“Asian men are not attractive.”

“Gay men are inferior to straight men.”

“White people are more meaningful to society than me.”

“Introverts have nothing to say.”

“I am a colour first. Then a person.”

“Only absurdly skinny and muscular queers deserve love.”

“Without money I am nothing.”

“I am only attractive to men who have a yellow fever fetish.”

“If you are not built like a stereotypical Viking than you are not a real man.”

“In order to be successful I have to act in line with people’s expectations and be submissive.”

Putting these lines on digital paper feels like such a relief. After decades of constant exposure to white heteronormative magazines, television shows, advertisement and movies society found its way into my head. As a child, I absorbed these images thinking they are the truth. But they are not. When my inner voice grew stronger, I was able to separate society’s norms from my own thoughts. Even though it is still a work in progress, I am in a good place now. I own my self-image. I own beauty. I own life.

Love, Joey

Picture by Marjoke Smits