Moving here has been a dream come true. Nashville was great, it was my home, and the community there are my family. Yet, here, I have colleagues. I have avenues of work and expression that I didn't have before. I have a louder voice.
Please don't assume that I mean that things are perfect; if they were, life would be devoid of challenge and purpose. Being validated, however, does wonders for your mood. I'm looking at starting classes again in the fall to finish my thesis. I get to mentor queer youth in the art of expressing their own voices through film this month. I'm still working, yet able to take the time to let my body heal from the damage of 10 years of being told "nothing's wrong with you." And I've been published again! Which I suppose, is what inspired me to write this.
SHIFT is a queer arts magazine and I couldn't be more proud to have an image in the inaugural issue. It will be released next Saturday, and these sneak-peeks have been released. It looks beautiful, everything that a high-quality arts publication should be. It's really setting the bar for blossoming, community-grown periodicals everywhere. I mean... Look at this! [Click them to see the entire photo]
I'm proud of this community, I'm proud to call this place home, and I only hope that I can represent this town with justice. If I could tell my teenaged self anything about life after Kentucky, I'd likely tell her that life will never be perfect, but it will definitely be worth it.
What would you tell your teenaged self, if it were possible?