By Alexandria Nyx PZ ’26
Content Warning: Violence, Queerphobia, Parental Neglect, Child Abuse, Talk of Suicide
For those who don’t know me, my name is Alexandria Nyx and I am a sophomore studying Studio Art and Theatre. I am also co-president of Pitzer’s Queer Trans Alliance. Recently, I was granted $2,000 from the HIVE, where I work, to set up a photography exhibition. My exhibition centers Queer, Trans, BIPOC, and APIDA students around the 5Cs, with a specific focus on joy as an act of resistance to all the racism, bigotry, and hatred going on in the world recently.
On Friday, September 29th, I found a sticky note tacked on to the flyer for my exhibition which reads, “LGBTQ+ is a choice you made when you were too young to know there were other choices.” Immediately, I was 14 years old again, watching as my father towered over me with his hands around my neck, squeezing the breath out of me. His reasoning? He found out I was queer. Immediately, I was filled with a rage so strong it made me want to break something. However, I decided to do something more productive with it. I have a message for whoever thought it was okay to write that note:
I bet you didn’t expect to be blasted on a news publication for something like this, but since you thought it was okay to blast your hatred in public, I think it’s only fair I respond in the same manner. Usually, I would let things like this go, however, you fucked with a journalist with too much time on their hands, and the ability to be petty beyond your wildest dreams. My poster sat on that board for weeks with no issue until you encountered it, so here is the attention you crave so badly.
I would invite you to tell me what my other options were. What were the other options that were supposedly hidden from me as a child? Heterosexuality? Christianity? I’m genuinely curious to know what you think my life should’ve been. I’m also genuinely perturbed at the implication that being queer is a choice I made; a choice any of us makes.
Being queer is something I tried to fight with every fiber of being because I saw how much it made my father hate me. In a world where heterosexuality is the norm, I felt how alienated it made me from my family and those around me. Growing up in a household where I was forced to go to church every Sunday, I hated the person I felt myself growing into because some big bad man in the sky told me it was wrong. Being queer has cost me my friends, my family, my relationship with my parents, and my sanity; and it almost cost me my life too. I almost joined the statistic of queer kids who end their lives because of the hatred they get for being queer. Did you know queer youth are more than 4 times as likely to consider or attempt suicide compared to their heterosexual counterparts?¹ Or that 60% of queer youth who sought mental health services in 2022 were not able to get it?² Or that 29% of trans youth have been threatened or injured on school grounds, compared to 7% of straight youth?³ It is absolutely amazing to hear that you think our collective trauma was a choice.
Why do you think we choose to be discriminated against? Why do you think we choose to be ostracized by our peers? Why do you think we choose to be abused and abandoned by our family members and parents? Why do you think we choose to struggle in life because those who were supposed to support and love us let their hatred get in the way? One in four queer teens are made to leave their home after coming out.⁴ Up to 68% have experienced familial rejection upon coming out.⁴ Your note as it stands implies that we made a choice to go through some of the worst things a human being should have to experience just for shits and giggles. I would give anything to have my parents help move me into college each year. To have them come to family weekend. To be able to go home for winter break and summer break. To have a home and a family that made me feel safe, and affirmed who I am as a human in this world. And I know there are thousands of other queer folk who feel the exact same way as I do.
I want to say thank you. As triggering as your note was for me (congrats if that’s what you were going for, by the way), your note just goes to show me that the work I’m doing is important. It showed me just how close the hatred is to my community here in Claremont, and it showed me how necessary it is to speak up and make our voices heard. You can shake me and you can write as many notes as you will. Hell, I’ll give you my phone number and we can argue all day about this. However, you will never break me, nor the community I represent, uplift, and uphold around this campus. You can be as hateful and as public as you want, but we will still be here. We will stand our ground, and we will not budge for your bigotry or anyone else’s.
I also want to say I’m sorry. I’m sorry that your life is so pathetic. I’m sorry that you felt so starved of attention that you thought this was the way to get it. I’m sorry that you’re the world’s biggest wimp who has to hide behind an anonymous sticky note to spew their hatred. I’m sorry that the shine and joy of me and my community threatened you so much that you felt the need to attack us. And lastly, I’m so sorry that your sense of self is so shallow that it burns you to see others living happily and doing great things.
One last thing, I speak not only for myself but for my community as a whole, when I say…fuck you (respectfully).