A Rainbow-Colored Rose

by A.J.

I begin with an apology. I'm not gonna give you a flashy show; I'm not all that talented. I just wanna share my story, the one way I know how. Poetic word flowing like a river of heart. It's simple: I'm a storyteller telling their story. I don't know where to begin, not sure how to tell you how I feel inside. These words I wish to become a story get lost and tangled inside my throat, not knowing which is right. My brain becomes lost. Alright. No longer! I'll speak from the heart because that's what taught me best. All my life, I'd been known as the odd one out. Raised in a home of women, reading rather than playing with toys. I was an outsider to people like me, seen as a stranger to my own kind, like a white rose in a field of black roses. Trying to fit in when the puzzle already seemed to be complete. So I decided to fly solo,

and carried my own baggage as not to burden others. Eventually I found a place where I fit in, where everyone found "AJANI"

as a friend, rather than an outsider.

But happiness can't be forever. I was placed behind a cage,

and my wings were clipped and shackles were placed upon my arms. I was moved from a place that made me smile. Hushed once again, I felt like an outcast. I was pushed around and beaten, never allowed to be me, pushed behind closed doors and locked into an inescapable void. Singing the same sad song for no one to hear.

So, eventually I packed up my bags to be alone with the happy pills that invaded my home, with the silver blade that painted

my skin with crimson. However I failed; I woke up and was forced to live with the choice I made.

I made a mask to hide the pain of chains that held back my real smile. Alone I stayed surrounded by adults that cared for me. I ignored my own happiness to become the laughingstock of those

who wished to harm me. I inflicted unnecessary pain upon myself. I finally drew the line. I went to end this long harmful chapter in my life. I put on a facade to protect the ones I loved the most. A scary mask meant to harm others. I looked up to the females inside my home. I wanted to no longer an outcast. I fashioned a mask from parts of those

I looked up to. "AMELIA" was who I became, thus, beginning a new chapter. Knowing nothing about being trans, I did my best to shape

this perfect daughter, friend and even girlfriend. Soon I learned that wasn't me. It wasn't the mean comments, or the beatings my ex-friends unleashed upon me, on my already questioning soul. It was "AJANI's" reflection whenever "AMELIA" gazed into the mirror, his voice trying to call her back to him. I gave in; I hung up the mask that messed up my world. I was sure I was finished. The meds seemed to be speaking

to the depression—It hugged me tightly. Tears became pools I swam in

with voices that paraded my soul. I couldn't take my heart being so messed up. It was time. I spoke with people, I learned things, I read more things. I finally found something that made me happy: Others. I wanted to make others smile. I want to make others smile. I'm done being some puppet, some toy upon strings, I know no puppet master. From this moment on. I'm AJ. Here and queer, I'm here to stay! With this story, I hope you smiled. This wasn't nor is easy. But thank you

for lending me your ears. Even in this moment, I still hunt for my true purpose. What and who I am. Even now I feel like I don't fit. I still remain the misshapen puzzle piece,

the odd one out. However that won't stop me. I'll shout my story. For now,

I know that I am not alone. I'm a rose re-growing to be much better than I am now. Alongside

other multi-colored roses, helping me find my way. From now on... I'm my own, Rainbow Colored Rose.

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