I am a person of color, and I was born this way. I have spent my life being told to love the skin I’m in, while the world hates the way I look. I speak, but no words come out. I cry, but no tears shed. The only thing that you can see is the pigment of my skin. I’m just a citizen of color trying to live my life. Please don’t shoot me, and please don’t hurt me.
I am a woman, and I was born this way. I grew up in a world that treated me and my female brethren as second-class citizens. In some parts of the world, I am almost treated equal to men. In other parts, I am subjected to painful rituals and treated like property. Even when I am free, I must be careful not to drink too much or dress too scantily or walk in dark places alone. I am a woman just trying to fulfill my dreams. Please don’t rape me, and please don’t hurt me.
I am LGBTQ, and I was born this way. I always knew I was different, for as long as I can remember. I didn’t decide to be LGBTQ any more than you decided to be heterosexual. If I could choose differently, why would I “choose” to be part of a persecuted class from birth? I just want to be free to love who I love and be who I am. I am LGBTQ, but I am a person, so, please, don’t hurt me.
I have a religion, and I was taught this way. I follow rituals and holidays and celebrations related to these views. Or I follow nothing. What I believe or don’t believe help me be a better person, and make sense of what a chaotic world. My actions and the way I live my life are deeply tied to my views, but I don’t want to hurt anyone. I believe, but it’s for me; please, don’t hurt me.
I am different, and I was born this way or learned this way. But even though I am different, I am still a person. I was created by a woman and a man, I hurt when in pain, and I bleed when cut. I just want to live in a world that respects my differences even if they don’t understand or agree with them. We’re different, so we don’t have to be the same. But, please, be respectful, please be kind, and please don’t hurt me because I’m different than you.