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Stay strong

Stay strong


In her final entry, our 2004-2005 diarist talks about the amazing things she has accomplished this year while sharing a little bit more about who she really is and what she hopes to become

Now that the school year has come to a close, I must tell you how the year ended at Clear Creek High School near Houston, Texas. Our school recently participated in an AIDS Awareness Week, which I organized along with the gay-straight alliance, which some friends and I managed to form this year despite strong opposition from school officials. It was a very successful event, and we raised a good amount of money by holding a bake sale. We donated the money we raised to the AIDS Foundation of Houston. The event raised awareness of the gay-straight alliance and portrayed the club's purpose in a positive light. This was good since some people viewed our club as a dating service or a "bestiality club."In retrospect, the school year has been very good. We had our bad times, but they were overshadowed by the good. Yes, we faced our troubles and confronted the problems within the club and the school, and we worked through them. When I think about the club as a whole, I get excited knowing I started it. I fought for it, and I got it.I remember when the school year started and I had to go into the student activities office to get the papers to start the club. The director looked at me as if I was crazy. When I tried to look for a sponsor, everyone said no. When I asked the principle for help, he virtually laughed in my face.Two other girls came into the picture, and we all fought adversity together. I think about all that we went through and fought for during the year, and a smile creeps across my face. The ridicule and the praise were both helpful, and we are all thankful for everything and everyone involved.During my time writing this diary, you all have learned a lot about me. You now know that I am 16 and that I attend Clear Creek High School in League City, Texas. You know that I started and led a gay-straight alliance, that I was a junior through the year, that I am dating a woman named Cyndi, and that I enjoy political activism.Yet you still do not know me. You still do not know the person behind the words. So now I write to you on a more personal level so you can understand my character.My name is Paige Palmer. Throughout this year I have faced many trials and tribulations, but one challenge, the one that never goes away, has continued to plague me. I am still learning about myself: my limitations and my ultimate personal desires. I have been coping with being myself; yes, I have accepted myself in many aspects of my life, but a person can never be absolutely sure of himself or herself. That is unrealistic.I am a woman, a lover, a sister, a daughter, a granddaughter, a friend, a leader, a girlfriend, a teacher, a student, a listener, and a talker. I am all of these things. And when all are added together, I am an individual: a person like you, yet different too.To you I am just another teen dyke, but to someone else I am an enemy. To you I am just a girl whom you read about, but to others I am a masterpiece of humanity.I have been dating Cyndi for a little under a year, and I am deeply in love. I know it seems childish to be "in love" with someone you have been dating for only a short period of time, but I believe that "you will know when you find the one," as my favorite singer, Melissa Etheridge, sings. Cyndi is one of those people who believe I am a masterpiece of humanity, even if I do not agree."Sharon," my ex, believes I am great and regrets leaving me when she had the chance to stay. "James," a guy whom I went to school with, now believes I am among those organisms that should cease to live--and that I belong to a group that should be exterminated.My principal, Dr. Hayes, represents the middle of the spectrum of opinions about me. He does not approve of my lifestyle, but he respects me for my work and my accomplishments.All of these people help to define who I am. Without Cyndi I would be more careless. Without Sharon I would be less wise. Without James I would not know that I am opposed, and without Dr. Hayes I would not be as respected among schoolmates, nor would I feel that I had a worthy cause this year.I want the people reading this to know that I am still developing and that, no matter how old you are, you are still developing as well. I hope that everyone who has read anything I have written this year has gotten motivation and encouragement. And I hope that each of you will go on being determined in what you do. Seek your purpose and fight for what you believe. Stay strong and true.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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Paige Palmer