I stood up in front of an audience to stand up for what I believe in

15th January, 2021   |    By Anonymous   |    3 min read

Heywire winner, Kirra from Dubbo, NSW, shares her story.

Listen to audio recording of this Heywire story here.

My palms were sweating, I couldn’t stop shaking, my heart was beating out of my chest, and I was wearing a purple cape.

I was about to share with my whole school something I’d kept between just me and my family.

I’d always had crushes on boys and girls, but it wasn’t until I was a young teen, scrolling through the wild west of Tumblr, that I realised not everyone did.

I remember when I found a description of pansexuality: “An attraction towards people regardless of their sex or gender identity”, it felt like the author reached through the screen and shook me awake.

I wanted to share this new part of myself with everyone I knew.

But as adults and teens around me were casually — or sometimes aggressively — homophobic I stayed firmly in the closet.

Eventually, the strain of pretending became too much.

I hadn’t planned to don a purple cape and stand up in front of the entire school, but I suppose I must have wanted something to happen when I first got up in front of my class.

“Tomorrow is Wear it Purple Day,” I announced to my classmates.

“What’s that?” someone in the back row asked.

I swallowed hard.

“A day celebrating LGBTIQA+ awareness — especially for young people,” I replied.

“OK cool, so we wear purple?” was the response.

I was shocked at the compliance, but realised now I had allies.

The day came and my classmates were wearing purples socks and hair clips, and one of them brought me a purple cape to wear.

Whether it was the cape, or the fact that a few of my classmates seemed enthusiastic about the cause, something inspired me to get up in front of the school assembly.

I talked for a while about homophobia and its life and death impact on young people.

And then I bit the bullet.

“I’m pansexual!” I announced, and the words echoed around the school hall.

Every pair of eyes shot to me.

It felt like time stood still.

A weight had lifted and I felt like I was going to float away.

I had done it — I was out!

With or without the cape, I like to think that by being true to myself I’ve been able to help other young people find a way through a tough time.

Also check the related topics:  

Sexuality & Gender

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