“I’m 15 years old and I’m a victim of sexual assault.” Those words pierced my heart. A teenage girl uttered them just seconds after a male teenager announced he came out to his parents. I honestly didn’t know how to react until I heard the thunderous applause from everyone around me at the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School 2019 Rising Stars This Is Me: A Journey talent show.
It takes courage to stand in front of a group of strangers and make these admissions, I thought.
I’d come to the show at the urging of my mentee, Emily. I didn’t feel like going by the time 6 O’Clock rolled around. Yet, I said good night to the writer I’d been training for half the week and headed to dinner with Emily.
After we caught up, we fought the wind coming off the Hudson River on Manhattan’s Upper West Side to make it back to her school just in time for the start of the show.
There were familiar tunes like, “Beautiful” “My Funny Valentine,” “Unpretty,” “Huddled Masses” and “Out Here on My Own.” But, the original song “The Outspoken Truth,” spoke me. It boldly outlined injustices and inequality in our society while celebrating uniqueness, bravery and strength. It helped me see that we should all use our talents to entertain, as well as share our truth, hopes and aspirations without shame, fear of rejection, judgement, and persecution.
#talent #mentoring #spoonies #autoimmunedisease #invisibleillness #chronicillness #chronicpain #blogger #writinglife #highschool