"My Pride, My Skin" - Chasyn Sparx

From an early age, I always knew I was attracted to more than just cisgender boys. There was always a part of me that was attracted to everyone. That same part of me could find the good in any person I came across. As a kid, I suppressed those feelings because I thought they were wrong. In combination with being bullied by my peers, I genuinely started to think that no one could see the good in me. I was scared to admit that those who made my life hell were attractive to me (in a friendly way, before I understood sexual attraction), because I was jealous of them at the same time. As I got older, that fear turned to shame and resentment towards myself as I realized I was different. I'm already fat and I absolutely hated that I now had to tack on another layer of 'other' that I didn't think anyone would understand.

Being gay was never shamed in my home. My mom has gay friends, but I would be a liar to say my community wasn't homophobic. I didn't have a place where I felt like I could truly be seen and fully express all aspects of me. Going to college changed my life and allowed me the ability to be my true self. I started wearing what I want, experimenting with my appearance, routine, and activities. I actually got to have a romantic & sexual social life for the first time. This freedom led me to be able to really look at myself in the mirror and have some honest conversations about who I am and how I want to show that to the world. I realized that I would never fit fully in one place, I'm too big for that. There is no standard or normal that's not derogatory for people like me: fat, skin discoloration, skin sensitivity, large feet, hypersensitive, hyperaware, hypersexual and in love with everything. I came to accept that I will forever be crafting spaces for me to be myself because conforming who I am to fit the mold has never been my thing.

Now, at 24 years old, I am finally falling in love with myself. I'm pansexual / queer because my love and attractions will never be the norm and will never fit a singular definition at all times. How I love myself, my loved ones, my lovers and the world will always be vastly unique because I am unique, and by force and choice, I can never leave that. I finally feel at home in my fat body, stretched and inked skin, bipolar brain and open heart. My body has held me through and endured so much. I'm overwhelmed with joy and relief that I finally want to celebrate myself exactly as I am. I’m so thankful that Callyssee has provided me with a platform to showcase my long-lasting sense of self love and pride. I hope by reading this, you are encouraged to love, be comfortable and be proud of the skin you're in!

Happy Pride! 🏳️‍🌈

Pronouns: She/Her

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