editor's foreword

AARON GATES

To belong, isn't that what we are fighting for, constantly? Every day a wave surges against us, telling us we are too different, telling us we have no place, telling us that something is wrong with us. No one can tell you what you are worth; that is for you to decide. After years of hating myself, cursing myself, and wishing I was “like everyone else,” I found a way to stand in front of the mirror and love each and every part of the man that looked back at me; I found people who are like me, people who had lived through the same experiences or far worse. I met people living in the closet because they were so afraid of losing their family that they cast their own happiness to the side. I met transgender men and women who finally could feel comfortable in their bodies. I met those who kept fighting to hold it together in situations where they could not begin to transition, and I saw how much it hurt them. I met people who didn’t fall into any box of sexuality or gender that society had tried to force them into. But, more than anything else, I met people. I met humans, just like you. I met people who had spent their lives trying to prove that they were as good as their neighbor when they should never have had to.

            This journal is one tiny way that we want to say, “We are here. We are human. We are not broken.” To everyone who is an ally, we thank you, and we hope this journal can help people have conversations about these topics.

            To everyone still trying to find their worth, to love themselves for who they are, know we are here cheering for you, sending love to you, and waiting to walk beside you when you are ready.

© 2015 peculiar