understood. People will say they are okay with you being part of the LGBT community but you see their smile, as tensed and fake as one can be. You can see their confusion, you can feel their mind try to wrap around the concept and see them disregarding and invalidating what you told them just because they dont even try to understand.
I've never felt comfortable in my own skin. I've never understood why I felt "weird" when I look at girls when I was little. I've always been teased/unintentionally threathened that being a "tomboy" (as close to a lesbian we label here in the Philippines) would get me a punch or two (from narrow minded people) or that being one would make my mom so disappointed in me. I just never felt safe to be who I am and up to this moment, I still feel weird being labeled as anything other than "human".
I'm the eldest child, therefore Im also the bread winner. I was raised by a single parent - my mom - and have 2 half siblings. They are the world to me and I do my best to support them as much as I could, financially or other wise. I have work but pay is low since its entry level and compensation here in the Philippines isnt exactly that big. Eighty percent of what I make goes to support my mom and I's medication, my sibling's tuition, bills, food and allowance. The remaining twenty percent I try to use sparingly as my own money for everyday life. So, as you can see, I save little to nothing at all.
I guess what Im trying to say is that attending Clexacon, being around people who are really part of the community, being around people that celebrate who you truly are and most importantly, having that safe place physically, mentally and emotionally, would greatly help me accept who I really am. Would help me come to terms that what I feel is valid and that I deserve to have a full, happy life. That life should be more than just surviving and that what self loathing I feel is not normal because there are people who can and will understand what Im going through.
I want to meet the people I look up to. I want to talk to people that made this confusion, this array of feelings that eat me up inside bearable even for just a few minutes or a couple of hours. I want to bask in the presecence of people that help me cope when I feel like Im alone and that no one understood. And when I experience it first hand, I want to share it to people here. People who was experiencing what I was feeling, people who were feeling hopeless and tell them that "Hey, I've been there, I'm still there but look, you're not alone. You can talk to me, I know how you feel, I can be with you and help you feel less alone". I can share it through words, through experiences Ive been through or even through illustrations I do in my spare time.
Im hoping this scholarship would grant me the chance to feel safe for once in my life. To feel like I belong in my own skin, to feel like my life is mine to live and that what I feel is valid. To know how it feels, firsthand, to process that I'm not an abomination or a defect and that Im as normal as can be. To share what I feel, what I experience and what it is to be part something big and world changing. To share the love, the happiness and rainbows others must feel and that I can barely grasp. To help others feel validated, to help others see that theyre not alone, to tell them that "Yes, we can make it, no need to worry, others have been there and look, they are still standing. One day, maybe we'll get there. One day, maybe we'll see the world how they see it. One day, we can also be happy and live our lives just as they do. And one day, we'll conquer all our fears and be done with it. We'll finally live and not just survive."