So, this is my "evaluate a significant experience" essay and I need some serious help! Feel free to be harsh. :)
I never though anything would come of living between a gay nightclub and an evangelical church until Proposition 8, a measure aimed at banning same-sex marriage, was set forth. Up until the fall of 2008, I was pretty much ignorant of the fervent hatred aimed toward the LGBTQ community, growing up with gay friends, teachers, and family made sexual orientation a matter of little importance. So the day the church across the street took up their arms against the gay people in my community, I took my homemade sign, which read "No on H8," and my own contradictory message to the street. I stood on the corner of the street alone, just me and my sign, taking the church members' scornful stares and insults. I held my ground as they passed by whispering "lesbian" and "heathen" under their breath.
As I stood there with tired arms and a dying voice, I thought of all the people who had virtually no say in what their future would be because they were grossly outnumbered by their unsympathetic neighbors. I would never want to be cornered in a situation where I had no freedom to express my opinions and yet somehow I was in a similar situation. After at least an hour of yelling, I found myself voiceless. I continued on with my sign, but began thinking "Where would I be without writing?" Without a sign and without a voice, I would just be a random person standing on the street. In this small moment, I realized that writing picks up where my voice leaves off. It reaches places my voice cannot and keeps on going when my voice cannot. My true voice, my strongest voice lies in written word.
The greatest advice anyone has given me is that "silence is never the answer" and that day I answered hateful ignorance in the loudest way I possibly could. But when I can't be loud, I can always rely on my writing to be loud for me. Whether it's on a sign, the pages of a newspaper or journal, or a regular, ol' AP English essay, my writing carries more power than my actual voice ever will. So although my mom will never again let me take the risk I took that day "as long as I live under her roof," the gift this experience has left me is the constant reminder that I am powerful, that I can make a difference, and that I can speak for those who do not have the courage to do so. I will speak, or rather write, for them, for myself, and for the world that is waiting to listen.