People sometimes ask me if I'm ever afraid to speak out. My answer is no. Fear is a prison and, unknowingly, I have been imprisoned all my life.
All my life I have been afraid of the consequences of being myself.
All my life I have been afraid of my truth. Whether it be the truth of my nappy hair, the truth of my ghettoness, or the truth of my intelligence. It feared it would make others uncomfortable.
I spent 24 years locked in a box labeled "The American Dream". I spent 24 years dying, burdened by the truth of my own identity.
To be afraid now would be a slap in God's face. It is an honor to get to be me. I will never succumb to fear.
I have to choose this life, even if it kills me. Even if I end up penniless. Because the alternative is simply unbearable.