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Mesa, AZ
Jackson Stapley

This week took on a more serious tone at Mesa one·n·ten as each of the youth was invited to share a part of their life story. As members of the LGBTQ+ community, we have all had our struggles and hardships. Just being human is hard enough. Depression, anxiety, hate, and loss are just a few of the many experiences expressed by the participants at this week’s meeting.

While tears were shed and hearts were pained, in the end there was a message of hope. A light in the darkness that many of us live in. We are still here. In spite of all the world’s attacks against us, we have lived to see this moment. Whether you believe it was with the help of a higher power or just your own moxie, you deserve to see this moment. Right here and right now.

What binds us together as a community and family is our struggles. We live for our love and to fight for what is true and just. To see the good in a world that is home to many that will hate us is a trial for many of our community, but it is vital. How can we change the hearts of others if our own hearts are made of stone?

Don’t forget that the word “gay” once meant “happy.”