Recently Star Advertiser’s Steven Mark took the time to interview me about my contribution to the It Gets Better book. We had a nice chat about my It Gets Better video, my experiences in high school, my coming out experience, and my life post-high school. He was unsure when the article would be published, things were pretty chaotic back in Hawaii with everything going on with Japan, and so I carried on with my life.
I saw the feature on the Star Advertiser website this morning. I read it twice because it seemed too nice to actually be about me. I even double checked that my name was spelled correctly and it wasn’t some do-gooder named Krystal Yoneeda. It was a very generous piece and I will do my best to live up to all the wonderful things Mr. Mark wrote about me.
I received a lot of feedback today via email, facebook, and youtube, thankfully all positive. I am also unfortunately anticipating some backlash, though, as I know how easily the comments section on news sites can be overrun with ignorant and hateful people. I know this article essentially outed me to everyone in Hawaii and I’m okay with that. There may be a few people who will choose not to associate with me anymore because of my sexuality and I’m okay with that too. In the course of the last six months, I’ve quickly realized that my contribution to this project is much bigger than me. My responsibility to the It Gets Better Project and LGBT youth is to provide visibility and support where/when I can.
My cousin emailed me today, saying she read my article in the paper. She used it as an opportunity to teach her daughter about gay people. She asked her what a gay person looks like and then showed her my picture in the paper. She explained to her that I was the same person who has been silly with her and loving her entire life. She explained how none of that changed because I’m gay. She told her daughter that I don’t act differently, look differently, or smell differently than her. She said her daughter smiled and agreed that I was still the same lovable cousin she remembered and missed.
I just sat at my computer and cried. Happy tears, the kind that doesn’t burn while they’re streaming down your cheeks. From now on, if I ever feel overwhelmed, I will remember this.
If you’re interested, here’s a link to the Star Advertiser article.
The It Gets Better Book is endorsed by Chompers.