This I Believe

Bailee - Minnetonka, Minnesota
Entered on May 8, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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Accepting People for Who They Are

Accepting people for who they are is an immeasurable problem in the world. I have learned that even if you don’t wear “brand name” clothing, have a certain hair color, or even if people think you are too “fat”, it should not matter. It’s the person on the inside that does. Facing obstacles is also an everyday problem. For some, they are harder to get over than others. I was five years old when my parents got divorced. I vaguely remember that day in particular, but it has been an obstacle I have had to deal with and accept: my dad is gay. I believe that people should accept each other for who they are.

In elementary school, I got made fun of because my dad was gay. Because of this, I didn’t tell a lot of people, only my closest friends. I think that the reason it was so hard for me to tell other people is because I hadn’t accepted the fact that he was gay. I would go home crying saying to myself, “Why did it have to be MY dad??” I talked to my mom and my brother all the time. They helped to comfort me, and they gave me advice. My brother was nine at that time, so he knew what was going on more than I did. He told me that he got made fun of sometimes too, but the kids don’t know what they are talking about. They told me that everything was going to be fine.

I was in sixth grade when some guys found out about my dad. I heard from my friends that they were making fun of the fact that he was gay. When my friend told me about the two guys, I approached them at lunch to see what was so funny. They told me that they thought it was weird and not normal. I was frustrated. I told them that it shouldn’t matter what sexuality someone is, and that they shouldn’t talk about him like that when they don’t even know him. They told me they were sorry and went to class. When I was walking to class, I thought about what happened. It felt really good to stand up to them. I was proud of myself, and it was then when I realized I should take my own advice. I used to think it was weird that he was gay, but at that point, I realized it wasn’t.

I now look back on what happened in those many years, and I do not understand why I acted the way I did. I am proud to say now that my dad is gay. If people choose to laugh at me or think that it is weird, they obviously aren’t mature enough to accept it.

I am always willing to stand up for those who get called gay, or are discriminated against in any way. I am proud to say that I have gotten over one of the hardest obstacles of my life.

Accepting people for who they are can change not only their life, but also it can change yours. I accept people no matter what they look like, what sexuality, race or what they wear. It doesn’t matter whom they hang out with for that matter. I look at the person on the inside; I accept them and love them for who they are. Everyone has obstacles, getting over them can change your life. I think that people should accept each other for who they are. This I believe.