by crys tyler
Telling my story and so many others of LGBTQ youth through a modern queer fairy tale
| From "The Most Popular Freak in School" by Crystal Tyler
My Ugly Stepsister,
When I say the word ugly, I don't mean how you look. The words ugly and beauty are so much more than appearance. But when you forget that is when the ugly in you shows. You're someone else who's appeared to me in many different forms throughout my life. You're my real stepsiblings, in times where they've put me in a place where I'm stuck feeling less than, in a household where age means worth, and acts of kindness are out of pity. You are every bully I've known, in person, or hiding behind a keyboard. You are every "Faggot!" You are every "Freak!" You are every "You're Worthless!" You are every "Go Kill Yourself!"
More than anything, you have become self-doubt, every "I'm not good enough" every insult I say in my head to myself, every time I look in the mirror and am appalled by what I see. You are every bout of anxiety, every paranoid thought. You are the voice in my head trying to convince me that everyone around me hates me, that I make everyone I know uncomfortable. You are the distorted self-image that remains from the years of being put in a box of ridicule and pain. But I've experienced the worst already. I thought I've already faced my Ugly Stepsister and won. But you just won't go away. Your power needs to be taken away. You don't get to be the reason why I should have to be protected from myself.
You no longer have the power to look down on me. You have no place telling me I'm not good enough. You are no longer allowed to fill my head with self-deprecating thoughts,.
My Ugly Stepsister, I'm letting you go, and I will only convert the negativity you filled me with into positive energy. That's how I plan to use my disadvantage to my advantage
Love is so many things. Love can be romance, roses, and all the stereotypical, expected bullshit. Love is also with family and all of those who are closest to you. I Love my family. I Love my friends. I Love my dogs. I Love my bed.
Love is also different for everyone. Some people don't feel love as strong as others do. Some claim they don't feel love at all. I've always felt like a very loving person. And sometimes, if not most of the time, I'm not too good at showing it. And it bothers me because I want the ones that I love to feel it, not just know it. It's taken a long time for me to be able to easily show love and care.
I've broken more than one heart. The first I think of is one of my best friends from 7th grade to 10th grade. In 10thgrade is when we finally admitted we liked each other. Even when I started wearing makeup, she stayed supportive. Even when I still loved someone toxic and cold, she stayed supportive. But as I got happier, she got sadder, and I felt her dragging me down. So I broke it off. I tried to be a friend to her still. But I hurt her. I hurt a lot of people. And I feel guilty. For a while, I felt alone. I stopped loving myself. High school really fucks you up like that. And now as an adult, I'm just expected to be okay. It's hard, but I'm doing it. No one's perfect. I Love Myself.
I Love Myself. I Love Myself. I Love Myself. I Love Myself. I Love Myself. I Love Myself. I Love Myself. I Love Myself. I Love Myself.
Dear Prince Charming
For someone I've never really gotten to know, you've been able to heavily affect my life, the way I think, and the way I act. In the past, you've determined where I go, how long I stay, what I get involved in. You've clouded my judgment, and you've distracted me from what was more important. You've appeared to me at school, in the hallways or in classrooms. You appear to me from day to day when I'm walking, when I'm commuting. You've appeared to me through my phone and through social media. And most often throughout my life, for as long as I can remember, you've appeared to me through film, TV shows, and books. No matter how universal you really are, you've made me feel like there was a real personal connection between just us. But every time I conclude that you're nothing more than an imaginary figure full of idealistic delusion.
Although you have the power to appear to disillusioned young girls, and boys, as a human figure, fitting their visual idealization of a knight in shining armor, you're not a real person at all. You are an idea. You are a concept. You are ultimately something that isn't real but can still exist in someone's own personal reality. What's crazier is how everyone seems to have their own image of what you really look like. To me, you've always been tall, rather muscular, dark haired. Maybe some tattoos and piercings. I've always pictured you as very masculine and domineering, but caring and affectionate at the same time. You've appeared to me before through people I've met. Or at least I've thought you did. I've come across many little boys trying to meet the expected standards of what it means to be a Prince Charming. But every time the guise of a perfect savior is diminished by a broken personality and a whole mess of toxic masculinity. I guess Prince Charming isn't just an image little girls and boys have of their knight in shining armor coming to save them with love, but it's also an image to little boys of what they should grow up to become. But the idea of a Prince Charming is impossible because perfection is impossible.
Over the years, I've picked many, many, MANY men that match or at least come close to matching the physical appearance of my ideal Prince Charming. And even though they all look different, I always convince myself they possess the same ideal personality that my Prince Charming has, even though it's never the case. I've always imagined you were too perfect to have your own problems. But everyone has their own struggles, even Prince Charming.
Whether you're real or not, you still exist in my reality, whether I like it or not. I just gave up looking so hard for you. So I've decided, if you are real, it's time I chill, live my life, and let you come to me in whatever form you choose to come in, because you may not be the image I've carried throughout my life. I've always wanted a Prince Charming, but I've always needed a companion, and that doesn't have to be a savior like you. I'll always keep my eye out for you, but not having something is not worth the heartbreak when I already have so much to keep my heart whole.
The most memorable time I came across you was when I did my first play, and I was the princess, and the actor next to me was playing Prince Charming. Despite his portrayal of such a perfect and likable man, it wasn't real. He used his charm to manipulate and fool those around him, including me, as most Prince Charming's do. That only proved to me that you're not real, and people playing the part of the Prince Charming can often turn out to become the villain. I've always felt indifferent towards you, but at the end of the day, all that heartbreak you threw my way made me stronger. Thanks for that, I guess.
I'm going to explain my situation as simply as I can. I'm a shoe. I'm a pink, sparkling, high heeled shoe, adorned with bows and a detailed pattern of flowers and butterflies. I'm "girly."I'm hyper-feminine. I'm flamboyant. I'm a girl's shoe. But a big mistake was made. I live in a box for a boy's sneaker. A blue, boringbox, for aboy'sshoe. Imagine the feeling of opening the box & finding the exact opposite inside. The confusion. The disappointment.Just an overall feeling of not knowing what to do. Or at least that's what I've experienced.
When people see my box first, they're expecting one thing. When they see the shoe I aminside; I don't make sense to them. But I like myself for the shoe that I am. I like beingover the top. I like being noticed. I like being the center of attention. But sometimes I like the subtlety and the security of my box. So, I embrace both. I use my disadvantage to my advantage, even if it confuses those around me.
When I face rejection, I'm left with my dreams and my aspirations.
Maybe I'll belong to a model and get to walk on a runway or red carpet.
Maybe I'll belong to a drag queen and get to celebrate myself through art.
There's no reason to ever feel broken or alone in this world of expectations and harsh opinions. After all, this mistake is made all the time. There are plenty of high heeled, dazzling women's shoes in shoe boxes for men's sneakers or boots, same as there are plenty of men's shoes living in shoe boxes for women's shoes.No matter what the box,all those shoes, including me, are unique and fulfill their purpose.