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Share your stories of resilience, strength and appreciation for yourself and others
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Bridges signifies resilience: a journey from darkness to light. It also signifies a connection between myself and you… and now I'd like us to use this to connect. Please use this platform as a message-board to share your stories of resilience, strength and appreciation for yourself and others. I can't wait to read them.
Hello! My name is Keyshawn and I am a 21 year old male who grew up in a small town in Oregon. Growing up in my hometown was not always the easiest. I was not like most people. My hometown is mostly predominantly white, middle-class, nuclear families. But for me, life was not like this.
Ever since I can remember, I grew up in a very troubling family. I was constantly surrounded by violence, crime, and heartbreak. My biological father left my family when I was two years old and my mom was then left on her own. She was in and out of jail because of the crimes she was committing. There were times when I would have nowhere to go and was left all alone. My family lived out of motels for over a year struggling to get back on our feet. These difficulties tore our family apart. I have four older brothers, but only one of them I lived with for the entirety of my childhood. When there were moments when I had nowhere to live, my elementary school teachers would take me in. Everything just seemed so difficult all of the time.
Being around these situations was something I should have never been a part of or seen, but little did I know this was only the beginning.
As I started high school, there was something different about me. I knew that I was not like most people. I felt completely different and I wondered what was wrong with me. I did not see girls the way other boys saw girls. I didn’t get nervous around the pretty, popular girls when they would come around, but when the boys did, that was a different story. I had feelings for boys the way girls do. As time went on, I realized that I am gay. It was scary, especially when living in my hometown. I was so afraid to be pushed away from my family and friends so I kept it hidden away, locked up in the back of my mind. Being gay and dealing with everything that was happening in my childhood was extremely hard and threw me into a deep hole. I became depressed and dealt with suicidal thoughts for many years. These thoughts crossed my mind every single day. Despite these intrusive thoughts, there was something in me that knew that there were better things to come, and they did.
I graduated high school with a perfect 4.0 GPA and graduated with the highest honors. I won several awards for my scholarly abilities, and community service, and was recognized as the best singer and overall student in my choir. I applied for as many scholarships as I could and won many of them. I am recognized as a local, state, and national scholar in the United States and will be graduating college debt free. Now, I am a senior and college and will be graduating soon. I have near-perfect grades in college still to this day and continue to work towards my goals and dreams. I also just won one of the most prestigious awards you can get at my university for academic excellence! I am out and proud to all my family and friends. I am happy with my sexuality now and proud that I am able to be who I am. Life is good.
What I learned and what anyone can learn from my story is that no matter what hardship, trouble, or heartbreak you endure, if you put your mind to it, you can and you will overcome. If I can, then you can too. Like a bridge, you will reach the other side.
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