Interview with Kiona from the U.S.

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Kiona: So, I'm abrosexual! I live in the south if the USA, and LGBT+ isn't really supported in my state. It's terrible because if two brothers are walking down the street and one has their arm around the other they'll be called a faggot and crap. And it kind of makes it worse because I still live with my family and they don't support, they despise LGBT+.

I've only came out to like 3 people here and that's really only because they're like family. I absolutely hate all the derogatory terms used, it's useless. But really what can we do? I constantly feel like a underdog, but sometimes that's ok! Instead of continuing to beat myself up over it, I moved past it. I found people (online) to talk to that make me feel like my sexuality is normal. I feel like some LGBT+ people who's family doesn't support fails to realize that there's someone out there that does that wouldn't mind.talking to them. They just have to open their eyes a little bit. And as for the people that don't support? I really don't see why they don't. It's kind of childish? They refuse to accept the cold hard truth, and it's terrible.

Avy: Do you think it's more likely that you would be open about your sexuality if you lived in another part of the U.S.?

Kiona: Probably. Like, Cincinnati or somewhere near there? For sure. I personally think the South in general is the worst about LGBT+ since there's a deep history of violence against a single community here.

Avy: I gathered that the online community has helped you feel welcome. Can you tell me a little more about that?

Kiona: I've always felt more comfortable talking to people through a screen. It's kind of sad but true. My closest friend is in Sweden, if I remember correctly. It's not really just anyone I can talk to, just this certain group and a few other people. From day one they've accepted me, and when I had the guts to tell them about my sexuality, they didn't look at me any differently. I loved that, it's not something that's common. To me anyways. I can talk to them about nearly anything and they'll try their best to help me. They're like the family I never had, and I couldn't be more grateful. 

Avy: What do you see for yourself in the future? Do you think you'll move somewhere where it's easier to be yourself, or will you stand your ground and force others to open their eyes instead?

Kiona:  Honestly? I sometimes see myself dead in 5, maybe 10, years. I had a small breakdown about a month ago and I tried to commit suicide. I recently quit self harming, but that doesn't mean my eyes are fully open. There's still hate that I get (some doesn't have anything to do with LGBT+) and most of it is about my body. How I'm too fat, too tall, crap like that. It's made me stop eating as much, throw up what I do eat, eat stuff that isn't actually food simply to fill my stomach and not look as fat. I may have already messed up my body internally, despite being the weight I am. It's hard, because I still have those thoughts. I can't do anything without criticizing myself, usually about my weight. I've gained like 15 pounds back because people started saying I was too skinny, that it was ugly. Now? I'm just the fat girl again. I try to be positive, but it's hard when I'm constantly reminded about it. I'm slowly relapsing and it sucks because I feel like I can't do anything about it.However, if I am alive, I'd most likely move. I don't like the negative atmosphere that I constantly feel here. I got a bit sidetracked, sorry.

Avy: That sounds really tough, really really tough. I'm so sorry that you're not in a good environment.

Kiona: I can't change how people think, believe me, I've tried. I'm slowly learning to cope differently, I'm taking up yoga, meditation, stuff to keep my mind clear that I can do when I feel down. I think it'd be ok because I'm kind of learning that no matter what, no one can change me but myself. But, it's your book (: And don't be sorry, even though my physical environment isn't good, I have people I can talk to. Even if they're hours away, and it's through a screen, it helps me. I like to think that's good.

Avy: I think it's really good that you have people to talk to! That's the most important thing - that we don't feel alone.

Kiona: Ah, what was it you said? Loneliness is as bad as hopelessness? Vice versa? Thank you for listening


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