To Exist, To Breathe, and Take Up Space

By: Gabriela Morales

To all of the people who vote for Donald Trump, I need to say this: I’m sorry.

I’m sorry because there is another place that I call home. Because my lungs fill with air to speak in a language that puts passion and intimacy into every rolled R that you can’t pronounce. Because salsa, merengue and plena control my body, making it sway to the rhythm of the Caribbean. Because my childhood heroes are Pedro Albizu Campos and Eugenio Maria de Hostos instead of Washington and Lincoln. Because I have my own history that tells a story of struggle and resilience, of a people who don’t give up, no mater the circumstances.

I’m sorry because I’m a woman. Because my father chose X instead of Y. Because my skin is soft enough to comfort and sooth those I care about but strong enough to fight to protect them. Because I believe myself to be your equal and demand to be treated as such. Because I have a body and believe that any decision on what can or can’t be done to it and/or with my body belongs exclusively to me. Because I study and work so I can be the master of my own life. Because my body isn’t made for your consumption.

I’m sorry because I believe that love is love. Because I can be sincere and vulnerable with a woman or a man. Because my love should be acknowledged and protected in the same way that your love is. Because my worth as a human being is not defined by whom I choose to be with. Because I want to be myself, with no restraints inside my own home and out in the open world. Because you and I are not as different as you’d want us to be.

I’m sorry for existing, for taking up space. I’m sorry because I inhale and exhale. Because my heart beats eighty times in a minute and forty-eight hundred times in an hour. Because I laugh and I cry and I scream and I feel. Because I have a mother, a father, a sister and a brother whom I love with all of me and think about constantly. Because I am human, just like you.

But, most of all, I’m sorry that you are so insecure that my mere existence threatens you—that the concept of someone who is different scares you this much. I’m sorry that over the course of your life, you’ve allowed yourself to be filled with so much hatred, that you’re just bursting at the seams with it and have no other option than to throw it at me and people like me.

P.S.: I’m not sorry and, to your despise, I will continue to exist, to breath and to take up space.

Gabriela Morales is a Sophomore at Christian Brothers University and Staff Writer at the Galleon

Posted by Josh Colfer at 12:04 PM

The Galleon is curated and managed by Christian Brothers University, a Memphis-based university founded in the Lasallian tradition (a sect within the Catholic faith). Part of our founding mission is to uphold respect for all persons-regardless of political, religious, or social beliefs. As an institution, we take no stand on political matters; to do so would undermine our commitment to intellectual inquiry and thoughtful response to events taking place in our World by members of the CBU community.

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